WHAT IT IS
Perhaps it was their age and life experiences that led to their pessimistic view, but both Sofia Zuniga and Bokamoso Jacobs believed only a catastrophic event or events could alter the inevitable collision between humankind’s behavior and the survival of all other species on the planet. They were starting a journey of living among many of nature’s creatures to get a better sense of what they needed to survive and thrive. To facilitate this notion, what better way to bridge this gap than to enlist the services of ‘man’s best friend’, who hopefully could provide insight to both the human world and the ‘others’ world. It was Jasper and Chuckles who were chosen to spend the summer at the Chapleau Game Preserve to help Sofia and Bokamoso with this most interesting task.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Fallen trees, swollen creeks, acres of burdock, piles of granite rocks and every weed species known to Beaver County awaited the canine athletes participating in the Olympic trials for the Pawathon.
The Olympic Pawathon is a grueling fifty mile run through harsh, unforgiving terrain. Of the seventeen entrants only the two pictured dogs finished the event. The small dog in the background led all dogs for the first forty-nine miles, but the dog in the foreground managed to overtake the little fella in the final quarter mile.
WHAT IT IS
After two weeks of observations at a stone trestle in Beaver County, Cinder Willoughby was ready to present his findings to the county authorities. He wouldn’t tell them the trestle appeared to be a portal that allowed insect life to travel vast distances. He wouldn’t tell them the portal was created by an extra-terrestrial life form to aid these and other creatures cope with climate change and other environmental ills. He wouldn’t tell them a form of Psychokinesis was evident around the trestle. He would tell them that disruptions in the earth’s magnetic field in and around the trestle was the cause of the strange events. This seemed to satisfy the authorities and Willoughby was happily discharged from his duties.
Willoughby’s flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Weyburn Saskatchewan was still a full day away, so he decided to drive out from his hotel in Ellwood City to see a bit of the Pennsylvania country side. As he drove along Fombell Road, he noticed a deputy patrolman and a couple of dogs leaving a rural property. Willoughby stopped to admire the dogs when the patrolman offered him an explanation of their activities. A house fire occurred many years ago and the two adults and little girl who rented the house vanished moments after reporting the blaze. Neighbours said the family pretty much kept to themselves in the years they lived in the area. The patrolman proudly boasted the dogs were specially trained in determining the origins of old fires, buy sadly were not having luck today.
After they had left, Willoughby decided to take a look around. The charred remains of the house were strewn around as you would expect, but what caught Willoughby’s eye was a garden, now overgrown, containing wild plants native to Northern and Eastern Canada not Beaver County Pennsylvania. Indeed, a group of Mountain Avens was at the center of the garden and Willoughby knew that these plants were only found on the white mountains of New Hampshire and Brier Island, Digby Neck Nova Scotia.
As Willoughby left, he paused at a spot where he had noticed one of the dogs digging aggressively with his front paws. Willoughby kicked some debris to one side, discovering a steel box, half melted from the heat of the fire. He pried open the box, and what looked like a diary, badly scorched, lay inside.
WHAT IT IS NOT
The white plants in this photograph have been harvested from Nevis Island and sent to an anti-doping tribunal created by the International Canine Olympic Committee. Although results are preliminary, the chemical make up of the plants don’t seem to be identifiable at this time. The anti-doping tribunal has been seeking input from Cinder Willoughby and other scientists regarding the mysterious make up of these plants.