In this edition of PADUCAH LIFE Magazine, we are going WILD about LIFE with our pets and untamed creatures. From dogs that hunt and work to dogs that comfort; from a hefty but loving pig to a hedgehog who doesn’t mind wearing party hats; from the wild critters who need some extra help to bluebirds who have found a new home in a local cemetery—Paducah’s love for animals overflows on the pages of this edition. @
These are just a sampling of some of YOUR stories. We’d be barking up the wrong tree to think that we’ve covered every aspect of Paducah’s WILD LIFE. So we would like to see your pets and animals! Be sure to post your photos on social media, and hashtag your images with #paducahlife . We may repost yours and share with our followers your cute critters.
Every dog has its day. And some get their own magazine cover! Birch (and her human Aspen Carrigan along with boyfriend Craig Gentry) represent the beauty of the bond between beast and mankind. They are nearly inseparable, even enjoying some of the same hobbies.
“She loves to be outside,” says Aspen. “If I am out hiking or kayaking, she’s out with me. When she’s outdoors, she’s really in her element. She just loves to sniff everything. We do a lot of overnight backpacking, and ever since she was little, she went with us. But hiking is her favorite activity. She can run off-leash. She’s faster than a lightning bold and will go through mud puddles and get all dirty and gross.”
For the English Springer Spaniel, a love for the outdoors is natural. “They are bred to duck hunt,” adds Aspen. “An interesting fact is that she has webbed feet, which helps them to swim, which she loves to do. She’ll go right in.”
At home, Birch likes to wake up making Chewbacca sounds, according to Aspen. “She then proceeds to put her head on the side of the bed to let Craig and I know we better be getting up soon. She also rediscovers her toy and plays with this like it’s the first time she’s ever seen it. On Saturdays, she’ll sniff around the backyard and then come back in to watch Saturday morning animal shows with us while we eat breakfast.”
Birch has a favorite dog toy, but her favorite thing to play with is socks. “If one falls out of the laundry basket,” says Aspen, “she will find it. She wrestles with it while growling and daring you to chase her. If you make the slightest move towards her, she gets the roomies and runs around the house as fast as she can. Needless to say, it’s not uncommon for me to fin a hole in a sock as soon as I put it on.”
When Aspen, who is a music teacher at a local elementary school, is at work, Birch spends most of her time with Aspen’s dad. “She loves visiting the woodpile with him,” says Aspen, “going out to sniff for lizards. And she loves cuddling with her Nana who occasionally takes her to get a vanilla ice cream cone. She loves them. And it is a 100% guarantee that she will burp approximately 30 seconds after eating one.”