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Letters to Editor

Appreciates Church Page

Dear Editor and Church News Sponsors,

The Bethel Lutheran Church congregation would like to thank you and the sponsors of the church news page for publishing our worship times and our schedules for church activities.

We appreciate this service that you make available to our community. Sincerely,

Barbara Malcolm

Congregational Secretary

Bethel Lutheran Church


Dear Editor,

Recently our family suffered the heartbreaking loss of a dear member of our family. I am writing this so everyone in our area will know what happened and what could happen again.

Three years ago my family and I were thinking about making an addition to our family. We searched high and low for the right fit and finally found a kennel in Ohio which specialized in purebred white German Shepherds.

This sounded perfect, so we called the kennel and they sent us pictures of all their puppies. We settled on one of their bigger male puppies and sent them the money. As luck would have it, friends of ours were coming thru Ohio, so we arranged to have them pick the puppy up.

The day finally arrived when our puppy was here, and my children were about to burst with excitement. We had not settled on a name because we wanted to see him first. The car pulled up and out jumped this huge fluffy ball of white fur. The puppy looked like a baby polar bear, so we decided to go with it and named him Bear.

The first two weeks were an adjustment period for us, but Bear adapted much quicker than we did. He made himself right at home, as if he had been living with us for years. It only took three weeks and he was house broken.

Within the next few weeks my children taught Bear to fetch, and he would even bring his toy back to you. Bear learned very quickly to sit, stay, and even to ride in my daughter's car.

He also knew when breakfast was served and ate every morning with the kids. My daughter would share her food with Bear, sometimes off the same fork.

In the summer Bear was outside most of the time, unless the weather was bad.

During the winter months most of his time was spent in the house with us. Bear loved to swim in our pond and go for walks with my daughter.

My son would take Bear back to our hay field so he could chase butterflies. He never caught one, but he would still chase them for hours.

Bear was also great with the other addition to our family, our granddaughter. He would follow her wherever she went, and it didn't take long for her to love him.

He would also help me in the garage while I was changing the oil in my truck. I would lay a wrench down, and Bear would pick it up. Then I would have to play chase to get it back.

I guess he also had a sense of humor.

Bear was such a joy to be around and had a great personality. And in three short years he became a very loved, loyal, and special member of our family.

On December 19th Bear went outside with me to work in the garage. Around 12:30 he went outside to go to the bathroom. That was the last time we saw him alive.

My family and I spent the next three weeks frantically looking for Bear. We drove all over the county and talked to several people.

I walked several miles in hopes of finding our missing companion. It never happened. Our family Christmas was less than merry this year.

Thirty-seven days later my son came home from school, and I knew something was wrong by the look on his face. He informed me that a white German Shepherd had been found dead southwest of La Harpe on the Eddington ground.

Bear was shot with a bow and arrow. The arrow went in behind his rib cage on the right and came out through his shoulder on the left.

Bear was shot from behind while trying to get away from whoever shot him.

This was NO accident!!! Bear was pure white, wearing a collar, and weighed 100 pounds. It would be hard to mistake him for a deer or a coyote. An irresponsible, unethical hunter shot our dog.

Someone who has no regard for other people's property or family. I have been hunting with bow and gun for thirty years.

I was taught by my father to respect wildlife and the land which they are on, and to never compromise responsibility or ethics in the field.

This ground on which Bear was murdered is leased exclusively to PERFORMANCE OUTDOORS if this tells you anything.

This is an out of state outfit that needs a course in ethical, responsible hunting.

Maybe landowners ought to take a good hard look at those people they are letting on their ground.

Next time it could be one of your family members.

The family of

David M. Van Fleet

Rural La Harpe


By Elaine Slater Reese, a freelance writer in Spring Green, Wi. who grew up in Hancock County - near Bowen, Illinois

In my dictionary, the little four-letter word LOVE is defined as "tender and passionate attachment to one of the opposite sex".

That seems to set the tone for Valentines' Day. Lovers expect special attention on February 14th - CARDS, CANDY, FLOWERS.

We use that word love casually in our society. "I love my new car!" "I love my new house!" "I love eating at that restaurant!" And "I am in love" with the person I met earlier in the evening.

Another definition in the dictionary is "having a strong personal attachment". This would certainly fit my thoughts of LOVE much more.

It is man's concern for LIFE. I see LOVE -the new puppy licking the little boy's nose -( Puppy Love?)-the parents holding their newborn-one anonymously paying a needy one's gas and electric bill-one taking someone to the grocery store and saying "Buy what you really need."- one tolerating taunts to stand up for the unborn - a fireman entering a fiercely burning building because he hears the cries for help - a policeman knocking on a door praying for strength to tell the wife her husband is never coming home- a teacher giving extra help to one who will benefit from it - the caregiver of one with Alzheimers who still has patience and listens-the one who can pray as he holds the hand of one dying.

My definition of LOVE?

Listening to and praying for another.

God's definition of LOVE?