Ghosts and Goblins, Good Golly!

cute-bat-clipart-bat-20clip-20art-bat-1979pxfullsizerender-8It is the time of year when things go bump in the night, so Doc and I decided to go out on our own ghost hunting adventure. It seemed like a fun idea at first, but it ended up being one of the scariest adventures I have ever been on after we found out what was happening right in our own neighborhood.

We started out visiting a historical building called The Stoner House that is actually on the National Registry of Historical Places. It was built in 1852 by George Stoner and it served as an inn, tavern, healing spa and is most well-known as major stop on the Underground Railroad. Mr. Stoner would bring passengers in his stagecoach to the inn and hide runaway slaves in the baggage compartment of the stagecoach. They would then hide in a secret room in the cellar of the inn where they would stay until they could safely leave and go north to Canada.

We figured any house built in 1852 would have plenty of ghost sightings and we were right. It has been reported to be haunted by a shadowy figure that comes in the back door of the second floor porch. There has also been reports of mist that forms and some have seen a full body apparition of a woman. Bells have been heard ringing from the hidden room in the cellar.

Doc and I walked bravely into the front door of Stoner House to see if we could find any ghosts. The floors were creaky and slanted, giving it an eerie feeling. It is no longer an inn, but now houses a Catholic book store on the first floor and a business called Mystic Nirvana where a clairvoyant and psychic medium work on the second floor. After hearing about all the strange things going on in the place I was too scarred to stay and Doc didn’t want to bother the psychic medium during the work day to see if she had seen any spirits, so we left.

The next stop on our ghost adventure was just across the street at the The Anti-Saloon League museum. It has been said that some of the museum staff have heard strange noises and had other-world encounters so we thought we had better investigate.

Just so you know the history, The Anti-Saloon League’s fervor against alcohol resulted in an amendment to prohibit the manufacturing and sale of alcohol all across the United States. Even after that was repealed in 1933, Westerville, Ohio remained dry until 2004, when the people voted to make the town “wet” again. I bet that made the anti-saloon league ghosts mad when they found that out.

None of the staff we talked to would say anything, but the museum, though interesting, gave me the creeps, so I couldn’t wait to get out of there and go home. Doc wanted to continue the ghost tour in Granville, Ohio at the most haunted inn in America, The Buxton Inn, but I nixed that after I found out there is a ghost cat that is seen wandering around the halls. I don’t want to encounter a live cat, let alone a dead spirit cat, so she took me home.

After our neighborhood ghost investigation, I’m not sure what I believe, nor do I know what I would do if I actually ran into a ghost. I suppose it’s best to follow the advice of Doc’s dad who told her that you need to worry more about the living than the dead.

Have a Happy Halloween!

groverpic ” If dogs could talk it would take the fun out of owning one.”

— Andy Rooney

Is It Really Just Trash?

FullSizeRender-5After dinner when the neighborhood becomes quiet, I take Doc outside for her evening walk. It’s important that she get her exercise, so I don’t let her make any excuses. I will bring over my leash when necessary and drop it at her feet if she looks like she has lulled herself into complacency on the couch.

She has a sturdy gate for only having two legs and keeps up a nice pace. I have trained her to let me stop at most trees and fire hydrants to get the latest neighborhood gossip by sniffing the pee-mail left behind by the dogs. It is always an enjoyable outing, but by far, my favorite night to walk is “trash night.”That is the one night of the week when the humans put all the junk they don’t want out by the curb for the big trash trucks to pick up and haul away. You can really tell a lot about people by the stuff they get rid of.

Doc may not admit it, but I know she enjoys looking at all the neighbor’s trash too. I have known her to take stuff from the curb, bring it home and recycle it. On this particular night we spot a toilet and sink wrapped up at the curb. On encountering the neighbor that put it there I become mortified when Doc suggests to the poor man that he could use the toilet to plant flowers in and put it in the front yard. He laughs nervously not knowing if she is kidding or not. I try to act like I don’t know her when she makes those kind of remarks and keep moving down the sidewalk away from her.

I think Doc has a hard time seeing all the things that are thrown out that she would either, fix, give away or recycle. Doc grew up with a father that re-used, or fixed everything, so those values have stayed with her through life. She is also sentimental and when someone gives her something, she puts in a place of honor in her house where she can see it everyday.

Sometimes people make fun of Doc and call her “cheap” but knowing her the way I do I think it runs deeper than that. The psychoanalytical part of Doc’s brain worries that some people dispose of everything in their life too easily. I have to admit, but when you think of it that way, “trash night” takes on a whole new meaning. So beware, you never know when Doc and I could be examining the trash in your neighborhood.





groverpic ” Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

— Marilyn Monroe

“Please Listen To Me”

fullsizerender-9During one of the group sessions that Doc and I run, some problems arose with getting group members to listen. Sometimes people were talking over each other, at other times there were interruptions from people carrying on side conversations when they should have been listening.  It was akin to watching the people on some of the 24 hour cable news networks going back and forth.

As most problems in life have a solution, Doc and I put our heads together to try to figure out what that solution might be. What we came up with worked out better than even Doc and I imagined.

At the next group session, we paired people off into two’s. They then picked slips out of a bag that had the following questions on them, 1.If you could be anyone besides yourself, who would you be and why? 2. If your house caught on fire and you could take 3 things with you what would you take? 3. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go? 4. If you could have a dream job, what would it be? They were then instructed to have one person answer the question while the other sat quietly and listened. At the end of one minute they stopped and the person that listened had to repeat back to their partner what they had said. Then they switched places and did the exercise all over again so that each person had a turn.

When they were done with the exercise, Doc asked the group what they had learned. Now you would have thought that they would have talked about the answers to the questions, but that’s not what happened at all. The group members said that they found out that it’s hard to really listen to someone without interrupting or trying to finish the sentence for the other person. They also found it hard to listen rather than thinking about their own responses. Doc and I were blown away. They really got it!

For the last question Doc asked the group “How many of you felt like you had not been listened to when you were growing up?” It broke my heart when every group member raised their hand.

It just goes to show you how important it is to feel listened to in life. Not only does it show others that you care, but it also conveys that their opinions are valued. Nothing is more powerful than that.




groverpic ” If your dog doesn’t like someone you probably shouldn’t either.

— Unknown

The Wishing Tree

fullsizerender-7You can always wish upon a star, but in the small town of Powell, Ohio there is a special tree in front of the candy store where you can write down what you wish for and hang it on the tree for everyone to read. On a beautiful fall afternoon, Doc and I happened to come across that tree and were surprised by the wishes that were left behind.

We found out the tree was first introduced during a town festival and now has about 2,000 wishes hanging from its branches. What started out as a fun idea for shoppers turned into people being able to anonymously write down either simple requests or heart-felt desires for themselves or others. One tag read ” I wish to have a million dollars.” and then another read, “I wish all water problems were fixed on earth.”

It got Doc and I to thinking about what people we know would wish for, so when we went back to work, we posed the following question, ” If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?” The answers were varied, but here are some of them. ” I wish I had never used drugs.”, “I wish no one ever got cancer”,  ” I wish I had a safe place to live” and my favorite ” I wish I had a dog like Grover.”

When I read what people wished for, it revealed to me what is important in that person’s life right now. It touched me so deeply that I made my own wish. I wish that everyone learns that they have the power to make many of their own wishes come true.

If you could wish for anything, would you wish for?


groverpic “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.”

— Proverb quote