The Star Tribune stopped carrying the daily Ballard Street cartoon to my great disappointment. It's always full of oddball whimsy and social misfits. I'm trying to get the cartoons emailed to me daily so I can get my Amerongen "fix".
We once had a dog who was always struggling to be the pack leader. Her name was Kippy and she was a small black mutt of terrier descent with brown eyebrows. Whenever we were out walking she had to be in front, sometimes straining so hard on her leash she'd choke and cough.
Once when we were camping in the woods, the whole bunch of us were walking down a gravel road surrounded by forest. Because of the remote location, we let Kippy and our male spaniel Pepper off the leash. As we strolled along, Kippy was happily leading the pack when I spotted a porcupine on the road ahead. The dogs hadn't seen it yet but I knew when they did, they would take after it. Porcupines are slow and dumb but they can do a lot of damage to an unsuspecting attacker.
I told everyone to turn around quickly and we started back the other way. Kippy, desperate to lead the pack, raced back to get ahead of us and good old Pepper followed. Disaster averted.
Kippy and Pepper are long gone now, but they were family members for many years. We still talk about them fondly from time to time.
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