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A few of you have noticed something missing from the Bulletin’s sports pages this fall: We’re lacking our college football picks.
In years past, we’d pit the finest minds in Bedford against that of Chunky, the Bulletin’s prognosticating pooch.
The Bedford Volunteer Fire Department, the Bedford Police Department, the Bedford Post Office employees and the Bedford County school principals and administrators all tried their hands against the pup.
Regrettably, each was successful.
We’re not running the feature this year because we’re tired of defeat. Rather, it’s because we’re lacking a pooch. Specifically, the yellow lab passed on last summer, leaving a hole in our sports coverage.
That he left a hole in our hearts is also true.
Nevertheless, the wife and I have embarked on the search for a new dog. That’s not to say that we are 100% committed to getting one. We’re just looking.
So far, we have confined our search to those canines that reside in kennels.
A lot has changed. In days past, you’d drive to the kennel, pick out a dog that seemed like a good match, pay your fifteen bucks and be on your way.
Nowadays, with this Internet thing, those that care for stray or abandoned dogs are savvy in their marketing.
Each dog has a nice Web presence, including a photo and a biographical sketch.
Forthwith, I provide some guidelines for interpreting what you read about a dog and what it really means.
“Full of energy.” Will keep you up at night as it paces the floor. Will be breathing in your face at the first hint of daylight, ready to go for his walk.
“Prefers being with female dogs.” Will rip your arm out of its socket trying to go after any male dog he may encounter on your walk.
“Shy at first.” You’ll spend an inordinate amount of time trying to coax him out from under a bed for the first 30, or so, days he’s at your home.
“Friendly.” Will spend the lion’s share of his time trying to lick your face.
“Quiet” Will spend the lion’s share of his time trying to lick parts of his own body.
“Enjoys exercise.” Needs a marathon’s distance of a walk before he’s ready to sleep.
“Good on the leash.” Has a passing understanding of the concept of a leash.
“Needs some refresher housetraining.” No flat surface in your home is safe.
“Feisty.” Understand, forthwith, that every shoe you own will soon have drool encrusted in its bite marks.
“Beautiful, soft coat.” Vacuuming will become a part of your (or the wife’s) daily routine.
“Playful.” If you consider chasing cars a play-time activity.
“Enjoys his treats.” Like Otis the Drunk enjoyed his whiskey.
“Uncomfortable with other dogs.” Like Elton John on a date with Michelle Bachman.
“Uncomfortable around children.” Like Roseanne Barr on a date with Dr. Oz.
“Some behavior issues.” You might want to break out that suit of armor you have stashed in the attic.
Don’t get me wrong, humane societies and dog pounds do a marvelous job.
If it were up to me, everyone would be forced to adopt a dog. That’s because I believe a dog can make you a better person and give you a better life.
My only purpose in writing this column is to lend you my expertise in reading between the lines when it comes to figuring out which is the right dog for you.
October is national Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. It’s also Seafood Month, National Clergy Appreciation Month and Apple Jack Month, among (many) others.
So, after taking your pastor out to Red Lobster and downing copious amounts of apple jack, feel free to go get yourself a shelter dog.
And let me know if he’s any good at picking college football games.