Blog Bits: Happy Vet and Happy Ending
This is adapted from postings on the “Editor’s Note” blog at thepilot.com.
Made My Day: A lunch date fell through on Thursday, by which time the office had pretty much cleared out. So I headed out to dine alone, feeling a little bit sorry for myself.
I ended up at Chick-fil-A. As I walked in with my mind deep into other matters, I was only vaguely aware that there was a noisy crowd there and that what appeared to be Girl Scouts were holding red, white and blue balloons and opening the door. Some special event.
After ringing up my order for $6.31, the nice lady behind the counter asked me a question. I couldn’t understand it in the din, so she had to repeat it a couple of times.
“Are you a veteran?” she was asking.
“Why, yes, I am,” I replied. It took me a second or two to answer because I have just never thought of myself as a veteran. Veterans are those old guys wearing the VFW hats. Yes, I did serve three years in the Army. But I wasn’t in any war, unless you count the Cold one. I was in the Army Security Agency, where we jokingly referred to ourselves as “Chairborne.” The nearest I came to anything that might be considered dangerous or sacrificial was 13 months at a “hardship post” in Turkey. Hardly worth mentioning in the same breath with what guys went through in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.
Anyway, no sooner had I understood the lady’s question and answered it than she pressed a few more keys on the cash register, and — ka-ching! — the price for my grilled chicken combo had magically reverted to $00.00.
That brought tears to my eyes. I’d forgotten it was Veterans Day. Thanks, Chick-fil-A.
— Nov. 11
Your Collie? If you live north of Vass and west of U.S. 1 and your collie dog showed up Saturday afternoon minus his collar, allow me to explain.
While driving back to Southern Pines from fellow Pilot employee Mechelle Wood’s wedding near Cameron, my wife, Brenda, and I noticed a magnificent collie standing on the right shoulder of U.S. 1, looking confused and lost. I couldn’t put him out of my mind. So at the next interchange, I turned around and went back.
By then, he was running along in the median, sometimes veering off into traffic. Brakes screeched and horns blared. I pulled onto the northbound shoulder and, leaving Brenda in the car, made my way across to the median and finally managed to call the agitated dog over and latch on to his collar. But he pulled away, leaving it in my hand, and headed back across the traffic again.
I followed him for several hundred yards north on the grassy shoulder, calling him with no success and trying to keep him from going back out onto the pavement. Finally, he began digging desperately under a fence and crawled under it and headed off toward a house in the distance.
After kicking as much dirt as I could to cover up the escape hole he had dug, I decided I had done all I could and headed back to the car. So if that was your collie and you wonder where his collar is, you’ll find it hanging from the top of one of the fenceposts.
— Nov. 6
Happy Ending: A week ago, I wrote about stopping near Cameron and trying to rescue a beautiful collie wandering dangerously along busy U.S. 1.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one concerned about the wandering pooch. After his encounter with me, he apparently returned to the highway, where Carolyn Usher-Cronrath saw him and also stopped. With the help of two other ladies, she got him into her car and took him to her home in Woodlake.
“He’s a sweetheart,” she said when she called me Friday. “Very well-behaved. But he doesn’t like the vacuum cleaner.”
Thanks to the Humane Society and the Moore County Animal Center, Carolyn and her husband learned that the dog’s name was Buddy and that he belonged to Joe Medlin of Cameron. Now he’s back where he belongs. I hope he’ll think twice before going off on another big adventure.
— Nov. 14
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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