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Hercules a bit too good at task of fetching morning paper
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“Herk, ” short for Hercules, has developed a habit of picking up the morning paper, but not just from out front of the house where he lives fetching the Manteca Bulletin in exchange for a piece of baloney – he brings home the neighbors’ reading materials as well. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Losing their morning paper to a dog drew reactions from Bulletin readers Tuesday who called the circulation desk complaining that a large brown and white St. Bernard had just run off with their newspaper.

Hercules – better known by the nickname “Herk” -  had been taught well to fetch the morning paper when it was thrown out shortly after dawn and bring it up to the front door.

Jeff and Tevanie Liotard – owners of Mt. Mike’s Pizza on North Main Street – would always have a treat for their well-mannered 18-month-old pooch, and he knew it.  Leaving him out front probably longer than they should have, other papers were also finding their way to their front porch:  The New York Times, The Stockton Record and the Wall Street Journal to name a few.

Subscribers in the neighborhood weren’t too appreciative of the St. Bernard’s newly devised passion of running off with their papers and several called the Bulletin’s circulation department to complain and ask for another copy to read with breakfast and talked to Gil Pomales.

Pomales contacted the route carrier, Jackie Mora, and asked her to get back out to the neighborhood and re-deliver the paper to a number of customers on her 150-paper route.  Mora said when she was delivering a second paper she was surprised as the dog ran past her and grabbed up another copy of the paper from the lawn.

Leotard, who is a teacher at Sierra High School,  found Pomales on her answering machine when she got home asking her to get her dog to refrain from snatching up the neighborhood papers – saying people were getting aggravated.  

Herk’s going to be under a close watch by the family in the future with them paying more attention to what they are finding on their porch – and more importantly making sure he doesn’t wander away from their home.  It’s not cats they worry about so much but rather their dog creating a bad reputation for the Leotard family.

She said they got Herk when he was a cuddly nine-month-old and he has become a favorite family pet.  Before the current St. Bernard joined the family they had another named Zeus.  Thus , the naming of the second as Hercules referring to the son of Zeus.