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By The Staff

In Response to “Critter” Inquiries
Yes, Katy (the black Lab/blue heeler mix puppy) is growing like a weed and at present seems to be all legs.
She is 16 weeks old this week, is looking good with a shiny coat. She had gained 4 more pounds prior to her doctor’s visit last week, is lively and playful, wags her tail a lot and is scheduled to visit her gynecologist in the not-too-far future for the recommended voluntary surgery and rabies shot. She is up to date an all other procedures, shots and tests.
She is showing more evidence of canine intelligence every day. For instance, she has her master (Papa Bear Bill) trained now to give her a treat when she sits on the cement block by the gate (which was her idea in the first place).
Bill gives her a small treat in the morning, and puts two more in her feed bowl. She runs and plays with the first one, tossing it up in the air and running after it.
One morning, she lost it and after looking for it a few minutes, she simply ran to her bowl and picked out another treat to play with.
She knew two more would be there and she quickly processed the thought to go get one of them to play with. She found the first one later and, of course, ate all three of them. Bill took her on her leash to meet Smoky, the little (adorable) donkey. Smoky put his nose to the fence to get acquainted and then brayed to greet her. She ran behind her master’s legs and peeked around at Smoky.
However, last week’s (very welcome) storm began when we weren’t at home and Katy seemed to brave that first-time happening in her life in stride. She was soaked, because the door was shut on the sheltering cage.
She does have a small gazebo in her yard, and she was under it and under a lawn chair, but the rain blew right through it. Bill dried her off with a towel and put dry “bed linens” under the shelter. She also got an extra treat.
For her protection from any incidental, unfriendly, confrontational visit from a coyote, opossum, raccoon, skunk, Sneaky Pete, the wily wolf, etc., we have secured her in a large pet cage at night.
She had begun to loudly complain when the door was shut, so she now runs freely in the big pen at night. However, we notice in the early mornings, she is sleeping in the cage and she just doesn’t want the door shut. (I don’t blame her; I wouldn’t either.)
Callie, the kitty, stays clear of Katy, but watches her from the deck. Katy would love to get to know Josie (the little 13-year-old, aging, “puppy”), but Josie ignores her and also stays clear of her.
Those are wise decisions on the part of Callie and Josie, because Katy’s playfulness with her sharp little baby teeth would not be welcome.
From Our Readers
I met two of our readers, Janet Rolfingsmeier (at Rural King) and Marsha Walker ( a visitor at our church) recently, and they both shared that they liked our articles and the column, especially reading about the critters. We appreciate their kind and encouraging comments. (I passed their nice comments on to the critters, and they responded with assorted, appreciative, barks, meows, neighs, moos, brays, clucks and cooing, wagging of tails, preening of feathers, and nodding and tossing of heads.)
Gifts from Bill Durr’s Garden
Friend Bill Durr met with Bill and presented us with two fine watermelons from his garden.
He is the author of several children’s books, based on his childhood memories of living in the country with his dog.
The illustrated books are very interesting and bring back memories of similar childhood experiences of that era. Good reading for children, and enjoyable for us adults.
Sefton HCE 4-H Club Day
The members of the Sefton Clovers, South Side Kids and Caprine Kids 4-H clubs and their leaders/parents are invited to the Sefton HCE meeting this Thursday to talk about and show, if possible, their 4-H entries in the Fayette County Fair this year. Refreshments will be served.
The annual Southern Illinois Sefton Reunion will be held this Saturday at the Liberty Christian Church Fellowship Hall, with a noon potluck meal. Drinks and table service will be provided.
Liberty Christian Church is located five miles north of Brownstown. For more information, call 347- 2392.
The annual Darnell Reunion will be held this Sunday at Liberty Christian Church Fellowship Hall, with a noon potluck meal. Drinks and table service will be provided.
Card Shower For Helen
A card shower is requested for Helen Stine of Brownstown, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Aug. 20. Cards may be sent to her at 1667 N. 1625 St., Brownstown, Ill. 62418.
Looking Ahead – Nadine is Returning
The popular and very funny Nadine of the RFD TV show Larry’s Diner is coming back to Fayette County. (She must have liked us).
Returning with her will be Renee, the pretty waitress; Tena Goans, upcoming Nashville artist; and Steve Smith, lead guitarist for the Gatlin Brothers Band.
They will be at the Moose Lodge in Vandalia on Sept. 15. Tickets are on sale now at the Brownstown Branch Library. The show will benefit the library.
Strobels and Smiths Attend Wedding
A family group traveled to Appleton, Wis., last week to attend the wedding of Caleb Bone and Ruchala Conway. Caleb is the son of Matt and Jana Bone of Seymour, Wis., formerly of Vandalia and Brownstown. Ruchala is the daughter of Tom and Kim Conway of Kaukauna. Wis. Georgia Krause of Vandalia and Joann Strobel of Brownstown are grandmothers.
Attending were: Georgia Krause and Walt and Adrienne Kinney of Vandalia; Joann Strobel, Greg and Angela Strobel and Joylynn, and Bill and Cathy Smith and Ashton, of Brownstown; Teresa Parker of Springfield; and Karen Underwood of Beardstown.
The wedding was held in a park alongside a lake in front of a gazebo. It was a delightfully cooler day than was experienced in Illinois when the group left.
Caleb graduated in May from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee with a degree in social work. The couple will make their home in Nashville, Tenn.
Brazles Meet with Family in Missouri
Vernon and Judy Brazle left Thursday evening for Florissant, Mo., to visit with grandson Josiah before he left for Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo.
Josiah and his parents, Virgil and Barb, and Vernon and Judy, were to meet at the Waffle House when Josiah got out of his karate class, in which he earned his black belt that evening.
Surprise! Vernon and Judy arrived at the Waffle House, only to be greeted by grandson, Zack and his wife Jessie from St. Louis. About the time Virgil and Barb arrived, in walked grandson, Gabe, his wife, Sarah, and their 3-month-old daughter, Olivia, from Moberly, Missouri.
Gabe and Sarah are both students at Central College of the Bible in Moberly. Following a lengthy time at the restaurant eating and visiting, all went to Virgil and Barb’s house for more eating and spoiling baby Olivia.
Morning Tea with Cousin Norma, etc.
An impromptu, spur-of-the-moment cup of tea, coffee and banana-nut muffins were enjoyed early Monday morning when we discovered we were both within a block of Liberty Ice Cream Shoppe in Vandalia.
After getting caught up on family news, and parting with Norma, I visited Ali Marie’s on Gallatin, for a few minutes, and ran into Lynn Sefton there crossed the street to visit  friend Joanna in the Words, Wicks & Wood Book shop and purchased a couple of books, chatted a bit and headed home to the computer to get busy on this column. (Thankfully, the writing went smoothly, as I had played hooky for a couple of hours, a rare happening on Mondays.)  
A Brief On-the-Go Chat with Cousin Pauline
On the way into the grocery store last week, a van leaving said store pulled up beside me and honked. It was cousin Pauline, with whom I don’t get to visit enough anymore.
We chatted for too-few minutes through the car window about family (Dora and Ray), and friend Gertrude Hollis in Tennessee.