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Going to the dogs, Facebook style
top dog
Winner “Major” and Ashley Betz.

“No. I don’t really like dogs” is a statement made by someone. A person I know I’ll never be able to really trust or form a full human bond with. There are rare exceptions to this rule. Were you attacked by dogs at some point? Did a dog steal your high school sweetheart? Or start a global pandemic?

Those are the only acceptable reasons. But there are some that have no excuse. They aren’t bad people upon further inspection. But were we to enter the Pearly Gates together, I’d definitely be sliding St. Peter a note before we walked in — “This person didn’t like dogs, the big guy is making a rare mistake.”

They are very much related to the “I think the Beatles are overrated” or “I preferred the book” type. But those people come off more as quirky attention needing jerks. The person that says they don’t like dogs have obviously been hurt in some way and know not of what they speak. In fact, people love dogs so much I created several flame wars over the internet a few days back.

Let’s be honest – I’m two columns into my triumphant return and my best works are behind me. So, I took a somewhat lazy route and created a Facebook competition in an attempt to churn my creative juices whilst spending 14 hour days in a tractor. 

 For those in our 60-and-above club, or people that just hate the internet (something I can commiserate with, but you are nearing dog hater status) let me explain Facebook 101.

Facebook is nothing more than an email address. It’s a place to receive messages, but on a community-type scale. Imagine a town square bulletin board in 1930. One filled with ideas, upcoming events, news, etc…

However, this bulletin board allows you to sample and sell your wares from the comfort of your own phone. The relative anonymity and, more importantly, distance, allows you to volley such Facebook tested retorts as “You don’t know dog poop from apple butter”, or “You are about as sharp as a sack of wet mice”. In a nutshell, people get brave when there’s no fear of catching one in the chops.

You have now passed Facebook 101.


The Dog Picture Competition


I posted on the bulletin board the simplest of games. “Post a picture of your dog, the one getting the most ‘Likes’, will have their pic in my next column”. My column is always better when accompanied by pictures of cute kids and pups. Last week’s walk down column lane was at its bare bones, the story of two 9-year-old boys and their stash of porno mags. But it was surrounded by pics of my deaf simpleton atop mounds of roadside country trash. So, it flew under the censor’s radar and “Oh my god your dog is so cute” was the prevailing Facebook message it garnered. To keep this going as I drove my tractor, I checked the status of the contest periodically (or every 2.5 minutes for those that know me).

The pictures flooded in along with little tidbits of why their pup deserved the coveted Manteca to a T fashion slot. One person jumped the gun very early, seeing that within an hour she’d gotten 17 votes. Even going so far as to message me that she was excited to have her mother see her cute blue eyed husky. Does she not understand how Facebook works? Everyone knows that a front runner will soon be shunned by the internet populace. Was she unaware that the lunch crowd hadn’t even arrived? Votes before noon are like green Jell-O at Thanksgiving — once the pies arrive, it’ll soon become an afterthought. 

Then a large German Shepherd jumped out to a substantial lead. Though I didn’t recognize half of the people voting for him. Unlike most Facebookers, I keep my page a true public forum in which any and all outsiders are allowed access. I hadn’t clarified the rules that it should be amongst my personal friends. Should I be irritated that he’d invite his friends over in an attempt to steal Florida during this election? Or be proud that someone had seen a loophole and ran with it — the true American way? Many a person pointed out this voter fraud taking place. But I treat my page like it’s Switzerland, and always remain neutral in the face of turmoil.

Within 2 hours there were nearly 100 dog pictures, and people wanting to know the leader. This was the first in many “Why did I start this stupid game?!” internal dialogues. Most of you know I write this column for one reason, and one reason only – to bask in attention. Attention intended for me, not random dogs I’ve never met.

By hour 4 we’d reached nearly 200 dog pics. Even with a team of blue hairs and the boys down at the Kiwanis Club, keeping track of vote totals would be a chore.

Then it took a serious political turn, one involving a power broker family in the world of dog vote competitions. The 17 Likes person, we’ll call her “Lisa” for reasons of personal voter safety, had noticed that one of her own family members was pandering for votes. This person had done as any shrewd dog bureaucrat would do, by tagging many of her constituents under her dog’s pics hoping to procure the votes within her district.

“Why is she doing this, it’s unfair” – 17 Likes queried. I went full Switzerland and informed her there are no rules in the seedy world of canine campaigning. 

It was like watching an episode of Dallas. The incumbent J.R. using his ample reach to stifle the hopes of the younger Bobby. I secretly hoped it would grow hair, but they came to an accord, and it was business as usual in no time.

The morning poll precincts showed we now had over 300 dogs in the running! I don’t have time to scroll 300 pictures. Why had I done this?! A multitude of debates were openly taking place. “You can’t beg for votes!”, “That’s a cat!”, or my favorite “That’s not even your dog!” ...People were using random dog pics? What is happening here?!!

Then all hell broke loose. I was made aware of a fight that got ugly quick. A woman accused one of the dogs of killing a duck. Not her duck, but a duck in front of Bass Pro last year?! (The details of this story have been sealed upon further investigation). The muckraking and mudslinging made Adams vs Jefferson look like a day at Chuck E. Cheese. Switzerland reached out to the U.N., and it was suggested that the post be terminated. And like a stack of papers in the Watergate Office Building, the post disappeared.

I hadn’t tallied votes. I hadn’t saved pictures. I’d only managed to create a doggie firestorm…

Something I couldn’t have been prouder of. By the way Brad Betz and his dog Major won — he stole Florida.

This short column about nothing simply reiterates the opening salvo. “If you don’t love dogs, you’re missing out on all the fun.”

During this stay-in-place party, the joy of dogs has been a saving grace for many. Faithful companions that have had their daily routines of sniffing around the garbage can and putting paws on the coffee table, impeded by having us at home all day. I’m sure people that love cats are even going through these various happenings. But let’s be honest, “No. I don’t really like cats” 

Next week’s competition: Pictures of horses we dislike.


Inspirational Quote for the Confined: “Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.” - Edward R. Murrow


“It’s not Where ya do, It’s What ya do.”