The people's voice of reason

Tears and Laughter : Some of My Best Friends Are People!

Personally, I started thinking things were getting out of balance in the pet department when they put refrigerators at the end of the pet food aisle to keep the latest dog food cold. I mean, I am all for feeding the animals fresh food, but where does it stop? Or does it?

People love their pets. I am no exception. My dog, Buddy Rogers, is a fine dog…although I am not exactly sure what kind of dog he is. It seems pretty obvious that he has a fair amount of pit in him. I say that mainly because of the shape of his fat head. But he also has a few bird dog tendencies. He will point. His nose will be aimed and his back straight and his tail pointed, and he will have one of his front feet raised looking all frozen. He won’t necessarily be pointed at birds, it may be a squirrel in a tree or sometimes maybe a lizard or a frog.

I refer to Buddy Rogers as my companion animal. He hangs close to me at all times – usually he is passed out asleep, but near. I trip over him often, but he is a good listener and never complains about what I watch on TV. We like the same music, and he seems to like talk radio as much as I do. But Buddy will occasionally go hunting with my son’s dog, a Treeing Walker Coonhound named Lurleen B. Walker. The B stands for Belle, which we call her. She doesn’t acknowledge it in anyway. She ignores most commands completely, but she has a very sweet disposition. She will stand at the bottom of a tree with Buddy Rogers when he points to show me a squirrel, but she will not tree the squirrel. She will not rare up on a tree for a squirrel. But deep in the night, far in the woods, you can hear her strike. She can throw her head back and howl with the best.

My husband has a normal dog. I can’t remember the name on the papers because it is German, but we call him Tank. He is huge and solid black and strong. Like most Shepherds he is watchful. He is looking, even if he chooses not to react. When he barks his tone has meaning. He has a commanding presence. People are afraid of him, but all of the other dogs like him. He…is a good dog. But let it thunder or an airplane fly over and he crumbles like a cookie. He will practically tear down a door to get inside. He needs medication, but we love him.

There are three types of dogs around the Walker residence. Those that show up and never leave, those we adopt, and those we pay too much money for…like my daughter’s dog Charlie. I do not want to say that a dog is worthless. But Charlie is a Shih Tzu, and the best I can tell so far, Charlie is worthless. The animal is spoiled. He expects treats. He is so little you have to be careful not to step on him. He darts back and forth through rooms in the house at full speed like a cat. He’s picky. He gets hot too easy. He has too much hair and he is clingy. He does not have the intelligence of Tank, he is not a strong listener like Buddy Rogers, and he can’t hunt or howl. I am not even sure he can bark. But he has this stupid little grin that will completely melt your heart, and that somehow makes him worth it. All of the dogs get along well, except for Buddy Rogers who is not a fan of Charlie. Never has been. He has not been willing to stay in the same room with him since his he got here three months ago.

I want to get a picture for Christmas cards of the four of us with our dogs. I want the front porch decorated and everybody dressed festive. I have been working with the dogs trying to get them used to posing out there together, and things are really progressing. I just need to figure out how to get Buddy Rogers to stop diving off the porch and into the shrubs to hide every time Charlie touches the steps. It is a work in progress. I will keep everybody posted.

Amanda Walker is a contributor with, The Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at or at


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