Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | May 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: May 2022
Body

Among life’s greatest gifts are best mates of the outdoor variety — the ones you choose to hunt, hike, and fish with, sit around a campfire and discuss life’s meaning, or look up at the stars and be silent with. At the end of my life, among my list of greatest gratitudes will be my outdoor mates, both the human and the four-legged kind.

I had to say goodbye to one such mate this last month. Even when he couldn’t lift his head at the end, he still forced a wag, a thump or two, just to convey he was still with us. That was our black Labrador Scout — best four-legged friend ever — always happiest being with people and most certainly ready for his next outdoor adventure, be it chasing squirrels, swimming in the creek, or just lying in the grass with all four legs pointed to the sun. It was the worst of days —saying farewell — and yet gratitude for his life far outweighs any sorrow.

A dear friend once told me the best way to pick good friends is to decide if they bring you joy and make you better. I thought of this the day we said goodbye to Scout and smiled through my tears. Every day of his life I can assure you, he brought joy and over time made me a better human. You were a good boy, Scout. Here’s to our best outdoor mates — may we treasure them each and every day.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

SARA.PAULEY@MDC.MO.GOV

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler