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Bud's Beat

A dog is man's best friend, even in Washington
By: Bud Pisarek, Special to the Loomis News
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The San Francisco Chronicle did a survey of nicknames of dogs. The number-one nickname for man’s best friend is “Buddy.” It won hounds down. I got that moniker as my nickname when my dad told my two older siblings they would soon have a “buddy” to play with. I was stuck with Buddy from day one. Now that I think of it, my two older brothers might have had their hearts set on a puppy. I hope I didn’t disappoint them. You never know. We did have a pet dog called Queenie, a Boston bull. My dad loved that dog. On a warm summer morning, the three of us kids heard a soft-running car motor, a whistle, the slamming of the car door, and at about 4 a.m. Queenie was hijacked. My dad was devastated. It might have been from guilt feelings about the loss of Queenie that my oldest brother started bringing home stray dogs. They were of all sizes and breeds. Mom fed them for a few days and then gave the order to send them back from wherever they might have come. My brother loved to sic the dogs on me as they chased me around the apple tree in our backyard. To this day I have a fear of dogs. Silly, but true. Now I’m also thinking that Big Brother really wanted a puppy instead of another brat to contend with. Growing up fearing real, live dogs I turned my affections to the hero dogs on the silver screen. Rin-Tin-Tin was one of them. Later, Lassie had to be the smartest dog on the planet. Other dogs appeared on TV and in daily comics. Do you remember the names of the faithful companions of “Little Orphan Annie” or “Lil’ Annie Rooney”? If you do, comment online at theloomisnews.com. Most famous of fictional dogs has to be Charles Shultz’ Snoopy. Snoopy took on many persona. He was an author, a lawyer, a troop master, and was most famous as the relentless World War I flying ace in “Curse you, Red Baron.” As we leave a contentious spring behind and follow the political race to the White House while looking forward to the dog days of summer, I’m reminded of a Harry Truman remark. When asked if he had made any friends in Washington, President Truman said: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” The Beat depends — Arf! Arf! — upon its friends —Arf! Arf!