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How Did I Miss That? Heroic Dogs, Stupid Humans

I encountered Arnulfo Guerra’s dachshund in 1973. It had the cheery disposition typical of the breed but was horribly deformed. Most of the dog’s nose was missing.

Arnulfo explained that his toddler was playing in the backyard when a rattlesnake came though the fence. The baby sitter came running in response to the cries of the child and the dog. The dog had planted itself between the child and the snake and would not move even when bitten.

He told me what followed involved some serious vet bills but he considered that dog valuable beyond money. Arnulfo’s story came to mind when I saw an Associated Press report. An Eastern diamondback rattlesnake came into a backyard and threatened 7-year-old Molly DeLuca.

Across the yard, Molly’s grandmother watched the family’s recently rescued German shepherd, Haus, jump in front of the girl. The dog yipped and backpedaled but kept the child behind him and the snake in front.”

Blue Pearl Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Tampa soon had Haus in the ICU. The vet shaved his leg and revealed three snakebites.

Haus needed several vials of anti-venom daily at $618 each. Each day in the ICU cost between $1,000 and $1,500. What do you do if you are Molly’s dad Adam DeLuca? What Arnulfo Guerra did.

Friends of the DeLuca family started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the vet bills. One day later, the family posted this message on GoFundMe:

PLEASE Stop and read before you donate!!!!!!!*****Update - we are blown away by the response in the past day! We cannot thank you enough for your support! PLEASE - we feel we have plenty to care for Haus's needs; if that were to change we will let you know. Please INSTEAD of donating here donate to Heidi's Legacy Rescue so others can find their own Haus. You can even do it in his name. We don't want to take this page down so you can see the story…

In a less-sympathetic fundraising, Time reported that George Zimmerman tried to list the pistol he used to kill Trayvon Martin for sale on gunbroker.com. He said he would dedicate “some of” the money to fighting “BLM violence against Law Enforcement officers.” I presume he meant Black Lives Matter rather than Bureau of Land Management.

Gunbroker.com took the listing down, so Zimmerman took his business to unitedgungroup.com. In his listing, he claimed the Smithsonian had “expressed interest” in purchasing the pistol because it’s a “piece of American history.”

Apparently, America’s Attic did not want to be part of the sale. The Smithsonian tweeted:

We have never expressed interest in collecting George Zimmerman’s firearm, and have no plans to ever collect or display it in any museums.

Later, The New York Times reported the leading bid for the 9 mm Kel-Tec PF-9 was $65,039,000 with five days to go. The bid by “Craig Bryant” rose to the top past bids by a very determined “Racist McShootface” and from “Donald Trump.”

Just before this column’s deadline, Zimmerman called the auction over and the priceless weapon sold to “John Smith” for $138,900 when Craig Bryant and others turned up bogus and Racist McShootface ran out of gas at $136,600. Zimmerman was still vetting bids and MSNBC put the last bid I am able to report at $120,000, also by “John Smith.” I presume that is not the same “John Smith” whose bid of $138,900 apparently did not pan out.

United Gun Group released a statement of intent to “get back to business as usual.” My cousin Ray Sixkiller snarked, “There’s no truth to the rumor that the next pistol on their agenda belonged to John M. Chivington.”

The Tahlequah Daily Press reported that sightings of black bears are up in Cherokee County, site of the Cherokee Nation capital. Game wardens have tagged nearly 50 bears and have GPS collars on eight. “We not only still have bears in the Cherokee Nation,” Cousin Ray bragged, “we have very stylishly dressed bears.” Ray decided GPS devices are “stylish” when one of his relatives got ordered by his probation officer to wear one.

Proving once more that viral videos do not respect rank, Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov was showing President Vladimir Putin some brand new toys, heavy-duty military trucks. When he reached out to open the passenger side door, the handle came off in his hand. Putin did not crack a smile.

At the time the video was shot, Gerasimov was Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. That would be like Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in this country.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller claimed there’s no truth to the rumor that Gerasimov will be placed in command of the Siberian National Guard.

Foreign Policy offered some local military brass news. Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson became the first woman to head one of the nine “combatant commands.” The fantasy that women did not serve in combat zones never kept them from injury or aircraft they piloted from being shot down, but it did effectively maintain the brass ceiling. The higher the promotion in the military, the more important that you get your ticket punched in a combat zone.

Robinson came out of ROTC at the University of New Hampshire and subsequently picked up two Masters degrees from Troy State and the Naval War College. While most of her service has been chairborne, she carries a Senior Air Battle Manager rating with over 900 flight hours and two Bronze Stars. “Battle Manager” means she flew AWACS, deploying to both Afghanistan and Iraq.

My Republican Cousin Ray pointed out that Gen. Robinson’s appointment by President Obama to run the U.S. Northern Command had to be approved by the Senate “so there are some senators in my party willing to work.”

When USA Today first emerged with the intent of being a “national” newspaper, we skeptics referred to it as McPaper, because it seemed to be to newspapers as Mickey D is to hamburgers. Over the years, most of us STFU, figuring that people who want journalism jobs have to start somewhere.

This week, McPaper set its quest for seriousness back when it published a story on Colorado’s legal marijuana business claiming the Colorado crop leaks into other states. Probably so, but they illustrated the story with a graphic showing arrows of contraband shooting into other states...from Wyoming.

“Give ‘em a break,” Cousin Ray said charitably, “Wyoming is shaped just like Colorado.”

The American Enterprise Institute is a very conservative think tank that has provided a landing spot outside of government for the likes of John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, Phil Gramm, and Paul Wolfowitz. These are folks who would probably tell us imperialism wasn’t so bad.

So AEI was an unlikely suspect to put on an event to “rethink” the Sykes-Picot Agreement 100 years later. Mark Sykes for the British Empire and François Georges-Picot for the French Empire divided up the Ottoman Empire. Their decisions gave us the fake nation of Iraq and left the Kurdish people without a nation.

“No imperialism,” Cousin Ray reminded me, “no conquest of the Americas. I’m waiting for an event to rethink Columbus.”

In crime news on a smaller scale, a fisher heading out to the Gulf of Mexico noticed a truck parked under a bridge on FM 2004 in Brazoria County, Texas, and recalled the truck had been there several days without moving. Looking into the truck, he saw a headless corpse.

The body was identified as Jubal Alexander, 24, who had been working as a pipefitter on the night shift at a nearby chemical plant and sleeping in his truck to save money. Alexander’s head has not been found, in spite of an extensive search “deploying K-9 units,” as they say when they let the dogs out.

The Brazoria County Sheriff’s office has appealed to the public for information.

The Sheridan, Wyoming Press carried a bizarre report of an incident that left two individuals, 21-year-old Dylan Dygert and 26-year-old Jacob Olson, jailed on charges of aggravated assault.

What is bizarre is that the two are charged with a two on one beating that could easily have killed the victim, Clayton Denny, 25, and the incident is reported to have begun with a “racial remark” by Olson, but the content of the remark was not reported.

Denny, who is half black and half Indian (Chippewa and Cree), sustained a concussion, broken facial bones, and multiple head wounds requiring staples. The claim by Dygert and Olson that they injured Denny in “self-defense” was seriously undercut by surveillance video.

The last thing Denny remembered was being stomped on the head. The police report stated that Dygert had blood on his shoes. Dygert was on probation at the time of the beating and Olson was out on bond, but the nature of the charges underlying the probation and the bond was not clear in the Press report.

“Probably stupid in a no stupid zone,” Cousin Ray mumbled.

By now, most of Indian country has heard of the idiots who got cited for putting a newborn Yellowstone bison calf in their vehicle because it “looked cold” and the predictable but sad result that the mother rejected the calf and it was euthanized.

The National Park Service released a statement that contained the surprising (to me) fact that more Yellowstone visitors are injured by bison than by any other animal. The park rangers found it necessary to say of moving the calf:

In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring.

I read this to Cousin Ray and asked for a comment. All he could add was “Duh!”