Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ode featured in Lyndale Neighborhood News

Written by Randy Ferguson

In a city considered relatively “small” it’s amazing how we can live near someone and never really know much about them; possibly never talking to them. It’s not that we aren’t capable of such interaction or that we wouldn’t find things in common. It just appears that in our lives, which always seem so busy, we don’t take the time to make the initial connection.

Pets however, seem to be a particularly good icebreaker. In many ways they create an instant bond and source of conversation and sometimes can even bring total strangers together as is the case with Pat and Pam.

It was the summer of 2008 when longtime Lyndale resident Pat found herself in a quandary. Finishing her PhD in psychology required working long 10 hour days at her internship without nearly enough time to care for her Terrier mix Annie. She needed a dog-walker. A posting to the Lyndale E-Group brought her just the relief she needed.

As it turns out the E-Group goes beyond the boundary of the Lyndale Neighborhood. In this case Pam, a resident of Kingfield and a pet lover herself, responded to Pat’s request. Her doggy daycare services were put into action and Pam was soon on a twice-weekly walking schedule with Annie.

ODEIt wasn’t long before Pam adopted a pooch named Ode (o-DAY) and needed to figure out how to take care of both dogs. Not knowing how the two might interact they slowly introduced the long legged, 50 lb., energetic pup to demure Annie at a third her size. While no one would mistake the two for best buddies they certainly have fun when they are together.

Pam does say that it was sometimes a challenge to have both on leashes with their different walking styles and wonders what neighbors thought of what probably looked like a “mad scarf dance.” Over time, Pat and Pam would get together on walks or play in the yard with their dogs and a friendship developed in the process. As well, Pam met quite a few new people as she traversed the two neighborhoods. One of those encounters led to adopting a stray cat found in a back woodpile.

Pat has since received her PhD and now holds a schedule that allows her to spend the time she needs to with Annie. She knows that she wouldn’t have been able to make it without Pam’s help and considers her a true friend. She never had to worry about Annie’s wellbeing in the loving and trustworthy care of Pam.

It’s hard to say how the good deeds we do will affect our lives. Pat and Pam may have passed by each other for years without ever talking. But the karmic, serendipitous events that occurred have made this city just a little bit smaller.

Annie (named after the Orphan) was found by Pat in 2007 after a devastating loss the week before of her previous dog. Although she was grungy, stinky, and in need of vet care, Pat remembers the likeness of Annie to her former dog with her brown button eyes and charcoal coloring. When no one claimed her, Annie became a permanent resident of the Lyndale Neighborhood.

Ode (o-DAY an Ojibwe word for heart) was also a rescue. Pam discovered her through the websites of and She was just a pup but had suffered severe abuse and had stubs for ears due to intentional burning. You can see more of her story at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great article!! It is so true- I have met so many great people through the animals and it is the animals that "hook us up" in all different ways. Thank you for the story that makes all our worlds a little smaller.


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