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47: Hank

Updated: Feb 27

Dear Friend,

This is the week that spurs so many people to travel toward friends and family. There will be gatherings to share gratitude, food, meaningful stories and whatever else sounds like a fun idea at the time. I hope that you are feeling good and that your plans for the week make you happy when you think of them.

Frank and I used to live in an actual house surrounded by tall trees. It was a wonderful place to live. We took walks with our Yellow Labrador Retriever, Winchester, in the neighborhood every day on roads that passed by country homes, fenced pastures and open fields. On our walks we met horses and goats, dogs, cats, people… and chickens. The property near the end of the road had a large fenced-in yard. A chicken coop sat inside the fence at the side closest to the house. I would guestimate just over a dozen chickens lived there in that yard. Most of them were big white hens with a free run of the entire enclosure. A huge Tom Turkey named Gravy lived with and guarded these chickens, (they had raised him from a chick). He strutted around the yard in full display, his beautiful tail feathers fanned out, his wattle blazed red across his dark brown neck. I’m telling you this because I thought you’d enjoy knowing that Tom Turkeys make wonderful sentries and believe me, strangers couldn’t even begin to get near Gravy’s chickens.

swift change of subject : )

My visit with my brother in Alabama was great and I miss him already! I had a chance to meet a few of his good friends who treated us to delicious home-cooked meals and warm, caring hospitality. We took hikes and just didn’t have a hurry about anything. We saw beautiful fall colors all throughout Alabama. The trees on the hillsides create colorful, expansive views.


We met a nice lady named Jessica in the parking lot after our hike at Cheaha State Park. Jessica had a dog with her so my brother and I (of course) asked if we could meet the dog. Jessica introduced us to ‘Hank.’ Jessica is from Birmingham, Alabama, and made the nearly two-hour drive to the Cheaha State Park that morning. On her way, she had stopped in at the Chilton County Humane Society.


Jessica would love to offer a forever home but can’t have a dog where she is living. So, she participates in the DOGGY DAY OUT  program. That’s where she met Hank. I hadn’t ever heard of that program. It sounds wonderful though it makes me cry when I think of Jessica taking Hank back to the shelter after their camping trip. Just look at the two of them together.

Thank you, Jessica and Hank, for sharing your story with us. We hope that you both had a great campout!

With such fun and loving attention, Hank has a chance to socialize and experience a good life outside of the shelter; all that love will give him an even better shot at finding a forever home!


Well after two weeks apart, Frank and I are back on the road, together, again!

In last week’s letter, Frank was at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He photographed a great deal of the surrounding areas and decided to start making his way back to San Diego, California to pick me up.

He revisited the Mojave National Preserve and stayed at Hole in the Wall Campground. While there, he explored many hiking trails in the area.

He visited the Old Kelso Train Station and Museum. This retired Post Office is right across the street from the Train Station.

On one of the days, Frank took a tour of the Mitchell Caverns, limestone caves, also part of the Mojave National Preserve.

Barrel cactus, cholla and yucca are some of the prominent plants found in the Preserve.

We’ll be heading back to visit Mojave National Preserve because Frank found that there were so many more places in the 1.6 million acre park to explore! Here are just a few photos that Frank took from around his campsite.

As you read last week, the Zzyzx Study Center is an oasis in the very diverse landscape of the Mojave National Preserve.

Around the Park, if you look hard enough, you might even see a petroglyph!


I’m looking forward to visiting the Mojave desert with Frank.

Please let us know how YOU are doing, We are Thankful for YOU!

Have a Happy Week!

Gently Be,

Leslie and Frank



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