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The Wag: Mr. Jefferson kin to Founding Father? Pffft! Hardly

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Puppy Stout, Columnist

Puppy Stout brings his column, The Wag, to the Williamson Herald from The Tennessean where it has appeared for well over a decade. We are delighted to welcome Pup. He will regale you with his adventures in his own voice. His mom, Vicki Stout, helps him paw the keyboard at times, but it IS Puppy Stout doing the talking, aka barking.

Oh, dog, my least favorite holiday — the Fourth of July — is next week. 

I cannot bear the noise of the fireworks. And if Mom gets invited to a picnic or cookout, I can wager my last treat that I won’t be included. It’s that ol’ “everyone who wants to come to a July 4th celebration, raise your paw” deal. That means, not you, Pup, Mom says.

To make bad matters worse, our cat, Mr. Jefferson, is all about the 4th. My human sister, E Creed, found him in a Walgreen’s parking lot on July 2 one summer and promptly brought him here to Mom. Mom promptly insisted that E find his real home.

She swears she made every effort to do so.

All I know is, years later, the cat is still here.

Mom ultimately named him Thomas Jefferson Cat in recognition of his joining our household just before the big day. So, Mr. Jefferson is now convinced the holiday is all about him. But, truthfully, he thinks every day is all about him.

He’s already meowing about his ancestor writing the Declaration of Independence.  If my knowledge of history serves, it was a human, not a cat, who penned that beautiful piece. Mr. Jefferson contends otherwise.

“Who knows more about independence than a cat?” he reasons.

OK, I’ll give him that.

“And who is more eloquent,” he meows, “than a well-educated cat?”

Frankly, as far as I know, Mr. J. does not have a degree from any school of higher learning. I do agree with his contention that he could be a great politician. He’s never met a stranger. He meows to everyone he meets on my BDWs (big-dog walks) and he’ll walk in any door that’s open — home or car. He would probably kiss a baby, given the opportunity.

I digress.

Back to the Fourth of July. I’m encouraging Mom to have a cookout here, that way I am invited. Of course, my doggie sister, Mattie the wild child, is problematic.  She’s 5 now, is well-educated, having been to school twice, complete with a degree. That degree is not worth the paper on which it is printed since she remains as wild as the wind. She wants to enthusiastically greet anyone who comes in the door.

Rare is the human who wants to be jumped on and kissed.

It’s ridiculous. She’s ridiculous. Plus, she is terrified — and I mean terrified — of fireworks, storms and even the washing machine when it’s running. Mom says having people over to grill out is probably not going to work.

So, there you have it, a holiday I don’t like, one Mattie fears but one Mr. Jefferson celebrates with a hearty four paws up. Thank goodness, it’s only a one-day affair.

Happy birthday, America. Pass me a burger. Medium-rare, please.


Head to the farm for fireworks,

if that’s your sort of thing

For those of you dogs who like July 4, Franklin on the Fourth may be your cup of ice water. 

There will be live music, food, fun in downtown Franklin and then fireworks at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm.

And there’s a great dog park there, K-9, which you may enjoy if the noise from the fireworks doesn’t bother you. And I bet you could also sit with your humans on their blankets. The fireworks will start at 9 p.m.

Maybe I’ll see if I can find Mr. Jefferson a ride over there.

Happy Fourth!




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