Old faithful friend's fate nearly a doggone shame


June 21, 1996|By DAN RODRICKS

I know what this sounds like. It sounds like a country-western song, but it's the real deal: Some guy got married and discovered his new wife loved him but not his dog. So he loaded her up (the dog, that is) and drove on out to a semirural stretch of northern Baltimore County. And before abandoning his old faithful friend, he wrapped $5 and a note in aluminum foil and stuck it on the dog's collar. This is what he wrote:

"My name is Muffin. Although my daddy loves me a lot, my new mommy doesn't like me and wants me put asleep. But I don't want to die. I never hurt anyone, will give you love and affection. I like weekly baths and soft dog food. I'm 8 years old. Please give me a good home. My daddy's enclosed money for dog food."

It was Ron and Jill Quinley who discovered the note after Muffin, a petite cocker spaniel mix, wandered into their yard in Parkton last weekend. They've been caring for her, with the help of Animal Rescue Inc. and the Jarrettsville Veterinary Center. The Muff has some health problems (hearing loss, for instance) common to older cockers. But Jill Quinley describes the dog as "bubbly."

Meanwhile, she and her husband, who already have a dog, have been working the phone and think they have good prospects for Muffin's new mommy and daddy. I'll keep you posted. (Note to singles: If you're thinking of getting married, have a dog and love

it, include it in your prenuptial.)

History lesson

Several readers of TJI are upset that I assume white racists are behind the arsons of black churches in the South. (For the record: In last week's column on the subject, I allowed that copy-cattin' teens were responsible for some of the fires, too.) Readers demand to know how I could suggest these were hate crimes, given that so few arrests have been made. And they all mention the many white churches set afire over the same period. "Are we to assume that 'a small group of angry black men' are responsible for those fires?" asks Eugene Cross of Baltimore.

I wouldn't assume that, Eugene. There's no history there, and history is what leads me to my suspicions. (Show me a history of black guys burning white churches, and I'll get aboard the

"what-about-them-white-churches?" bandwagon.)

I don't hold black churches more dear than white churches (another rap from readers, one of whom called me "a nominal Catholic" for not supporting the protest of the Mother Teresa movie). It's just that when it comes to the motivation for their destruction, you'd have to be a complete brickhead not to acknowledge a striking distinction rooted in history. And I'm not the only white boy who gets it. "This is the greatest wave of terrorism against black churches since the civil rights movement," said Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition director. "The fires are a reminder of an earlier and painful time in our history in which people took the cross of Christ and twisted it into the crooked swastika of bigotry."

Come again?

In the midst of rains and flooding comes a ITAL Sun ITAL story asking if Ellen Sauerbrey intends to run for governor again, and she answers by quoting her dad: "If the good Lord's willing, and the creek don't rise." Does madame wish to rephrase that?

IRS irritation

The Sellers family of Parkville had a little dispute with the Internal Revenue Service this year and, at one point in the back-and-forth, the Sellers received a letter advising them to call Philadelphia phone number between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"So I called, at between 11 and noon," says Charlene Sellers. "And I got one of those [automated switchboards] and kept punching numbers for the Problem Resolution Department till I finally got through and the recording said, 'If you want the Problem Resolution Department, please call back after 4: 30 p.m.' "

Apparently, the IRS can't resolve problems during regular business hours.

So, OK, Charlene did as instructed. She called back after 4: 30 (when most federal employees I know are headed home).

"I got another recording," Charlene says. "It said the regular business hours are between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and if I want the Problem Resolution Department, please call between 4: 30 and 11: 30 p.m, which is what I was doing!"

0 It could drive a person to join the Freemen.

Boostin' books

The Pratt has trouble keeping certain books on its shelves -- in particular, nonfiction works on organized crime. The problem? People keep stealing them ("boostin' 'em," as the wise guys used to say). This was discovered the other day when we went to the central library to borrow Vinnie Teresa's mob classic, "My Life in the Mafia." All three copies were missing, and nobody was talkin' but one reference librarian, who shall remain nameless for her own good.

A stumper

While driving along Greenspring Valley Road, Joanne Greeley and her daughter, Jaime Lynn, were startled by what they saw in the rearview mirror -- two large evergreen trees gaining on them. "They were coming through the sunroof of some kind of little, red Subaru," Joanne says. "It was so weird. The trees were sticking a good four feet above the car." And the driver was covered with mulch. (OK, I made that part up.)

Pub Date: 6/21/96

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