Posts in Category: In The News

Rez Squatching Research 2016 Spring Bigfoot Expedition

Rez Squatching Research

Rez Squatching Research is a group of Native Americans from the Omaha Indian Tribe located on the Omaha Indian Reservation in Nebraska. The group is dedicated to the scientific research of collecting evidence with the hope of help proving the existence of Bigfoot. Barry Webster, an Omaha Native American Bigfoot researcher, founded the group in 2010. The other members of the group are Barry’s brother Derek Webster, nephew Elvis Freemont, and niece Jane Parker.

Rez Squatching Research group photo: Right to left – Derek Webster, Elvis Freemont, Jane Parker, and Barry Webster (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Rez Squatching Research group photo: Right to left – Derek Webster, Elvis Freemont, Jane Parker, and Barry Webster (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Bigfoot’s Possible Existence

The question of Bigfoot’s possible existence is a controversial topic. In an article by Eric Bailey in the Los Angeles Times dated April 21, 2003, wrote George Schaller, a pioneer in gorilla research, and director of international science for the Wildlife Conservation Society, a Bigfoot skeptic said the giant ape cannot be dismissed as fantasy or folklore without a thorough scientific inquiry. Schaller also said that finding the animal “would reshape our thinking of the status of humans on the Earth. People write it off as a hoax or myth. I don’t think that’s fair.” On Friday, September 27, 2002, on a talk show, NPR Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, Dr. Jane Goodall commented that large undiscovered primates such as Yeti or Sasquatch do exist.

2015 Rez Squatching Research Expedition

In 2015, on July 8 thru July 12, Rez Squatching Research held their annual Bigfoot expedition on the Omaha Indian Reservation.

Richard Soule_IMG_5112

Bigfoot researcher Richard Soule gives presentation on stick structures and the European Contagion Theory (Photo by Thomas Halek)

During the five days, there were night and day investigations. There were presentations by Bigfoot researcher Richard Soule on stick structures, and the European Contagion Theory.

8 IMG_Screen Shot Final

Stick structure theorized to be built by Bigfoot. (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Jane Parker conducts a demonstration showing a technique for footprint casting.

Jane Parker_IMG_5287

Jane Parker demonstrates footprint casting. (Photo by Thomas Halek)

There was also a demonstration by members of the SRA (Sasquatch Research Association) located in Minnesota, on using drones for locating possible Bigfoot sightings by air.


Drone used for possible Bigfoot sightings by air. (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Jane Parker also performed a traditional Native American dance.

Jane Parker_IMG_5243

Jane Parker is performing a traditional Native American dance. (Photo by Thomas Halek)

2016 Spring Rez Squatching Research Expedition

The 2016 Spring Rez Squatching Research Bigfoot expedition will take place in April of 2016. In addition to night and day investigations, there will be presentations by leading Bigfoot researchers on theory, investigative techniques, and Native American Bigfoot folklore. The names of the presenters for the spring expedition will be announced as soon as commitments finalize.

Spring Expedition Signup Information

The spring expedition promises to be an extraordinary experience. Get your inquiries in now, spaces are limited, and April will be coming up fast. Email Barry Webster at or through the Rez Squatching Research group page on Facebook at

U.S. Citizenship – The American Dream

Oath of Allegiance                                                                                                                                                                     Audio by Thomas Halek

On October 8, 2015, at 10:00, 195 immigrants from all over the world met at the Mitchell/Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota where Chief Judge John R. Tunheim, United States District Court swore them in as U.S. citizens fulfilling their American Dream. Today, the American dream of every immigrant in the U.S. is one day becoming a citizen of the United States.

Citizenship Candidates_IMG_5511

Citizenship Candidates                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Thomas Halek

Chief Judge John R. Tunheim_IMG_5496                                                                              Chief Judge John R. Tunheim        Photo by Thomas Halek

Oath of Allegence_IMG_5555a                                                                                    Oath of Allegiance             Photo by Thomas Halek

Flag in Hand_IMG_5546Flag in Hand                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by Thomas Halek

Many immigrants come from war-torn, poverty-stricken, and illiterate parts of the world. To have the opportunity to come to the United States and become U.S. citizens is a major life change that will affect you, your children, and your family for generations.

United States Citizen

The benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen are incredible. The benefits are so incredible that most people who were born citizens in the U.S. do not realize it and take them for granted. However, the road to becoming a citizen is a long and difficult one. In the introduction of the article, Mistaking U.S. Citizenship, it states, the value of citizenship is strong, and the law penalizes anyone falsely claiming citizenship or the benefits from being a citizen. The most important benefit of becoming a U.S. citizen is freedom. In an article, The American Melting Pot Is a Rich Stew, Martin Cuadra, a young Nicaragua man in Miami stated, “The United States is a place where your dreams can come true. I value the opportunity to live in a free country and, yes, make money, but money is not more important than freedom.”

In an article, THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD, John M. Sanderson describes the first necessary steps. You must spend at least six months a year in the U.S. and reside in a USCIS district before filing an application. You must be able to read, write, speak English, and have an understanding of U.S. history and government.

With the benefits of U.S. citizenship, you gain the right to vote and are eligible to sponsor your immediate relatives for U.S. Legal Permanent Residence. You may possess a U.S. passport with protection from deportation. You also become eligible for a wide range of benefits and assistance programs from the U.S. government including Social Security and Medicare.

It is time to be proud, strong, take action, and pursue the American Dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. Go to USCIS at to learn more and get the process rolling.



Gifting Bigfoot a Sweet Morsel

Bigfoot Night Investigation Omaha Reservation, Macy Nebraska                                                                                                         Video by Thomas Halek

On Wednesday, July 8 to July 12, 2015, on the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska, a 5-day and night Bigfoot investigation took place. Barry Webster, an Omaha Native American Bigfoot researcher, and three members of his team led the investigation. His team members include his brother Derek Webster, his nephew Elvis Freemont, and niece Jane Parker. Webster is the founder and leader of Rez Squatching Tours, located on the Omaha Reservation in Macy, Nebraska.

1 IMG_5322 Final– Left to right: Derek Webster, Elvis Freemont, Jane Parker, and Barry Webster                                                                                Photo by Thomas Halek

The Omaha tribe originated as a larger woodland tribe made up of the Omaha and Quapaw. They settled in an area by the Ohio and Wabash rivers near where Cincinnati, Ohio is today. While the tribe migrated west, it split into two tribes, Omaha and Quapaw. The Omaha tribe settled near the Missouri river, but conflict with the Sioux forced them to relocate in an area around Bow Creek, Nebraska. In 1780, the Omaha tribe had about 3,000 members, however by 1802, scourged by sickness and welfare were down to about 300. In 1830 and 1836, the Omaha tribe joined other tribes in treaties with the U.S. Government. In a treaty on March 16, 1854, they ceded all their lands west of the Missouri River, south of a line bearing due west from where the Iowa River leaves the bluffs. The lands north of this area were turned into the Omaha Reservation. The tribe today has approximately 5,000 members with about 3,000 living on the Omaha Reservation at Macy, Nebraska.

Webster and his team have been actively researching Bigfoot encounters on the Omaha Reservation for several years. Native American Folklore regarding Bigfoot goes back to the beginning of time. Native Americans have been taught to respect Bigfoot and not do them any harm. In the video, you can hear Webster and his team call out to Bigfoot in English and their Native American dialect with respect and compassion.

The video takes place around midnight, the first night, July 8, 2015. At the edge of an alfalfa field Webster and his team slowly walk into the woods and advance about 80 yards past an abandoned old house, stop by a tree structure and Webster and his team member talk to Bigfoot. At 1:56 till 2:06 into the video you can see eye glow flashes moving from left to right across the screen. At various points in the video, you can hear wood knocks and more wood knocks with possible movement in the dark. A candy bar was left as a gift and while leaving the forest the distinct noise of the candy bar wrapper being handled could be heard. Unfortunately, the camera had been turned off at that point, and it did not record the sound. The next morning the site was photographed and also the candy bar that had been sampled and set back down on the log in the opposite direction it had originally been placed. Two distinct Bigfoot prints were seen next to the log, one juvenile print, and one adult print.

Photos that were taken the next day after the night investigation:

2 IMG_4915 FinalAlfalfa field leading to the woods                                                                                                                                                       Photo by Thomas Halek

3 IMG_4922 Final









Entrance into the woods                                                              Photo by Thomas Halek

4 IMG_4866 Final








Barry Webster approaching abandoned house                          Photo by Thomas Halek

5 IMG_4942 Final








Abandoned House                                                                      Photo by Thomas Halek

6 IMG_4969 Final









Surrounding Woods                                                                   Photo by Thomas Halek

7 IMG_4887 Final









Barry Webster studying tree structure                                       Photo by Thomas Halek

8 IMG_Screen Shot Final









Tree Structure                                                                           Photo by Thomas Halek

9 IMG_4904 Final











Candy bar next morning after night investigation                       Photo by Thomas Halek

10 IMG_4878 Final









Juvenile Bigfoot print next to log by candy bar                         Photo by Thomas Halek

11 IMG_4872 Final









Adult Bigfoot print close to log where the candy bar sat           Photo by Thomas Halek

Did a European Contagion Annihilate Bigfoot?

European Contagion Theory                                                                                                                                                                Video by Thomas Halek

Native American cave drawings and folklore legends show that Native Americans lived side by side at one time. Richard Soule, author and producer of The Nox Gigas Study, has come up with the European Contagion Theory. A theory that the diseases brought by Europeans not only decimated the Native American population but the Bigfoot population as well. Soule, in his study, has concluded that because Bigfoot and Native Americans lived side by side, Bigfoot, exposed to the diseases as well, perished with them. Soule shows map evidence of Giants and will be at a Bigfoot Conference on October 24, 2015.

In the sixteenth century, Europeans immigrated to the North American Continent. They brought with them disease, the Black Death, that would help devastate the Native American population and wipe out entire villages. In an article, “Black Death: The Greatest Catastrophe,” (published in History Today, Volume 55, Issue 3, March 2005) author and historian Ole J. Benedictow describes in detail how in the 14th century, the Black Death killed 50 million people or 60 percent of Europe’s population. Diseases such as smallpox spread among the immune defenseless Native Americans before encountering Europeans.

In an article on, “Apocalyptic, a mysterious plague killed millions of Native Americans,” by Richard Thornton, describes how in 1500 a smallpox epidemic, which was started, by one of Christopher Columbus’s crew, a carrier of the disease killed millions. The disease appeared in Cuba immediately after Columbus’s second voyage and from Chontal Mayan merchants who sailed between Yucatan and Cuba spread it. Mayan merchants spread the first plague to hit North America. Thornton goes on to say that in 1513 when the first Spanish explorers landed on the coast of the Southeastern United States, a plague had already killed many of the native villages along the coast. They reported abandoned villages with skeletons scattered all over.

In an article, Ker Than, a writer for National Geographic News wrote, “Massive Population Drop Found for Native Americans, DNA Shows following European contact about 500 years ago, according to a new study.” Than reported that the study results supports the historical accounts that Europeans launched a deluge of disease that had horrific results across America. The researchers using samples of modern and ancient mitochondrial DNA calculated a demographic history for Native Americans. In conclusion, based on the data, the research estimated Native American population all-time high 5,000 years ago and all time low at 500 years ago. The all-time low reached a few years after Christopher Columbus reached the New World.

Bigfoot and Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman

Loren Coleman, one of the world’s leading Cryptozoologist, was born on July 12, 1947. Coleman has been researching and investigating in the field cryptozoological evidence of Bigfoot and folklore for over 40 years. He has written 17 books and over three hundred articles, lectured across North America and London, and appeared on many radio and television programs. Coleman has been a consultant both on and off-camera on several reality-based programs. The programs include A & E’s “Ancient Mysteries,” Discovery Channel’s “In the Unknown,” and History Channel’s “In Search of History.” In 2003, Coleman founded the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

At the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s undergraduate program, Coleman majored in anthropology, minored in zoology, and did summer work in archeology. At Simmons College in Boston, he earned a graduate degree in psychiatric social work. Coleman pursued doctoral courses in social anthropology at Brandies University, and in sociology at the University of New Hampshire’s Family Research Laboratory.

Since 1980, Coleman has been an instructor, assistant/associate professor, research associate, and documentary filmmaker. At the University of Southern Maine, in 1990, he taught one of the first credit courses on cryptozoology. Coleman has authored, coauthored, or edited books in human services including the critically acclaimed “Suicide Clusters.”

Coleman has received many book awards. In 1999, he received the Anomalist Award for “Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature” who he co-authored with Jerome Clark.

Loren Coleman on Social Media Websites

On Twitter, @romiteransito tweeted, “Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology by Loren Coleman.” Also, @mitziflyte tweeted, “The best site for #cryptids. Loren Coleman, one of the founders, was invited to the NY Museum of Natural History to speak.”

On Facebook, Chasing Legends at Shooting Star Casino & Event Center posted, “Just met Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, such a nice guy!” Also, Midwest Paranormal Files with Brian Halstensgaard and Loren Coleman posted, “Only at #ParaCon2015#awkwardddfamilyphoto with Loren Coleman!

 On Google Plus, Jacob Leverson posted, “Loren Coleman to Speak in Pittsburgh, PA November 14 John Venture.” Also, Area51.Org posted, “Tour of Loren Coleman’s #Cryptozoology Museum. #Bigfoot! Loren Coleman.”

 On LinkedIn, Loren Coleman, Director at International Cryptozoology Museum. Also a video, “International Cryptozoology Museum (Loren Coleman),” interview with Coleman at the museum.


By Thomas Halek and Donna Larson

Read to the Rhythm                                                       Video by Thomas Halek

The Rush City Public Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Program, Read To The Rhythm, led by Branch Librarian, Donna Larson, helped kids beat the “Summer Slide.”

Donna Larson Final                                                                                             Donna Larson      Photo by Mike Willett

Summer Slide Infographic Final                                Summer Slide Infographic                            Infographic by Dominican University Research: Close The Reading Gap

The Family Team Bingo project enabled all ages from toddlers to grandparents to get in on the fun. Each team’s mission, for those who accepted it, was to complete a Bingo card featuring 25 reading, learning, and family-togetherness activities. Bingo cards finished by August 8 were eligible for the grand prize drawing – a Kindle Fire HD – which was won by Team A Johnson.

Team A Johnson Final                                                      Team A Johnson (Left to right) Alissa, Alaina and Andy Johnson       Photo by Donna Larson

Teens & Tweens (ages 12-17) earned prizes when they read and participated in various activities on their Teen Ticket. One feature encouraged them to “Read a Book: Write a Song!” For each book read, participants earned the right to place notes on a musical staff to complete a measure. Eight measures completed (i.e., 8 books read) became a tune. Rush City musician Troy Heling then wrote the song “Ripples” from the tunes created by the reading Teens. The grand prize Kindle Fire HD was captured by 15-year-old Chad Fleischhacker, while Lucy Thrippleton earned runner-up honors.

Tory Blur Final IMG_5348Troy Heling                                                                                                                                                                Photo by Thomas Halek

Chad Final                                                                                      Chad Fleischhacker      Photo by Thomas Halek

Elementary and Preschool children who read and were read to tracked their progress on Reading Logs. Prizes were earned for every 2 hours of reading, and children who completed 16:40 hours were eligible for fabulous grand prize drawings. A delighted 11-year-old Jorja Brown won the Kindle Fire HD at this level. Daniel Weihmann and Nevaeh Sucky earned other bonus prizes. Eighty children in this age group earned at least one prize for their summer reading efforts.

Challenges on the Family Bingo project and Teen Ticket included the task of “Finding Elvis.” When located, participants shot a selfie with the iconic musician and emailed it to the librarian.

Eight Rush City businesses hosted “Elvis” for one week:

Elvis Final










Barb Johnson, Owner of the Historic Grant House, welcoming Elvis     Photo by Donna Larson

Community involvement made all the difference in this year’s reading program.

Rush Printing produced the large window banner encouraging participation in the program and recognizing Ardent Mills as the program’s Mega Sponsor. The Rush City Ardent Mills was started in 1911.

Window Banner Final IMG_5351

Widow Banner                                Designed and Printed by Jill Haugrud, Rush Printing

Jeffrey Meldrum, Ph.D. Educator, and Sasquatch Researcher

Jeffery Meldrum Interview On Possible Existence of Sasquatch                                                   (Interview by Thomas Halek)

Jeffrey Meldrum, Ph.D. is currently at Idaho State University and holds the titles of:

  • Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology

  • of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Affiliate Curator, Idaho Museum of Natural History

Jeffrey Meldrum’s Education:

  • S., 1982, Zoology (Anatomy & Physiology), Brigham Young University

  • S., 1984, Zoology (Anatomy & Physiology), Brigham Young University

  • D., 1989, Anatomical Sciences (Physical Anthropology), the State University of New York at Stony Brook

  • Postdoctoral Visiting Assistant Professor, 1989-1991, Duke University Medical Center

Jeffrey Meldrum’s Publications:

  • Meldrum DJ. 2012. Are other hominins (hominoids) alive today? The Relict Hominoid Inquiry 1:67-71

  • Meldrum DJ. 2012, Adaptive radiations, bushy evolutionary trees, and relict hominoids, The Relict Hominoid Inquiry 1:51-56

  • Meldrum DJ and Zhou Guoxing. 2012. Footprint evidence of the Chinese yeren. The Relict Hominoid Inquiry 1:57-66

  • Youlatos D and Meldrum J. 2011. Locomotor diversification in New World Monkeys: Running, climbing, or clawing along evolutionary branches. The Anatomical Record 294:1991-2012

  • Lu Z, Meldrum DJ, Huang Y, He J Sarmiento EE. 2011. Pedal skeleton of the Jinniushan hominin from the Middle Pleistocene of China. Homo 62:389-401

  • Sarmiento E and Meldrum DJ. 2011. Behavioral and phylogenetic implications of a narrow allometric study of Ardipithecus ramidus, Homo 62:75-108

  • Meldrum DJ, Lockley MG, Lucas SG and Musiba, CM. 2011. Ichnotaxonomy of the Laetoli Track ways: The earliest hominin footprints. J Afr Earth Sci 60:1-12

  • Evaluation of Alleged Sasquatch Footprints and Their Inferred Functional Morphology

Jeffrey Meldrum’s Books:

Jeffrey Meldrum’s Biographical Sketch:

“Meldrum joined the ISU faculty in 1993, after a stint with Northwestern University. His research revolves around questions of vertebrate evolutionary morphology, especially primate loco motor adaptations. His formal study of primates began with doctoral research on terrestrial adaptations in African primates, and has since taken him from the dusty skeletal cabinets of far-flung museums to the remote badlands of Colombia and Argentina in search of fossil New World primates. He has published extensively on the evolutionary history of the South American primates and has described several new extinct species. He has documented varied primate loco motor specializations in a laboratory and semi-natural settings. More recently his attention has returned to the emergence of modern human bipedalism. His co-edited volume, From Biped to Strider: the Emergence of Modern Human Walking, Running, and Resource Transport, proposes a more recent innovation of modern striding gait than previously assumed. As the acting director of the Center for Motion Analysis and Biomechanics (CMAB) he is collaborating with engineering faculty, paleontologists, and the Idaho Virtualization Lab, to model the pattern of evolution of the hominid foot skeleton. His interests also encompass the evaluation of the footprints purportedly left by an unrecognized North American ape, commonly known as Sasquatch. Meldrum has authored an expanded companion volume to the very successful Discovery Channel documentary, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. He also edits the online refereed journal The Relict Hominoid Inquiry.”

Two posts on Twitter that reference interviews with Jeffrey Meldrum, Ph.D.:

Melissa Adair interviews Meldrum on the 1967 Patterson – Gimlin film.

Fade to Black Jimmy Church interviews Meldrum on the best evidence of the existence of Bigfoot.

Two posts on Facebook that show what Meldrum is working on:

Link to Jeff Meldrum on Google+

Link to Jeff Meldrum on LinkedIn:

Link to Jeff Meldrum on YouTube:


Pet Cremation                                                                                                                                                   (Video by Thomas Halek)

When a beloved pet passes away, most owners are afraid to have their pet cremated because they do not know if they will get their pet’s ashes back. Once they learn what is involved in pet cremation they can seek out a crematory that will put their mind at ease and give them the cremation service that they want. The video is about Donald “Skip” Wyland and his cremation business, PETS REMEMBERED Cremation Services. Wyland talks about what got him into the business and what happens to the pet during the cremation process.

Wyland also stated, “Pets are family members, and they apply the same standards to your pet as we would have done to a parent or grandparent.”

There are three basic categories available when cremating a pet, private cremation, individual cremation, and mass cremation. A private cremation is done with the pet placed in the crematory by itself. Individual cremation can mean one of two things. It can mean individual by itself or individual in a group. A pet owner who requests individual cremation needs to ask if it is individual by itself or individual in a group at that crematorium. With mass cremation, several pets are cremated together.

When Jocelin Schellbach’s pet passed away, she said, “ At first when I decided that I wanted to have her cremated I was scared that I would not get her ashes back.” Schellbach went on to say, “My girl was hit by a car and was taken from me. I just wanted to have her ashes with me forever.” After doing some research, she found a reputable crematorium, had her pet cremated, and now has her ashes with her.

The pet care industry in the U.S. is second only to the electronics industry. In 2012, Eric Spitznagel from Bloomberg Business wrote an article about pet aftercare, There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be a Dead Pet. In the article, Spitznagel reported that there were about 700 pet aftercare facilities in the U.S. Spitznagel also reported that the pet care industry brought in $52.87 billion in 2011.


DSCN5043 - Copy FinalWalter                                                                                               (Photo by Thomas Halek)

This story is about a writer (who wishes to remain anonymous) and his love for his best friend Walter, a 16-year-old long-haired Chihuahua. Walter passed away on June 9, 2015 at 8:50 P.M. Walter’s master said, “He always had my back. Whenever I was happy, he was happy. When I was sad he would make me smile, and whenever I was angry he would help me stay calm.”

Two years ago, Walter helped his master write a poem titled ‘FREEDOM’. The poem was about what freedom meant to Walter.

Walter B Freedom Final                    FREEDOM by Walter and his master                                               (Photography and graphic design by Thomas Halek)

IMG_1829 Final                                                    Walter enjoying the outdoors                                                       (Photo by Thomas Halek)

2011-09-07 18.42.34 Final                                                                   Walter standing guard                                 (Photo by Thomas Halek)

About a year ago, Walter’s master wrote an animated short titled ‘A Golden Moment’, starring Walter, and a 2-year-old Appaloosa stud colt named Merlin. The story was about their adventures on their journey to find what was at the end of a rainbow.

A typical day in Walter’s life would start with an 8:00 A.M. wake-up call for his master. He would sit on his master’s chest and lick the end of his nose until he got up and let Walter outside to take care of business. Next, his master would serve him breakfast, a portion of canned dog food. His favorite was chicken and bacon. For the next couple of hours, Walter would curl up at his master’s feet and listen to the clicking of his master’s keyboard as he worked on his writing. Around 11:00 A.M. Walter would go for a ride with his master to go to the Post Office and do other chores. Going for rides was one of his favorite things to do. He would stretch out on the front seat and soak up the moment. If fact, if his master were late in going into town, Walter would either paw at his master’s leg or sit up, paw the air and speak until his master would take him for his ride. On days when his master did not have to go to work, they would go for walks, go fishing, or go to one of his master’s favorite places to get inspired and write. Walter loved being in the outdoors with his master.

IMG_0038 Final                                                  Walter waiting to go for a ride                                                       (Photo by Thomas Halek)

2011-09-06 18.54.17 Final                                                                         Walter waiting for his master                   (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_0716 Final                                                                          Walter saying, “Let’s go.”                        (Photo by Thomas Halek)

On days when his master was gone to work or doing his business, Walter would sit for hours at the top of the steps or in the entry waiting for his return.

IMG_0087 Final                                                                      Walter waiting for his master to come home  (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_0089 Final                                                                       Walter saying, “Where is he?”                 (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_1150 Final                                                                         Walter still waiting                                   (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Whenever it was possible, Walter was always at his master’s side. When it was time to go outside or for a second ride into town, all his master had to do was look at him, raise his hand and motion with his index finger and Walter would come flying. His master said, “If I were heading for the door Walter would sit, and watch for me to turn and motion him to follow me. I would turn, look into his eyes from across the room, and as soon as I raised my arm, he would jump up and wait for the signal. As soon as he got it he would race across the carpet in a fury to get to me.”

IMG_1823 Final                                                          Walter on a walk                                                                     (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_4638 Final                                                               Walter on the deck watching for wildlife                    (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_4631 Final                                                                Walter still watching                                                 (Photo by Thomas Halek)

IMG_4633 Final                                                               Walter, “I see a deer.”                                            (Photo by Thomas Halek)

At night, Walter would once again curl up by his master and listen to the magical purr of the keyboard, as his master would write until the early hours of the morning. When finished, his master would look down at him and say, “It’s night-night time.” Walter would jump up, run into the bedroom, and stand next to his master’s side of the bed and wait for him to pick him up and set him on the bed. After his master settled in bed, Walter would curl up in his master’s left armpit, and they would fall fast asleep.

Reflecting on Walter’s first night with him, his master said, “The first night Walter went to bed with me, he bit me on the nose. It was as if he was trying to tell me, he may be little, but he is still the boss. From that moment on, we were best buds forever.”

Reflecting on what happened when Walter passed away his master said, “I held him in my arms, cried, and begged him to come back to me. I could feel his spirit looking down at me, telling me not to be sad, he had a great life with me and would always be with me.”

IMG_4803 Final                                               Walter at peace                                                                                       (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Walter’s cremation took place on June 11, 2015 at PETS REMEMBERED cremation service in New Brighton, Minnesota. Walter’s master said that one of his biggest fears about having Walter cremated was, “Will I get my Walter’s ashes back?“ He reported that after researching pet cremation, he found Pets Remembered. At Pets Remembered, only one pet is cremated at a time, and you can be involved as much as you desire right up to and including placing the pet into the crematorium.

IMG_4819 Final


Walter waiting to be placed into the crematorium

(Photo by Thomas Halek)





IMG_4822 Final


Walter being placed into the crematorium

(Photo by Thomas Halek)




IMG_4826 Final


Walter in the crematorium

(Photo by Thomas Halek)




After Walter’s cremation, his master was given a carved wooden urn with Walter’s ashes. He also received a pendant, which contained some of Water’s ashes. His master replied, “While wearing this pendant my buddy will always go with me, no matter what I do or where I am.”

IMG_1011(1) Final                                                 Walter in his final resting place, his urn and pendent                               (Photo by Thomas Halek)



Strelow, an Army veteran from the Korean War, shared his experiences in getting medical attention from the VA. Several years ago, in an accident he lost one eye. Since that accident, the vision in his good eye has been slowly deteriorating to the point where he can barely see anymore. The VA told him that a certain type of surgery would help his vision immensely, and for over a year, he tried to get the surgery scheduled. Each time he made an appointment it was rescheduled or canceled. Strelow stated, “It’s so screwed up. I received a cancellation notice, and when I called to reschedule, I was told that because I had supposedly failed to show up everything was cancelled.” He went on to say, “I never missed an appointment. That was just an excuse to stall me. The women I talked to was rude and told me I didn’t think too much of my fellow veterans and will have to start the process all over again.”

20150610_Franklin Strelow_01              Franklin Strelow                                                              (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Eight months later Strelow had surgery on his eye. Strelow said, “I had enough with the bureaucracy with the VA and went to a regular Doctor and had the surgery done. Now I can finally see again. I am done trying to get help from the VA.”

Strelow lives in his home on the outskirts of Rush City, Minnesota.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_02Strelow’s Home                                                                                   (Photo by Thomas Halek)

At the age of 83, he still operates his excavation business.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_03Strelow’s Ford Backhoe                                                                  (Photo by Thomas Halek)

He loves operating his bulldozer.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_04Strelow Operating His Bull Dozer                                                      (Photo by Thomas Halek)

20150610_Franklin Strelow_05Strelow At The Controls                                                                   (Photo by Thomas Halek)

20150610_Franklin Strelow_06Backhoe Control Lever                                                                      (Photo by Thomas Halek)

He loves operating his backhoe.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_07Strelow Operating Cat Backhoe                                                      (Photo by Thomas Halek)

20150610_Franklin Strelow_08Backhoe Steering Wheel                                                                 (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Now that he has his eyesight back, no job is too challenging.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_09Strelow Operating Bull Dozer                                                            (Photo by Thomas Halek)

20150610_Franklin Strelow_10Strelow Filling Dump Truck With Black Dirt                                       (Photo by Thomas Halek)

When not excavating he loves his garden.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_11Strelow’s Garden Plot                                                                     (Photo by Thomas Halek)

In his backyard, he has a creek that runs through it.

20150610_Franklin Strelow_12Strelow’s Backyard Creek                                                                (Photo by Thomas Halek)

Strelow said, “My real love is operating my equipment.”

20150610_Franklin Strelow_13Strelow And His Bull Dozer                                                             (Photo by Thomas Halek)

In summation Strelow remarked, “Now that I am seeing my regular doctors and can see, I am much happier.”