Tim Chitwood

Giving thanks to dogs

Just sit out and wait for the stars — it's Monday Mail.

License check. Were you a Thanksgiving baby? Got a birthday coming up? Got a driver's license that's about to expire? Then you may need to know the holiday hours the state just sent out for the local license bureau. It will be closed Thursday and Friday and reopen Saturday. Normal office hours are 9 to 5 Tuesday-Saturday.

Dogged determination. In the e-mail today we have this follow-up to last week's Monday Mail message about Dora, the missing dent-headed dog. She's an 18-month-old, tan, shepherd and pit bull mix, still bearing the concave mark of an injury she got as a puppy. If you see her, call Blaire Enfinger at 706-615-3708.

Blaire sends this addendum:

Dora cannot keep a collar on. She has buried four of her collars in our backyard, so she has no identification. Also, she is very skittish around people, but will come to the sound of a woman's voice.

Thanks again, Tim. Have a great day! Blaire Enfinger

Dear Blaire: That's the way I feel around people, too.

Home boy. Here's another dog tale:

Dear Tim, If you need another "dog" story, consider this one.

Crispness filled the autumn air, and my brother Jack said, "Let's take a hike." Woods were nearby, and I was certainly game. There was no way to escape taking our German shepherd Toby with us. He liked to hike, too.

For hours we skipped rocks across the lake, climbed trees, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We were so engulfed in our good times we didn't realize the sun setting, and the oncoming of darkness. Jack said, "We'd better head home." But which way washome? When we passed the same cottonwood tree three times, we knew we were lost. Crispness had turned tobitter cold. Dusk was turning to darkness. We fantasized we'd be dead by morning.

My brother asked me, "When Toby follows us to school, and we tell him to 'Go home,' doesn't he go home?" I answered "Yes." Jack commanded Toby to "Go home!"

Toby "lit out" through the woods and led us from the cold and blackness to the warmth and light of home.

Dogs don't have souls I know, but they do have feelings of pain, joy, hurt and gladness. But I thank God they are obedient, too. Who knows, 72 years ago, my brother and I might have died in the coldness and blackness of that icy fall of1935. O.L. Gilstrap, Phenix City

Dear O.L.: So no one would have come looking for you, huh? Well, at least the dog would have made it home OK. Are you sure dogs don't have souls? They're more soulful than some people I know.