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At the Heart of Jasper Spring

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How do I tell you about Jim and his family without sharing their private, heartrendingly beautiful lives? How do I write about them without crossing that tender divide between what is my story, and what is theirs?

I can tell you that these stories have been intertwined since before 1874, when Pam’s great-grandfather married my children’s great-great-grandparents. I can tell you that my children’s father Markhas more memories of Pam and Jim than I will ever have, even after forty years of friendship. I can tell you that everyone thinks Pam and I are sister's (which we're not), but that their Border collie Joey was a full brother to our gentle collie Duke, and that both dogs lie buried in graves overlooking mountain meadows much like the meadow in Jim’s novel Jasper Spring(read the synopsis here).

Jim’s life, like Alice's and Tucker's (the main characters in Jasper Spring), has been steeped in contact with animals and natural resources. “I have trained Border collies, ridd…