More on the Jerusalem Fire and the Dragon Who Will Not Lay Down to Sleep

The night of August 9, 2015

That night we put Jonas and the little kid in one of the trailers and I walked back down the driveway to collect the remaining goats while friends and neighbors slowly backed the stock trailer down the drive behind me. The goats were frantic but they recognized me and I was able to lead them into the enclosed yard on the cement slab. I tethered the bucks and one by one we loaded them into the stock trailer. We made a chute out of the cattle panels in the driveway and herded the does and kids into the trailer.

The goats were taken to the Schmitz farm in the next town. After the animals had been unloaded and fed and watered I drove to the Red Cross Center set up at the high school where I work as a substitute. The chickens, the cat and both dogs were put into large cages and fed and watered.

The Red Cross Center was almost deserted and I was treated like royalty by the team, which had little to do especially at 12:00a.m. I was fed chocolate cake and sandwiches and I was starving.

Later as I lay on a cot in that vast dark gym with the smell of the freshly waxed floor I prayed and hoped that the fire did not spread into the valley below PsiKeep and  that everyone’s home out there was safe.

August 10, 2015

The Red Cross was very accommodating but the rooster was crowing and my white German Shepherd was barking at everyone who entered the Red Cross center. So I thought it best that we move on. I was able to connect with Brenda and James who helped me with the goats the night before and we were invited to stay out the evacuation at the Schmidt farm in Lower Lake.

Image of driveway of the Schmidt farm

The driveway of the Schmidt farm

The dogs and I  are living out of the back of the car for the next five days.

Image of the back of the author's vehicle.

Living out of the back of the car.

We set up a pen for the dogs and put my chickens into a coop out back. I fed and watered the goats and put the cat into a larger cage under the trees.

The first morning I helped Corky Schnidt butcher some chickens.

Corky butchering some roosters for winter.

Corky butchering some roosters for winter.

Plucking the feathers from the chickens.

The author plucking the feathers from the chickens with Corky.

Later that morning Brenda and I set off to evacuate her chickens and remaining belongings she wanted to remove from her place.

Image of view of the the fire at the Wal-mart parking lot.

View of the fire at the Wal-Mart parking lot.

We spent the day getting animal feed and supplies for the three of us so we would not be a burden on Sharon and Corky Schmidt.

When we returned later that afternoon we discovered that Voice, my little black dog had broken out of the pen and was last seen running down the street.

Image of Voice,the dog.

Last photo of Voice.

We drove off looking for her. We back-tracked down 29 to Spruce Grove where Day’s Plumbing use to be. We drove out Morgan Valley Road about two and half miles where I finally said “I don’t think she could have gone this far. She is over ten years old and does not get around a lot at PsiKeep.” But that was my mistake. We should have gone further. If we had only gone further up the road.

Two days later on August 12 we got our first lead from the Animal Emergency Center at Spruce Grove Road. The woman said that a report had come in about a dog fitting the description was sighted on Morgan Valley Road and Reif Road, out where the fire was still burning and the road was closed to through traffic. Brenda and I drove out there through miles of blistered hills black and burned out desolation as far as the eye could see.

When we reached the fire crew they told us they had seen the dog but someone had hit her and dragged the body to the shoulder of the road about two miles back.

We found her body about four miles out of Lower Lake. She must have traveled that far before getting hit. She was alone, terrified and struck down probably in the dark when a driver could not see a black dog traveling along the road.

We brought her back to PsiKeep that day and buried her in a hasty grave by the bones of her old buddy Jaffa who died four years before. I will come back when this is over and do the marker right. Now it is just a chain link kennel panel lying on the ground to keep the animals from digging her back up.

A hasty grave for Voice.

A hasty grave for Voice.

To be Continued…

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Posted on August 17, 2015, in Caretaking the Forest, Dragons, Psi Keep Center for the Arts, San Clemente Goats, Unforeseen Events, Wildfires and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. What a tragedy in the hills. Almost all of the Cache Creek Recreation Area was lost to fire. Not that the fires as bad, per se, only the scale was so huge and this is where the elk herds reside. Any word on the herds?

    Thanks, Loren, for posting. And for taking such good care of the goats.

    Like

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