Party animals are the picture of decorum at barbecue bash

As summer parties go, it has to be one of the most unusual gatherings in Oregon this year.

There was Montana, rolling around on the ground with fellow party animal Shasta. Kola and Wasche were chasing Roxy Ann. Sophie was quietly sitting off to the side. Not Penny. She was sniffing Mo's posterior.

Welcome to Saturday's dog party.

The gathering was a reunion for the eight puppies rescued from a hollow log where they were huddled during the snowy night of Jan. 6 by big-hearted Butte Falls area residents Anna Diehl and her husband, Rick Martin.

Wimer residents Debbie and Len Starr, who had adopted two of the dogs, wanted to host the doggone reunion and barbecue in celebration of dogs and those who love them.

In truth, the adopted dogs were invited to bring the bipeds-in-training.

If you are the one who reads this column, you may recall the story about how Diehl and Martin were alerted by elk hunters who had discovered the single-parent canine family surviving in the hollow log at the 3,000 foot elevation. A foot of snow was on the ground and more was falling.

The kind couple brought home all eight of the mixed-breed puppies that night but were unable to coax their wild mother in.

"We knew the mom would be grieving but another 11 inches of snow fell that night," Diehl said at the time. "Those puppies would not have survived. . . . we needed to do something or they would become coyote or cougar bait."

The pups, about five weeks old at the time, represent a rich scoop out of the canine gene pool. Two look like yellow Labradors, two resemble black Labradors, three look similar to German shepherds and one is black with a mask like a rottweiler.

Diehl and Martin adopted two of the pups. That would be Kola and Wasche, Sioux Indian words meaning "friend" and "chubby," respectively.

But they couldn't permanently take in all the pooches. Not too worry. Good Samaritans quickly stepped forward.

The Starrs adopted two canines they named Roxy Ann and Shasta. The former resembles a black Labrador, the latter a golden Labrador.

Montana has found a loving home with Vic and Rita Bolshoz. The friendly pooch has an interesting dark line of fur forming a "V" above his eyebrows.

"He has that Eddie Munster thing going," Rita Bolshoz rightfully observed.

Mike and Judy Hall were there with Penny, the runt of the litter with golden peanuts above her eyes like a Rottweiller. She weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces when she came to live with the Halls back in January.

Now she weighs in at a healthy 44 pounds.

"She is the sweetest one of the bunch," Mike Hall said proudly.

Then there was Sophie, a shy pooch adopted by Teddy Bradshaw, daughter of Kerry and Tricia Bradshaw.

"Sophie is very shy, but real loyal with a great bark," Tricia Bradshaw noted. "She's a great dog."

Mo brought along his human companions in the form of Rob and Nona Grabski. Topping 80 pounds, Mo is the largest of the litter.

"But he thinks he's a dachshund," Nona said, adding that big Mo follows their tiny dachshund around their home.

The dachshund's name? Brutus, of course.

Katie Starr, the hosts' daughter, baked a dog cake for the hairy bunch.

"It's made of flour, peanut butter, carrots and honey," she explained. "The frosting is cream cheese and honey. I got the recipe on the Internet."

Penny's maternal guardian suggested they wait to feed the pooches the cake just before the party was over.

"They might get a sugar high," Judy Hall said.

"That wouldn't be so good," one human volunteered.

But the pooches were on their best behavior. There was no fighting, although two of the four-footed guests needed to work out a small disagreement over the pecking order at one point.

"Those of us who adopted the puppies are the luckiest people in the world," Diehl said in an earlier interview. "They will be great companions for all of us for years to come."

Judging from the folks attending the dog party, the pooches didn't make out too badly, either.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or at

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