Rainbow with meadow.

By Molly Butler

My husband and I were high school sweethearts.

After school, we’d go to his house and cuddle up on the basement couch. But I had to compete for his attention. Lucy Jane would hop up between us and intercept any cuddles, the cutest little chaperone you’ve ever seen. She eventually came around to me, but she always had a soft spot for her boy.

The story goes, once upon a time, perhaps at a wild Mardi Gras party, a Rottweiler and a Dachshund fell briefly in love and created a gloriously unique litter. Lucy Jane, a.k.a. Wooce, was a passionate and terrible varmint hunter, an expert at pointing out where a rodent used to be. She liked car rides and Potato Olés. Lucy’s talent for wrapping leashes around tires and trees was unmatched. She never came back when you called and loved to wander off to adventure in the woods. More than once, we were called out to the farm to help his parents search for her. We’d holler and bribe. She didn’t care. She was being a dog.

When you lose someone you love, the light they put into the world remains.

She was frustrating and hilarious and loving, everything a dog should be. Lucy watched Noah and I grow up and fall in love and get a dog of our own, and she even tolerated Jolene with her crazy puppy energy. She took care of Noah’s family through joy and loss and change. Lucy Jane loved like crazy for 16 good years. As my husband put it, “Everyone who met her loved her, and that light she put into the world was really important.”

Submitted Image - Lucy Jane the author's husband's long-time companion.
Submitted Image – Lucy Jane the author’s husband’s long-time companion.

Last weekend, we said goodbye to a truly one-of-a-kind dog. We were so lucky to say goodbye to her peacefully, at home, where she was comfortable and calm, and for that, we have Halo Pet Care to thank. Dr. Holly Rudolf was so compassionate and respectful. The entire process was peaceful and kind. In-home euthanasia is a gift I would wish for all pets when their time comes, and Dr. Rudolf has clearly answered her calling with this line of work. If you’re in the area and in need of these services, we can’t recommend her enough. It’s a beautiful way to say goodbye. We feel very fortunate.

Submitted Image - Lucy Jane the author's husband's long-time companion.
Submitted Image – Lucy Jane the author’s husband’s long-time companion.

We miss Lucy Jane terribly. Like all beloved pets, she was and is truly irreplaceable. When you lose someone you love, the light they put into the world remains.

Have a wonderful weekend, and if you’ve got a four-legged family member, make sure to give them a few extra cuddles.


Art lovers, check out some of the area’s new exhibits. The Arts Center of Saint Peter will host sculptures by David Hyduke and Andrew Hellmund, showing Sept. 3-25, opening this Friday from 1-5 p.m. Stop by the gallery to view their works as well as the new South Window Gallery featuring work by Joel Iverson. The site-specific murals and mixed media gallery, “Selfhood,” will be viewable this Friday and Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

Singers: head to the Oleander Saloon in Mankato from 8 p.m. to midnight for B&B karaoke. Listeners: check out Family Tradition at the Landing on Madison from 7-10 p.m. The Starkeller Brewery in New Ulm will also host Pop Culture Trivia from 7-9 p.m. with chances to win prizes. Enter a halftime raffle to win a free drink, and remember, there are no losers! Each week, the last place team will also win a prize!


The Mankato Farmers’ Market will be in the Best Buy parking lot from 8 a.m. to noon or stop by New Ulm’s KNUJ Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. to noon at Cash Wise Foods. We’re in prime harvest season, with veggies and goods of all varieties fresh and ready to take home, so don’t miss out! Stock up for canning or drying.

Gamers, get ready. The Dork Den of Mankato will have Pokemon: Open Play beginning at 11 a.m. This is a great chance for kids and new players to learn the rules of the game and make new friends. The Dork Den will also have $10 Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms, with the new DM, Tim! Also beginning at 11 a.m., this adventure game is open to all; no D&D experience is necessary. Atlantis Hobby will host Pokemon and Flesh & Blood from noon to 4 p.m. Flesh & Blood is $30, and the cost includes prizes and a pack per win! Their staff is happy to help all players of any experience level.

Nature lovers, get outside and enjoy the end of summer! Head to Minneopa State Park from 1-2 p.m. to become a Bison Ambassador. To learn about this unique volunteer program, just email scott.kudelka@state.mn.us to register. Stick around for a naturalist-led Minneopa Nature Hike from 4-5 p.m. to learn about the area’s historical and natural significance.

Lukas Graff will perform at Westwood Marina, and Powerhouse will be at the Landing on Madison, both from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Family Tradition will be at Indian Island Winery from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The What’s Up Lounge will host an entire evening of tunes, with a whole line-up of local hip-hop talent beginning at 7 p.m. There is a $5 cover for this 21+ event.


Take a Swan Lake Paddle! Swan Lake is North America’s largest wetland complex and one of the healthiest shallow lakes in southern Minnesota. Enjoy a leisurely hour-long paddle with your favorite Minneopa Area Naturalist, Scott Kudelka, and learn about this amazing local resource. Bring water and a snack. Email scott.kudelka@state.mn.us for meet-up information and to register.

Generation Gap will be performing at the Schell’s Biergarten from 1-4:30 p.m. Enjoy live tunes and grab snacks from the Sozial Food Truck, which will be at the Bier Halle from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Landing on Madison will host live music from 3-6 p.m., and Miller Denn will perform at Westwood Marina from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Bonus: We’ve Updated Our Website!

You may have noticed some changes to MankatoLIFE! Events are still listed on the Homepage as usual, but our calendar has been updated to be more comprehensive and flexible. Click on the All Events tab at the top of the page to search upcoming events and use filters to find exactly what you’re looking for! Enjoy!


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.