The Ballad of Kit and Rachel

Many of you know of this story, but I wrote it up for Voices, and it was published today.

Big Sur loves its dogs. Lost dogs have become sort of a specialty of mine on my blog. I am a sucker. Whether they are born here, brought here or dumped here, all are welcome. No bad dogs, sometimes bad owners. This is the story of three such dogs, but mostly the last of the three.

Feb. 4, 2013, was a warm, gorgeous winter day. I got up and opened the door to let out the four dogs I already owned. I left the door open, so I could go back to bed for a bit. Shortly after I closed my eyes, I heard the clinking of toenails on the hardwood floor. I rolled over to see which dog it was. “Oh, my! Who are you, Missy.” It was a stranger, making herself at home. I didn’t even know the sex at that point, but that is how she got her name. She is a smart border collie, probably McNab. She was skin and bones and covered with ticks. I took her into the bathroom, where I planned to keep her isolated from my own dogs until I could get her to the vet and have her checked, which I did. Seven years later, she never willingly leaves my side.

On Nov. 21, 2019, Elsa Rivera posted a photo of a German shepherd puppy that a couple had abandoned at the Loma Vista gas station. My other four dogs were all gone by then, having lived 14 to 16 years each, and Missy the Mystery Dog needed a high energy playmate that wasn’t me. That night, Lady was ours. That was two months ago, and today she is housebroken, knows basic commands and is highly entertaining.

Then, on Jan. 7 I got one of those emails I get way too often about a dog wandering the highway. No photo, not much of a description (looks like a fox, but not). Not much I could do with that. She was spotted near the vista point at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

A couple days later, at the same vista point, Jon Knight spotted her and he and several state park rangers tried to capture this gal, but were unsuccessful. She was scared to death and ran away. There were sightings reported to me on and off, but no photos until Jan. 15. Rachel Fann spotted her near her place, three miles south of JP Burns.

You can read the rest of the story at

Hint: It has a happy ending.

Found Dog at Pfeiffer Beach — Update: Reunited with his human!

The parks management people at the Pheiffer Beach Kiosk found the dog pictured below. I’m sending the photo to you in hopes that you’ll put it on your blog.
It’s a male, maybe around 80 lbs, boxer mix. Nice dog, let all of us pet him and pull ticks off.
The 2 contacts for more information are:

Lost Dog – Limekiln State Park

”This is my girl Poppy my therapy dog. She ran away on 12/11/19 at Limekiln State Park Big Sur California. She is a friendly dog. A medium size Terrier Pitbull mix. Short white fur and spots Approximately 3 years old. She has a basic chip.“ She was lost from campsite 15 near the bridge to the beach. He owner is on FB. Randy Swank is Poppy’s human’s name.

Ode to Lana & Meet Lady, the new addition

Before getting into today’s post, I would like to share some words I posted on Face Book about Lana Weeks passing. She was and will continue to be, an amazing lady and a big part of this coast.

“There are few people in Big Sur who have not been touched by this lady’s grace, compassion, and love the past few years. I am but one of the many she touched. I admired her so much and gained such wisdom just from knowing her. Selfless in her giving and support of Big Sur Fire. We will all miss her guiding influence, but she will live on in all of us whom she touched in so many ways. God Speed, Lana, and I will meet up with you when the time comes, and we can share stories again.”

This is a reminder to us elders…we need to honor not only those of us who remain, but those who will take our place. We need to make sure that this legacy — our legacy — continues. Let us make sure that the caring and compassion we envision lingers long after our bodies depart.

I know, heavy, right? But the love and beauty Lana represents continues in the babies — human and four-legged. This is the story of another being of light who came into my life as Lana was leaving it — another being was joining our Big Sur family — a fur baby.

Thursday, our dear Chica, Elsa Rivera, posted a photo of the cutest puppy on Face Book. She had been abandoned and needed a home. I have a thing for abandoned dogs. This is the photo that capture my heart and several others.


The story I have been told is that apparently, a couple had picked her up at the Rez, and on the way home decided they really couldn’t take her to their home, so they stopped at Loma Vista Shell and left her with Katy (?). From there she eventually ended up at Blaze and then with me, by about 8 pm. First nights with puppies are typically rough ones, particularly ones with no litter mates or mamas to assist. Thursday night was no different. Brendon introduced us, then went home, leaving his dog, Bella, also. First night…I have 3 and I am supposed to let them all “work it out.” Right…I also wanted to be able to sleep.

C’mon, Dad, do I really have to share my bed with this newbie?

No, she did not. After trying to get some sleep with Missy on my bed, and Lady trying her best to climb into the bed, I gave up and took the puppy into the office (where I have a spare twin) and that is how we all got some sleep that night.

And this, is one from Friday as she gets used to her new home, bed, and pals. I just happened to have this new, never-used bed. I suspect she will outgrow it.

It was a busy day for all of us as the pack order was established. Missy has always acknowledged me as the pack leader, and she has never let anyone challenge that. She is my second in command, and she worked all day making sure that pack order was established. Lady lives, Bella is happy, I am in charge and all the girls are in their places. It was a good first day for all of us.

Lady down for the night
Bella, settled in for the night
Missy, the ever active Border Collie, keeping an eye out for a mouse or ?? while the others slept. She finally has a job that will REALLY keep her busy — training the new puppy.