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BOB WAKEHAM: Out of the mouths of dogs

Bob Wakeham offer’s a dog's eye view in his column this week. —
Bob Wakeham offer’s a dog's eye view in his column this week. — 123RF Stock Photo

Several months back — as the scattered consumer of these weekend spots might recall — I revealed that our dog Mister seemed to be in need of a shrink, and that, ultimately, we came to the conclusion that his depression stemmed from having to endure our addiction to 24/7 coverage by CNN of the Trump fiasco to the south of us.

Having recognized our shameful role in Mister’s dark hole period, we took measures to reduce our CNN boob-tube time (filling that vacuum with additional hours at the Flatrock Grotto, for instance, praying for a winter without another Snowmageddon); thus, we saved a fortune in psychiatric care that, we presumed, was available for adopted offspring with tails. It also meant there was no longer a need to send our beloved Mister to Al-a-pup, a 12-step organization that provides help for pets living with owners suffering from various addictions.

(I used the Zoom gadgetry on my computer to eavesdrop for a couple of seconds on one such meeting, just long enough to hear the chair dog ask what life was like for the members in attendance, to which they responded in unison: “Ruff, ruff.”)

But all our efforts went for naught this past week when our household, for days on end, resounded with a CNN cacophony of punditry from Jake Tapper and company, and endless clips of the moronic Donald Trump and the charismatically challenged Joe Biden, culminating in a sleep-deprived period beginning Tuesday night and continuing well into the wee hours.

Mister, once more, fell into quite an emotional state, his doldrums manifested by incessantly eating grass and vomiting in the backyard Wednesday afternoon.

Having been blessed with dog whisperer talents that include bone-lingual skills, I ventured outside, tiptoed around numerous mounds that had gone unscooped for days as I remained glued to CNN, and managed to have a heart-to-heart talk with the amazingly articulate Mister, a conversation he said I could share with Telegram readers.

MISTER: Every single time you got up last night to make your water, you turned on that stupid television and I woke up to the rat-a-tat sounds of that foolish CNN fella with his “magic board” and map gyrations that would force even the sanest watcher into the nearest psychiatric unit.

ME: I’m sorry you were affected that way, Mister, but I couldn’t help myself.

MISTER: But you’re a Canadian, for the love of Trudeau, and, more importantly, a Newfoundlander, and you should be paying attention to, and writing about, local issues.

I hung my head in shame, and sneaked back inside the house for a clandestine look at the latest election results.

The next time I peeked at the backyard, Mister had taken matters into his own hands — his own paws, so to speak — and was sitting at a doggy-designed typewriter, complete with keys that could accommodate his long nails, wearing a fedora, circa 1950s, with a yellowed PRESS card stuck in the hat band, a non-filtered Export A dangling from the corner of his drooling gob, and a half empty bottle of Dominion Ale sitting nearby.

Mister the columnist was tapping away with a vengeance, filling in for his Trump/obsessed master.

OPINION

By Mister Wakeham/Coultas

So, I heard tell this week about that fella Chris Andrews, the Shanneyganock performer who competes with Alan Doyle for the most gravelly singing voice in Newfoundland, who has decided to run for the Progressive Conservative nomination in Cape St. Francis, a district that bleeds Tory blue, that has voted PC in every single election since we joined Canada.

It’s been said that even an old mongrel with a Tory sign attached to his hairy rear could win in these parts.

Well, I just might go to the dog-groomer, and take on Mr. Andrews myself.

•••

How about Premier Andrew Furey not having the guts to fire the loose-lipped Perry Trimper, to heave him out of the Liberal caucus, to share a corner of the legislature with Paul Lane and Eddie Joyce?

Remember Brian Peckford famously saying at his retirement press conference that he lacked the “ruthlessness” to continue as a leader? Well, it appears to me that Furey is barely out of the starting gate, and is already displaying a decided lack of gonads.

•••

My co-owner, that fella Bob, once walked the picket line for several months at The Evening Telegram, even got himself arrested, and fought the good fight with his colleagues against a powerful, no-holds-barred mainland conglomerate; so, surely he can relate to those Dominion workers taking on the brow-beating, intimidating Loblaws.

I just know his heart goes out to those Newfoundland strikers, and not because his wife once worked alongside many of those men and women now carrying picket signs. (I’m told the previous few words amount to a “full disclosure” in journalistic parlance).

-30-

Needless to say, I thanked Mister for his pinch-hitting efforts, and forced myself to inform him, as well, that America appeared to be as divided as ever, and that it may take decades to repair the damage inflicted on its reputation as a country with a soul, a place of principle and freedom.

Replied Mister: That’s why I’m so happy we live in Canada, in Newfoundland, in Flatrock.

Now shut up about the U.S., he added, and go get me a treat.

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 40 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by email at [email protected]


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