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Robert Elias Ballard

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Festus is Now a Free Spirit
By Robert Elias Ballard
Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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My son's dog Festus



My son Gary is blind but has some remaining light sensitivity in one eye and can get about our house and the outside area without too much assistance and we are thankful he can do this much. Gary had a black lab that some cruel neighbor poisoned and we avowed never to get another dog. It wasn't too long that while hanging out at his younger brother's barber shop, the Navy recruiter who was a regular customer ask Gary if he would like to have a puppy. Gary ask him what kind of dog it was and it turns out the puppy was a cross breed between an Alaskan Husky and a Golden Retriever. He immediately decided without any consultation from my wife who for all purposes practical and otherwise is the boss around here. Honestly I get the last word in every argument,"Yes Mam." Just kidding my wife is so much smarter than me and when she lays down the law we must obey, we have found out the hard way, when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

I stopped in to get Gary that afternoon and parked in front of the shop. As I was going inside I was immediately met with a happy half grown puppy. It seemed like he was so happy to make my acquaintance and wagged his tail and gave me a high paw. He had the color of the Retriever and one blue eye and one white eye. We loaded him into my truck and made our way back to Green River. We had a chain and I fixed a run for him stretcing the entire length of my lot at the barn.

Gary named his new puppy, Festus after one of the characters on the TV western Gunsmoke. Festus adjusted well to the country even though he had begun his life as a house dog. He started to grow and turned out to be a pretty good size dog. Last week he broke his chain after being tied for almost three years. He has found a new spot to sleep now, on the carport. He is still a dog and today when my wife cleaned his bin of dog food there was a bag of rotten dog food. For some reason known only to Festus he rolled in it and now stinks worse than carrion. He jumped on Gary and now Gary smells just like Festus. I would not be surprised if Mrs Ballard doesn't burn his clothes.

I'm glad Gary has Festus and with the new found freedom, I just hope Festus will stay close to the house and not venture far and become a nuisance to our neighbors. I just hate the thoughts of having to tie him again. We live in the 


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