OMG! I just finished reading over this issue for our last looks and finished with an actual LOL in my office. Seeing Harlan, Columbia’s most famous dog, as our This or That subject was the perfect way to end this issue. When Harlan and his human dropped by for a visit, we got absolutely nothing done for quite a while as he held court with our staff.
This issue is full of warm stories of relationships between people in our city and their animals. They left me with this awesome, all-over happy feeling. I was reminded page after page of how much comfort and joy I’ve received from having animals in my life. I’ve had dogs since I was a little kid, from a sweet cocker spaniel named Mona to my current pooches, Rhodey (an overgrown toddler of an American bulldog) and Bella (a geriatric Siberian husky). I’ve watched my kids play with dogs and cuddle kittens. We’ve created a habitat for a turtle named Tito and have had horses, fish, mice (Ruby and Anna), countless chickens, and one ill-tempered rooster named Foggy (short for Foghorn). Caring for animals has been a great way for me to teach the children many things — empathy for another’s needs, responsibility, and unconditional love.
My appreciation for animals doesn’t end with those that are considered pets. I was raised in a family that respected and harvested the land by hunting and fishing responsibly. My nana prepared amazing dove, pheasant, and quail that my papa and dad hunted. My dad showed me at a very young age how to catch crawdads and minnows for bait, how to find the best fishing holes, how to paddle a canoe against the current to keep him still (all while not hitting the sides with the paddles), and how to clean a fish without leaving any bones. I have raised chickens from little chicks up through the time to butcher them for our freezer. Being an angler, hunter, and farmer is very important to my family and is a big part of who we are. I hope that in this issue, you find that we covered many different angles on how animals play a part in our lives.
As always, I would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on this issue or any issue. Feel free to connect with me at [email protected].
All my best,
Erica Pefferman, Publisher