A daring dog escape and a bill to remember


Those of you who regularly read my column (Hi, Mom!) know that I absolutely love my dogs, Guinness and Bailey.

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Guinness is an overly-playful mixture of shar-pei and boxer who loves nothing more in life than getting some attention via a good, strong belly rub or playing tug-of-war with any item in the house, ranging from toys constructed for that very purpose to the sock that I’m trying to put on in the morning. Bailey, on the other hand, is the attitude-heavy pug who rotates her joy between lying down on my chest while I’m in bed to viciously attacking a paper napkin that has been sitting unguarded too long.

Oh, they drive me crazy from time to time, but I genuinely love coming home and getting covered in their seemingly endless supply of spittle as soon as I walk through the door. There’s little I wouldn’t do to make those two dogs happy, and I completely understand the concept that dogs are indeed family members.

And it looks like I’m not alone in that sentiment.

An Associated Press story this week focused on a dog named Blue, who has spent some time recently being incarcerated in the Albany Pet Hotel in Albany, Ore. Blue received a death sentence for biting a toddler last fall, but has been waiting at the Albany Pet Hotel while his sentence is being appealed by his owner.

Then sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, according to local law enforcement, someone climbed the fence at the hotel, smashed open a window and helped Blue escape. And now, well, he be doggone.

I’m sorry for that. I really am. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, and I’ve just been dog tired.

Yikes. It’s like I just can’t help myself. I find a corny joke that I like and I just keep feeding the dog. I’ll stop.

Of course, that can’t really shock anybody that regularly reads this column (Hi, Mom!). What is shocking, however, is opening your cell phone bill and finding that you owe your provider $201,000 for that month.

That is exactly what happened to a South Florida woman recently, according to an AP story. Apparently, the woman has two brothers who are deaf and mute, and both brothers are on her cell phone plan. One of the great things about modern technology is that it has gotten much easier for deaf-mute individuals to communicate through texting people. They are no longer tied to only those who can converse through sign language, and it just opens many more doors.

Now, the text messaging is usually not a problem for this woman, as she has an appropriate data-use plan, and the bill is usually fairly reasonable. However, the brothers spent two weeks in Canada, they never changed to an international plan, and more than 2,000 texts and some downloaded videos later, her phone bill looked more like a real estate listing.

She obviously called her provider to check on this, and they informed her that it was indeed correct. She called a Miami television station, WSVN, which contacted the cellular provider, and that resulted in her bill getting chopped to $2,500 — which she has six months to pay. The power of the press worked for her this time, and she didn’t have to get put on hold with her provider for 17 hours as she tried to get it straightened out. Have you ever tried getting satisfaction from your cell phone provider? Instead of waterboarding terror suspects, we should put them on the phone with a cellular company and let them sit on hold while tinny versions of Britney Spears music pulse through their skulls as they sit on hold for ...

But I digress.

Of course, there are others who have to put things on hold. Some more difficult than others.

A policy at Evergreen High School (Ill.) allows students to leave class three times per semester to use the restroom. After that, according to a story first reported in the Southtown Star, the students have to make up any missed time after school.

For the record, this would have been difficult for me to adhere to when I was in high school, and nearly impossible now that I’m comfortably in my 40s. Three times a class is more my style these days. But, yeah, you probably didn’t want to hear that.