"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Friday, December 21, 2007

mississippians and their mutts make the news

Whenever Kell and I don’t carpool to work, I’m in trouble. He usually keeps me on task and doesn’t let me dilly-dally in the morning when I’m getting ready. After all, we are both dedicated public servants who strive to ensure that your tax dollars are going to good use. But this morning, I was my own babysitter, and I didn’t exactly keep pressing forward as I typically do when I have distractions and no supervision. And I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of great stories (with thanks to Fox and Friends), both of which feature Mississippians.

Agree or disagree with the war in Iraq, one thing is for certain: the men and women of the US military are the best in the business. They’re the best-trained, best-equipped and bravest team in the world. Whatever your opinions are on the conflict in the Middle East, our troops are the one thing we all support. In March of this year, Cpl. Dustin Lee was killed in an attack on Fallujah. Along with the Quitman, Miss.-native’s family and friends, his eight-year-old bomb-sniffing Marine dog was in attendance. With shrapnel still in his body, Lex didn’t want to leave his fallen master and had to be dragged away from Dustin and the scene of the attack. He recovered from his battle wounds and reported back for duty in Albany, Georgia, where he was first trained by his best friend.

A veteran himself, Lex has served two tours in Iraq, and still was eligible for two more years of service. After months of much lobbying and persuasion, the Marines decided that Lex will be going home with Dustin’s family to Quitman. This morning, the courageous canine will join his new family after what was no doubt a meaningful ceremony in Georgia. Though the Lees will miss Dustin this Christmas, I am sure Lex will help them feel closer to their own fallen soldier.

On a lighter note (and another canine connection), former Mississippi State Diamond Dawg-turned Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, recently told the Hattiesburg American that his bulldog Boss ate the ball from the final out of this year’s World Series. OK, Paps, this raises more than a few questions: 1) Since when are bulldogs able to jump on a counter? 2) Why exactly was this most valuable of souvenirs on your counter and not in a case somewhere? Evidently the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has Paps’ glove in their safe possession but weren’t interested in the ball itself. Watching the news this morning, the broadcasters reporting and commenting on the story were surprised by this. Come on, any real Bulldog fan knows better. We’ve seen that wild look in Paps’ eye too many times on the pitcher’s mound. Why should we assume his dog would be any different?

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