Building community together – Thoughts from Juno

There are times when my heart aches — I know, I know; you see me running around, sniffing, jumping, barking (much less now I should say) — To all appearances I appear effervescently happy, and most of the time this I am. My cup is typically ninety percent full. I do however miss my Kamloops playmates, whose sights, sounds and smells come to memory and mind most mornings. I also miss those humans who joined us, day after day, month after month in our morning romp.

In my new community however, I have found new friends and owners as Ken’s video demonstrates. What makes me sad however is hearing from at least 2-3 sources that the old group — those who visit and run and joke and are frivolous together on the hills of the Thompson Rivers Valley — I hear this group has dissipated in social despair. Some have even suggested that Kathie and Ken (and of course me, Juno) were the glue which kept all the moving parts of this wonderful community together. Some suggest it’s the end of an era.

I shake my head, ears a-flapping. What’s going on? Have you become petulant? Are you peeved about too many uncollected poos. Has your population lost its perspicacity? Are there no petroglyphs to gather round? Where else will you hear petty stories of petticoats and petunias? I am petrified to think that all my good work these past three years may disappear into the sands and swamps of time. no longer impetuous; no perpetrators in sight. This would be petthetic.

Truthfully friends, you don’t need Ken and Kathie (or me for that matter) to hold you together. Make a plan. Devise a meeting time (Saturday at 0830?) and show up — rain, smoke, snow or sunshine. Discipline will lead to delight. If anyone asks why are you here? say I am here for Juno; or Juno sent me. Do you remember the phone company slogan from the 1980s? “Reach out and touch someone.” It’s not bad advice; it’s not that hard. Remember that community building requires community builders. You can do it people. As Kathie told Ken yesterday, in creating a new network, of quilters, photographers or dog lovers, you have to work at it. Here in Summerland, we presently visit two places each day in order to meet new folks. Repetition and routine lead to relationship. Here in the Okanagan, slowly we are discovering other humans and pets, as they are discovering us (well me, actually).

Final point: I do miss you folks and hope you will visit in the Spring. We were going to return to Kamloops briefly in December but this trip is now cancelled. But we will be back, and I will bark, and enjoy your good company once more. I will also look forward to meeting new members of the Hospice Hospitality network.

Life goes on. Woof to all of you, your faithful scribe, Juno

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