Lighter Side

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January 17th, 2000

Ask Buford

by Al Campbell, Rapid City SD

In the last year or so, I've written a few columns that included my trusty basset hound, Buford, as the subject. I had no idea the exposure would cause him to get a big head. It seems he's become some kind of a folk hero to a few canines in the community. Now, some of the local dogs send him letters asking for advice on their problems. Buford has become so conceited, he thinks his advice should be published for all the dogs in the area to read. At first I refused to go along with his plan, but he's threatening to tell my wife about the times I sneak away for a couple of hours of fishing when I'm supposed to be working around the house. I guess I have no choice but to pass along a few bits of canine wisdom from a dog with a swollen ego. Here's a few questions Buford has received, and the advice he offered to those questions.

    Q - I'm a golden retriever who loves pheasant hunting. My problem is that my master wants me to retrieve ducks too. Can you give me any hints on how you would change his mind?

    A - I had this problem once, but it didn't last long. First I walked to the water's edge, stuck a toe in the water, then backed up like I had seen a crocodile. When Al insisted on me taking a swim, I paddled a few feet off shore, then I slipped under the water like a crocodile had really grabbed me. When I emerged from the water a minute later, Al was so glad to see me alive, he forgot all about forcing me to retrieve ducks and collected them himself.

    Q - I'm a collie who looks a lot like Lassie. We have a relative named Aunt Agatha who loves to call me Lassie and insists on a hug every time she sees me. The big problem is that Agatha has cats and the smell of cat on her clothing makes me gag every time she hugs me. What can I do to keep her away?

    A - You have a real problem. I can't imagine the trauma you've been through, but I think I've got the answer to your dilemma. Bury a piece of meat in the yard and wait for it to get real ripe. When Agatha shows up for a visit, dig up the meat and roll in it. Then eat a few bites so the smell is fresh on your breath. When Agatha comes looking for you, run to her like you're real excited to see her and give her a big slurp on the lips before she has a chance to get a good sniff. That should cure her for a while.

    Q - I'm a ten year old black lab who loves to go hunting. Recently my master brought home a new puppy. Now he spends all his free time with that puppy. I'm worried I'll be replaced by the new kid on the block. What should I do?

    A - Puppies like to play games. They also have sharp little teeth. Make a tug of war game out of the family photo album when no one is at home. Be careful to avoid letting your teeth sink into the pictures. A great finale would be those wedding pictures your master treasures so much. If you collect a few puppy hairs to spread around the crime scene as evidence, then act as if you had nothing to do with it, your problems should vanish in a few hours.

    Q - I'm a beagle who loves to hunt. I get to chase rabbits a lot, but I'm always left behind when my master goes duck hunting. I'd love to go duck hunting sometime. I'm even a good swimmer. How can I convince my master that I'd be a good duck dog?

    A - Personally, I don't like duck hunting, it requires too much swimming. But, if you're sure you want to chase funny birds with flat beaks, I'm sure you can let your master know how much you want to be involved. The next time you see a duck in a lake, jump in and swim after it like you're really going to chase it down. Be sure to whine a lot so your master knows you are serious about your desire to chase ducks. To cap things off, be sure to shake the water off only after you are within range of your master. He's sure to notice that you got wet, and maybe he'll get the hint. If not, you could try chewing something of his when he leaves you behind, until he gets the message.

Well, there you have it, sage advice from a hound named Buford. If you're wise, you'll keep this paper away from your dog. Join us next time when Buford describes how to deal with the neighbor's cat. ~ Al Campbell and Buford

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