In - Always in our hearts

  • Phil Pilon lit a candle on 01/03/2020:
    "Tom was one of the greatest men I know. He was a hard honest and caring man that taught me so much about life. He was like a grandfather to me. He changed my life in so many ways and taught me the rewards of working hard and for that I am truly grateful. I'll never forget the long summer days spent working at the farm or the lunches together listening to his tales of Goldendale. I only wish I had more time with him or that I had met him 30 years earlier to see Goldendale in all its glory. We shared the same passion for the outdoors and everytime I see a deer, a bear, goose or duck I cant help but thing of the greatest farmer who ever lived. Tom was my buddy and he will be greatly missed. I just know hes up there right now with Joan and his dogs watching over the sheep of Goldendale. May his legend live on, and his memories stay strong in our hearts. I'll miss you Tom!"

  • Gary Manley lit a candle on 01/09/2020:
    "Thank you, Tom for your friendship, all the life lessons, and especially the wonderful stories. Deepest condolences to family and friends left behind. Tom had a great life because of your love and support. He appreciated your love and kindness more than you will ever know. Gary, Karen and Stacy Manley. "


About Thomas Dales

"A Tribute To A Friend" by John Willson. I met Tom thanks to your Uncle Peter who, with Ida, was visiting my home in North Elmsley one summer afternoon in the mid-seventies. I happened to mention to him I was looking for either a retriever or pointer to hunt with and he suggested I visit Joan and Tom at the cottage at Christie Lake as Tom was a breeder of Goldens and might be able to help. It’s not an overstatement to say this suggestion added a whole new dimension to my life, to say nothing of a life-long friendship. When I visited the cottage the next weekend they were just coming up all those 500 steps from the lake surrounded by 7 soaked Goldens and it was awesome. It was great to visit Joan again after so many years and, when I met Tom it was as though I’d known him forever also and I signed on for a pup there and then. In our discussions they mentioned they were contemplating moving to Peterborough and part of the reasoning had to do with raising and training Goldens so, at some point, I informed them that was a mistake and they should come to Perth instead because the type of property they were seeking was cheaper here and the duck hunting infinitely better. Of this latter fact I had no proof other than, from my experience, there simply wasn’t anywhere better. They must have listened for their visits to Christie broadened into a search for their dream location and they came to our home one day, totally excited, to say they had found it on Frizell Road and it included a large chunk of the Tay marsh which was a perfect playground for all those Goldens to come. Their subsequent offer to buy was rejected by the owner which cast a real damper on the whole thing but, thanks to some fortuitous vandalism of the house over the next day or so, the owner changed his mind and would sell to them. Tom and I swore that neither of us was responsible. And so they got to embark on, and with a lot of hard work, fulfil their dream together while we shared a beautiful friendship and some amazing times together. __________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Some stories of Dr. Thomas Lowell Dales When I offered to tell Tom’s stories it was with the understanding there would be gaps and incorrect information. Tom was in such despair after Joan’s passing that he could not remember the names of those closest to him and dates were never important. Tom told the stories with such passion that I could figure some things out, but much was lost to him. Tom and Ralph Fish were trying to tell me a story one day and they were both experiencing frustration at not being able to remember things they felt they should know. Finally they looked at each other and smiled and offered that it didn’t really matter anyway and then Ralph put the matter to rest by suggesting we have ice cream. ……..I encourage family and friends to offer corrections with their own stories and fill in missing information because Tom lived an incredible life defined by achievement. Gary Manley Our introduction Dr. Thomas Lowell Dales and I became acquainted shortly after the passing of his beloved partner and wife Patricia Joan Dales. The Hanet family, from Joan’s previous marriage, had been caring for Tom and Joan for several years, enabling them to stay at the farm. I was hired to be Tom’s companion and cook meals for him. Coming from a business background with no experience in personal care, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. However, after meeting Tom briefly, we bonded and quickly realized my lack of experience wouldn’t matter, especially since he found out that I could sharpen a chainsaw. Our first day together was spent at the kitchen table and Tom told me his life story. There were lots of tears and I was amazed at everything he had accomplished during his almost 90 years. By the end of the day, I had fallen in love with the man. Over the next while, I hope to retell some of the stories he shared with me. In the beginning, I was with Tom from noon until 8 in the evening. Homecare visited to make his breakfast and I prepared lunch and supper before helping him get into bed about 7:30. After an emotional first day, I showed up at the farm on the second day with the fixings for a great lunch. Tom was just getting up from the table after making his own lunch and told me to leave my coat on and grab the chainsaw. Out we went to the wood pile where I sharpened the saw and started it for Tom before handing it to him. I held the logs while he cut with the precision of the expert surgeon that he was. Tom burned through three tanks of fuel and smiled with every cut. As soon as Tom got to the woodpile, he discarded the walker and navigated through the logs using the chainsaw as a cane. This meant frequent sharpening of course. Tom’s grandson Justin is an expert arborist and had been maintaining the chainsaw for him, but Tom couldn’t start it, so there was a lot of joy in the woodpile that day. From then on, most of our time was spent outside working. Freezing cold and snow never kept us indoors, but on rainy days we would watch nature programs on TV and Tom would tell me stories I will be sharing. Early life in Newmarket Growing up in Newmarket was very exciting for Tom. The Dales family lived on top of the hill and were very much royalty in the town. Tom’s grandparents lived nearby and his father and uncles were all doctors. Tom said his whole family were medical except for his brother Bob, who was a lawyer. His other brothers were doctors and his sister’s nurses. As accomplished and highly regarded as the Dales family were in Newmarket, there was no free ride. They all worked tirelessly to make their community a better place to live for everyone. Tom’s father was not only the town doctor and coroner, but also the mayor and the person people went to, to get things done. Tom told of his father heading out of town with a horse and buggy to deliver babies. Tom said he often didn’t make the birth, but would arrive to check on everyone’s health, complete the birth certificate and return home with his payment which was usually a live chicken. As the town grew, Tom’s father realized a hospital was needed and organized the effort to get it built. On my way back from Barrie last year, I took a short cut through Newmarket and got caught in construction traffic on Davis Drive. Glancing to my right, I saw the Newmarket Hospital and was able to snap a picture. Tom got a kick out of seeing that and thought maybe the hospital had been updated a bit since his father’s time. With everything the Dales family was able to accomplish for the town, life was not only about work. On Saturday evenings the Dales home became a dance hall. Tom’s grandmother and sisters would play the piano and everyone sang and danced the night away. There were never any noise complaints as all the neighbors were invited and every police officer in town showed up to join in the festivities. Nice summer days and vacations were spent on Lake Simcoe where the skill of knowing how to swim was critical. Tom reminded me several times about his first and only swimming lesson. He was in a boat with his sister Dorothy and somehow fell over the side and into water over his head. In a panic, Dorothy rowed to shore and ran home to get help. Fortunately a neighbor was walking over a nearby bridge and saw Tom’s head under the water and jumped in to save him. By the time Dorothy returned with his father, Tom was being comforted on the dock. Tom’s Dad immediately tied a rope around Tom’s waist and tossed him back in the water for his only swimming lesson. Tom said the neighbor who rescued him received free medical care for himself and his family for the rest of their lives. Several years later Tom would become the rescuer when he saved someone in Lake Simcoe. Tom never shied away from talking about his misfortunes. He was in the attic one evening looking for something and was using a lit match to see. When the match burned his finger, he dropped it into some Christmas decorations which began burning. He immediately went downstairs and asked his mother if he could sleep with his brother Bob that night. Although it was an odd request, his Mom said it was okay and off to bed he went. Fortunately, the fire station was across the street and within minutes firemen were banging on the door after seeing flames shooting through the roof. Tom said he was never reprimanded for starting the fire even though everyone knew he did it. He thought because it was never mentioned again, it seared the incident into his memory as one of those life lessons you never forget. Tom’s early teens were filled with disappointment and anxiety. Many of his friends and all of his siblings had gone off to war. Tom desperately wanted to join them, but as the youngest child, he was needed at home. While his siblings were all lucky enough to return from the war, many of Tom’s friends did not, and that was devastating to him. There were a couple of advantages to being left behind as Tom noted. As the coroner, Tom’s father needed a chauffeur so he could do paperwork between stops. As soon as Tom could reach the pedals and see over the dash, he was tasked with driving his father to accident scenes to collect bodies. While the circumstances were tragic, Tom enjoyed the responsibility that came with driving and attending to these situations. Tom remembers fondly that the police officers never questioned him about driving at what he thought was probably 12 or 13 years of age The second benefit occurred on Lake Simcoe. While his older brothers were away at war, Tom had become an expert boat operator of the family cabin cruiser. When they returned home, his brothers would bring their dates to Lake Simcoe and ask to use the boat. Tom’s Dad was happy to oblige with the condition that Tom drove as he had the most experience. Tom noted with a grin that didn’t go over too well. When Tom wasn’t chauffeuring his family around, he pursued athletics and played every sport. Tom had some pretty good genes to work with as his father won a Grey Cup during his sporting days. He had built a track and field venue in the back yard where he and Tom could practice pole vaulting. Tom said he could always jump higher than his father and when I asked if that was on purpose, he said no as his dad was very competitive and would always challenge him. Tom remembered that concussions were pretty common back then and he had a few of them playing football. Even back then, Tom’s dad recognised the danger and would make him fully recover before resuming play. He attended most of Tom’s games and would bring Tom’s girlfriend to watch. After taking one particularly vicious hit, Tom had to have his cartilage removed. In his later years, Tom was reminded of the incident every time he stood up, but he was always grateful for playing sports. When I first met Tom, nothing impressed me more than how hard he worked at almost 90 years old. He was always happily working at something, and during meals and rainstorms he would be planning the next job. We became close because I helped him do what he loved, which was work. At first, I thought Tom used work as a distraction to take his mind off missing Joan, but I soon realized he had been a work horse all his life. His first paid job was closing up the dairy which was located close to the Dales home in Newmarket. Tom said he could barely pull the heavy metal doors shut when he started doing it, but he was very grateful to get paid which he remembered being about ten cents a week. There was a church nearby which had an excellent lawn for picking dew worms. Tom would sell them from the house and pick ahead to take up to Lake Simcoe and sell there. The Dales had a farm with a Christmas tree plantation. Tom would cut a few ahead and then take orders for special requests. Every tree sold and he was always scrambling on Christmas Eve to find the right tree for his grandfather. Washing cars for neighbors and friends was a fulltime job for Tom, but he said the real money was made waxing. Even then he would get twenty five dollars for simonizing and the cars would be gleaming when he finished. During his late teens, Tom helped build cottages on Lake Simcoe. He worked with a couple of older fellows who took the time to teach him proper building methods and he was very grateful for the experience. Tom’s mother left the family home for a brief period of time and moved downtown Toronto where she operated the Three Little Pigs restaurant. Tom left Newmarket with her and helped in the restaurant. He enjoyed the restaurant business and hoped that a planned café for the Goldendale vineyard would transpire and he could welcome the patrons. We would often take our breaks at the back of the barn in the sunshine and Tom would share his vision of the deck extending out from the café, with steps leading to tables down below on the sheets of limestone. Tom hoped there would be lambs’ wandering around with some Golden’s keeping watch. Tom was always destined for higher education, but what sealed the deal was working in the tannery. There was a factory in Newmarket that tanned hides for leather. Most of the men who worked there had gone off to war so Tom and the wives took over their jobs while they were away. Tom spent his days coating the hides with a curing solution which was so boring he couldn’t wait for the work day to end. He said everyone hated working there and he couldn’t imagine doing something for a living that you didn’t enjoy. Tom said it was very motivating to get good grades in school. Tom did well at university and even there he had a job. Tom cleaned the washrooms and enjoyed it much more than the tannery. When I asked Tom what subject he liked best, he said anatomy and it reminded him of another story. His top mark was always anatomy, so it was a great surprise when he got his final marks at university and discovered he had failed that class and would have to repeat his year. After some investigation, it turned out the professor had accidently reversed the digits in Tom’s mark resulting in a failure. Tom said for some reason that escapes him, there was nothing that could be done and he had to repeat the year. I asked him if he was bitter about the situation and he smiled and said no that it had made him a better washroom cleaner. Tom did graduate after the next term and became a doctor of veterinary medicine …………………………… be continued. Life in Lanark County The story continues after a large gap. Tom could remember very little after Joan passed. He desperately wanted to remain in the farmhouse and every room contained memories of Joan and the heartbreak of her passing. As time went on, the reminders of Joan became memories of joy and he would talk about those events. But, his adult life before Joan remained a mystery in our conversations. When Tim and Deborah phoned and visited, it would remind Tom of current events in their lives, but not much of when they were growing up. Deb and Tim are very caring and accomplished, and from that, I can only assume there were many joyful times in Tom’s life during years absent from his memory. Some of Tom’s most enjoyable experiences escaped his memory of when and where they happened. Tom spoke often and joyfully about his time as a Boy Scout leader, but he couldn’t remember if his troop was in Don Mills or Perth or both. He remembers instilling in his scouts, an appreciation for nature and the pride that comes with doing a job well. Tom remembers first meeting Joan when she brought in a sick pet. To say it was love at first sight would be a huge understatement. As heartbreaking as it must have been to those left behind, Tom had passed through an emotional doorway with Joan from which there was no return. Together they embarked on a journey to develop Goldendale that became a true love story. Tom couldn’t remember how he and Joan ended up at the end of Frizell Road the first time, but it was a life changer. John Willson spawned their interest in living in this area, but how they found the abandoned, dilapidated farmhouse on Frizell is a mystery as the property was not listed for sale. When they arrived, the grounds were all overgrown with the farmhouse barely visible. Tom and Joan walked the property and found their way to the Tay River at the back. As they returned to their car, they decided to make an offer to buy the farm as they knew it was perfect for their plans. Tom called John who found the owners name and prepared an offer to buy. To their disappointment, the owner had no interest in selling and back to Toronto they went. Several days passed and Tom got a call from John saying that the owner had second thoughts and was prepared to sell if they were still interested. Kids had vandalized the house and broke all the windows. Tom asked Joan if she was still interested in buying and she didn’t need to speak as her smile said it all. John prepared a new deal with the condition that the broken windows be replaced and the owner would cover the legal costs. The deal was accepted and the adventure began. The stories that follow are in no particular order because Tom could only remember chronologically the very first thing they did after buying the farm. Tom said Joan went into town and bought a can of white paint and painted the ceiling in the kitchen. He said it brightened the whole house and made it theirs instantly. After that he said time flew by with one adventure after another. Tom was the consummate deal maker. When we walked about the farm, Tom would show me all the stuff he had obtained through deals. I asked him how he learned to negotiate and he thought it was from selling Christmas trees when he was a kid. Tom said no one ever wanted to pay what he asked so he would negotiate a fair price. The skill served him well. When they took over the farm, some modifications were necessary and they needed kitchen cabinetry. Tom knew of some used ones for sale in Don Mills and off he went with a truck to collect them. Upon arriving back at the farm, the cabinets were placed in the kitchen and to this day they are functional and look like they were custom made to fit. Before they could practice veterinarian medicine at Goldendale they had to build an examining room and office. This time he was off to Newmarket where he knew there was some free lumber and used windows and building materials. Tom said all he had to buy were several two by fours to create the addition containing the vet clinic and new family room with floor to ceiling south facing windows looking out onto the gardens and now the vineyard. A student was helping at the farm one summer when Tom mentioned that he wanted to enlarge the drive shed. The students’ father worked for the telephone company and she said he had access to used poles that Tom could have. The poles were cut and fitted horizontally to build a two bay garage. Tom said she spent the rest of the summer joyfully chinking the gaps between the poles. Another time Tom heard about a hay elevator for sale near Kingston. Off he went and easily made the deal. Getting it home was a little more difficult. He said it wouldn’t fold flat and they had to bring it home in the upright position. It wasn’t much of a problem until they got to Perth. Tom said they had to use long branches to lift the wires allowing the elevator to slide underneath. He said it was quite a spectacle and drew a crowd of onlookers. My favorite deal story was told to me by a co-worker of Karen’s who had been a client of Toms. She heard I was spending time with him and said that years ago she’d had a pet spayed at the Goldendale clinic. When it was time to go and collect her pet she phoned to ask how much money to bring for payment. Joan told her how much the bill was and then Tom got on the phone. He asked her if she knew how to shear sheep instead of paying the bill. Unfortunately she didn’t and had to pay the bill. Tom couldn’t recall practicing veterinarian medicine in Smiths Falls, but I’m told he had a clinic there before Goldendale. Many of the staff at Lanark Lodge would remind Tom that he had looked after their pets at the Smiths Falls location and we would run into people during our outings who said the same thing. He never said why he moved his practice to the farm, but I suspect it was for convenience. Practicing at Goldendale meant Tom could tend to the farm between clients and Joan could more easily handle the bookkeeping responsibilities as well as being head nurse and surgical assistant while Tom’s grandson, Justin, was training for the role. Tom recalled on several occasions they were having a family dinner and a car came flying in the driveway transporting an injured pet. Tom would begin the lifesaving operation with Justin as his assistant while Joan consoled the worried owners. Many people who showed up at the farm for veterinarian work, especially emergency surgeries, didn’t have money to pay. In those instances Tom’s deal making skills were all for naught and he resorted to kindness. Knowing Tom as briefly as I did, I could still tell that his favorite method of billing was “I’ll catch you next time”. We never discussed who coined the term “Goldendale on the Tay” but Tom never forgot the name. Everyone who visited the farm was welcomed by Tom’s booming voice to Goldendale on the Tay and there couldn’t have been a more appropriate name. The farm is paradise for Golden’s and everyone else who takes the time to explore the 400 acres. Situated along the Tay River with a south slope to a wetland marsh, there could be no better place to raise retrievers. The property has everything you could imagine. Wetlands, hardwood and softwood forests, including a maple bush and pine plantation and there are fruit and nut trees everywhere. Huge fields for crops and hay extend out from large sheets of limestone that make for natural patios around the barn. The area is teeming with wildlife which could have been attracted because of the abundance of food, but more likely were drawn here because of Tom and Joan’s presence. Often dogs tend to deter wildlife from an area, but Red—and Kale when he visited—seemed happy co-habiting with the deer, ducks, wild turkeys and geese that cruised through the farm. The animals all seemed to be entertained by watching each other. During our time together, Tom only remembered raising golden retrievers in Perth. He said his Dad raised spaniels and there were always dogs in the homes Tom lived in. When I read John Willson’s tribute to a friend, I realized Tom and Joan had started raising Golden’s before arriving in Lanark County. Wherever they were raised, Tom and Joan added gentleness to the breed as their puppies were highly regarded and sold to families in countries around the world. Red and Kale were Golden’s from the last litter Tom and Joan raised. Red lived at the farm with Tom and Joan and Kale lived with Rich, Rahel-Leigh and Senna in Toronto, but visited the farm often. While both dogs had distinct personalities, they were what people refer to now as therapy dogs without the title. Raised to be working retrievers, they instantly became available to console whenever they sensed a need. When Tom told a sad story, they would stand beside him, available to be petted and when he teared up, they would rest their heads on Tom’s knee. However, when Tom was happy and outside, the old arthritic dogs would bound around like puppies. My time with Tom came well after his dog training days, but I witnessed his interaction with domestic and wild animals on many occasions. There were rarely any words spoken, the animals just seemed to know what Tom wanted or needed them to do. Several times I had to find Red for supper. I would wander around Goldendale calling his name while Tom would wait near the house without saying a word. Invariably when I returned without seeing any sign of the dog, Red would be standing beside Tom getting petted. There are many attractive wooden fences throughout Goldendale, but none would contain the sheep, donkeys and other livestock that Tom and Joan raised. They knew where home was without fencing. On occasion, the sheep would venture out near highway 43 and Tom would get a call from a neighbor. He never had to fetch them himself; Tom would instruct his border collie Bear to bring them home and off he would go, anxious to please. Many animals are trained using food as a reward. Tom rewarded animals with touch and there would always be dogs, cats or ducks hanging around waiting for a pat on the head. When Tom finally had to go into long term care, Red had passed, but homes were found for Gus and Shadow, his two cats, and PK the peacock. So as not to distress Tom even more about leaving the farm, we waited until after he went into Lanark Lodge to relocate his pets. Gus and Shadow were collected easily, however it took months to catch PK. Tom never had to call the peacock; PK would show up as soon as Tom went outside. If Tom was housebound because of rain or illness, PK would jump up on the kitchen window ledge and look inside for Tom. He said Joan used to talk to PK while she washed the dishes and often when I would be cleaning up after our meal, PK would be staring at me through the window. Tom’s favorite story to tell and one of many I loved listening to was about him and Joan competing at the field trials. I have never attended a field trial before, but saw similar demonstrations at the Toronto sportsmen show. Inside a coliseum, there would be a manmade pond with meadows and fencing which would simulate the environment where dogs would retrieve ducks. A gunshot would sound, a duck would hit the water and the handler would instruct the dog to fetch the duck. The dogs would be judged on their performance. Tom and Joan must have attended many of these competitions because the farmhouse is full of trophies and plaques that they won. Tom said it was uncommon for women to compete in these trials back then, especially ones that looked like Joan. “She had movie star looks and always drew stares,” Tom said. At this particular event, Joan was called to compete before Tom. Up she went with her dog and immediately the crowd applauded before they even began. The gunshot sounded and the duck hit the water. Joan gave the signal and off her dog went. The Golden stopped at the fence and turned to Joan, waiting for permission—which she gave—and caused the second round of handclapping. Over the fence and into the water the dog went, fetching the duck perfectly and dropping it at Joan’s feet. Tom said the applause was deafening. Joan received her score and took her seat in the stands. After several more competitors it was Tom’s turn. Tom was more experienced and would have been working with the senior dog; however the crowd did not show the same enthusiasm that they gave Joan. The gunshot sounded and off Tom’s dog went, stopping at the fence waiting for permission just as Joan’s dog had, but no applause this time. Into the water the Golden went and after perfectly collecting the duck, headed back toward Tom. As Tom waited patiently, his dog walked right on by and headed up into the stands, dropping the duck at Joan’s feet. Tom said he thought the roof was going to collapse from the applause. It’s likely that many of Tom and Joan’s friends got Golden’s from the farm as well as John Willson. Dawson and Betty Girdwood are dear friends of theirs and Dawson recalled one particular dog he got. He visited the farm looking for a retriever and one of them caught his eye. The pup was friendly toward Dawson, but he said he wanted to wait several weeks before taking the dog home. The time passed and Dawson headed back out to Goldendale. Upon arriving at the farm, the puppy that had caught his eye ran right over to him and began kissing him and Dawson knew that was the dog for him. Besides being a painter of ceilings, Joan was an accomplished artist. She could skillfully capture natural scenes as well as creating abstract art. Tom couldn’t remember if Joan sold any of her work, but her paintings hung prominently on all the walls at Goldendale and added beauty to every room. When you enter the farm house, the kitchen is to the right and often you would find Tom sitting at the kitchen table in front of the cook stove. Directly across from him was a large painting of a buck and two does on a side hill. The scene could have been taken from any number of places in Lanark County, but it is so detailed it looked like a photograph. Joan painted it for Tom years ago and surprised him with it on his birthday. How it came about is another great story. Even though Tom worked from home, his schedule was pretty regimented. He was up early for chores, had a quick breakfast and then off to visit farms to do veterinarian work. Everyone who knows Tom will tell you that he liked to announce his arrival. The door would open and he would call out in his booming voice “Tom’s home” to anyone within earshot. It was easy for Joan to keep track of Tom and keep a secret from him. For months before his birthday Tom said Joan was acting very suspiciously. She was always upstairs when he opened the door and he could hear her scurrying around. When she finally came downstairs to greet him, he would ask what she was doing and her answer was always the same, “nothing”. Tom never pressed the issue, but Joan was just like him and was always doing something, so it was very worrisome to him. He knew she wasn’t being truthful. Tom said when she finally presented him with the painting he broke down and cried. He wasn’t sure if they were tears of joy or from the relief of knowing everything was okay with Joan. Tom loved being around all animals and he especially liked raising sheep. He said sheep were very docile and had a calming effect on their surroundings. It was always a tragedy when the coyotes got one, but as Tom said, they had to eat too. Up to two hundred sheep lived at Goldendale and they lambed twice a year. Shearing was a huge event and something Tom’s knees wouldn’t allow him to do. He said it was hard to find people who could shear and he was always looking for help. One who helped was a young sheep farmer named Philip Jones. Last year after Tom moved into Lanark Lodge, Philip and Victoria had Tom and me out to their farm where Tom got to hold new born lambs. Words cannot describe the joy Tom felt that day. Lambing was a very joyful time at Goldendale and also the busiest. All the regular chores and appointments had to be dealt with along with helping the new born lambs which generally arrived in the night. Sleep was hard to come by and Tom would nap in the barn between births. He would send Joan to bed, but it wouldn’t last long and he would have to go into the house and wake her to help a baby in distress. Tom said the baby lambs would usually perk right up when Joan cradled them and when they needed to be bottle fed, they would always drink for her. Tom said the lambs followed Joan everywhere and there were usually a few in the house. I asked him if they were house trained and he just smiled. I said, “I guess you had the cleanup detail,” and he nodded. I asked if he named his sheep and he said Joan did. Karen met Tom briefly thirty years ago and knew of his reputation as a dog whisperer. Karen’s parents, Jim and Edith Hanna had rescued an ill-tempered black lab named Fozzy. The dog loved Edith and tolerated the rest of the household, but guests were warned to stay clear. If you came too close, Fozz would growl and bare her teeth to tell you to get lost. Edith had taken Fozzy everywhere to get her nails clipped without success. The first nail clipped resulted in a bite and when muzzled she would thrash about, wildly injuring herself and others. Finally, Edith was referred to Tom by another vet clinic. After the first visit she said it was a miracle. Fozzy would let Tom do whatever he needed to do including clipping her nails. Karen accompanied her Mom several times to visit the clinic on Frizell Rd. She said first they had to coax or lift Fozzy into the back of the station wagon where she would lay down. They traveled several miles to get to Frizell with Fozz fast asleep. As soon as they turned onto the gravel road, Fozz would stand up and start wagging her tail. By the time they made the left hand turn, she was whining to get out. Karen said pulling into Goldendale was like something out of a storybook. The county road ended in a circle through Tom and Joan’s yard and there would be sheep and donkeys and chickens wandering about with a peacock or two added to the mix. The sheep kept the grounds looking like a golf course and Joan’s gardens were spectacular. The sight of Tom walking toward the house always grabbed your attention. He would be surrounded by a half dozen or so Golden’s all bouncing around, vying for his attention. Suddenly they would bolt for the car and leap over the fence in a large blonde wave. By this time, Fozzy would be out of the car and the whole bunch of them would be kissing and sniffing each other. By the time Tom caught up, Fozzy would be vibrating with excitement. Into the clinic she ran and would hold her paw up for the trim job. By the time I started dating Karen, Fozz was near the end of her life, but Edith still took her monthly to get her nails cut. Whenever there was a family get together, Edith took a fair amount of ribbing about her loyalty to Tom. Like Joan, Tom also had movie star good looks and Edith got teased about having a crush on him. I told Tom that story after I got to know him and he had a great chuckle. I said I bet Joan had to beat off the female pet owners with a stick, but he only had eyes for her. It didn’t matter if you were male or female, Tom could charm the socks off anyone. My stories of Tom will continue with the adventures we had together.