Jamie Patterson Managing EditorA family dog truly is a treasure, especially if that dog is just an old mutt.
My husband Jason and I rescued a dog that we found at a Dumpster in our neighborhood. Jason first discovered her snuggled up next to a pile a broken limbs. She was extremely friendly and showed the signs of a confused animals who was literally dumped off.
Jason told me about the poor animal that evening.
“If she’s out there tomorrow, I may bring her home,” he said.
I could tell he was testing the waters with me to see if I would bite on the idea of bringing a pet home. I thought about it but was soon heading off to bed.
The next afternoon, we went back to the Dumpsters with our daily trash bag. And there she was, still hiding behind a mountain of brush.
Getting out of the truck, I went over to her and began petting her side. Her ribs were the first thing I felt on her. But she wagged her tail and nudged her nose against my hand.
“Open the door,” I said, picking her up. “We’re taking her home.”
A few weeks later, she was as fat as a tick. Her coat seemed brighter. Her tail wagged more. And she was the most loving animal I have ever seen.
We called her DeDe.
The best part about it was that she loved kids.
Just the other day, DeDe was sitting in the front yard as two kids tumbled all over her. Our son James ran around her, acting like a bear. Our daughter Elsie kept touching her nose and laughing when DeDe gave her a quick lick.
The whole time, DeDe remained still and steady as the kids had their way with her.
I had a dog just like DeDe when I was growing up. His name was Roho and he was the mutt of Monticello. He reminded me of the Tramp in that Disney movie, only he had floppy ears instead of the kind that stand up.
Roho showed up under our carport one autumn evening. Maw Maw gave him some food but vowed not to let him in the house.
Three days later, he was under the family quilt on the living room couch.
Roho was my constant companion. He would walk with Paw Paw and I on our daily morning strolls. He would sit next to me as we watched morning cartoons. He even liked watching the Price is Right and would howl at the television every time they played the game with the yodelling mountain climber.
He let me tie down my Barbie dolls on his back and take them on a safari in the back yard.
He would eat the squash, broccoli and other food I didn’t want from under the table. Except for brussel sprouts, he ate just about everything.
During thunderstorms, Maw Maw would let him sleep with me. He always sat at the foot of the bed and stood up every time a huge clap of thunder shook the house.
He would let me dress him in baby clothes. And despite the mocking he got from other neighborhood children, he would let me stroll him around in a baby carriage with a bonnet on.
When a skunk tried to spray me in the yard one night, Roho defended me. Getting sprayed himself in the process, he managed to scare the critter away. As we scrubbed him with potatoes and tomato juice under the carport that night, it was as almost as if he was giving me a “you owe me” look.
My summers with my grandparents always included Roho. When they would visit Momma and me in Jackson during the school year, they would bring him along.
But over the years, I stopped dressing him in baby clothes. The Barbie dolls were shoved into the toy box. The baby carriage was put into storage. And I began to eat all my vegetables.
Looking back, there were moments when I honestly think Roho wanted to be dressed up just one more time. He would hang around the kitchen, hoping for a carrot or two. He even began to bark at things that weren’t there just to let you know he would still protect you.
And even though I grew up, I still took the time to pet him. I would grab him in my lap to watch television because he didn’t have the strength to jump on the couch anymore. Patting my leg, he would still follow me wherever I went.
I was about to start high school when it was discovered that Roho had a number of tumors. We were told nothing could be done, and we would need to put him down.
Even though he was only a dog, Roho was my most special friend when I was a little girl. I grew up as an only child, and he was always by my side. He played with me, let me talk to him for hours.
He was more than my dog, he was my best friend.
I think back to Roho when I see my own children playing with DeDe. I hope that they have the same memories and affection for her as I did with my own dog.
As DeDe glances up at me, it almost looks as if she is smiling and saying thanks.
And I know that Roho thanked and loved me too.
Walter Patterson Herald ColumnistThis is the campaign season, and if you believe anything that comes out of CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, I have some attractive real estate that might be of interest to you. It has a scenic view of the river, and the fishing is great.
I’ve never seen the mainstream media working so hard for a president. Their total dedication to Obama is so obvious that it is unseemly. Recently the news broke that the economy had bottomed out and was now making an unbelievable recovery.
One reporter even proclaimed that the “good news is coming in machine gun fashion, one right after the other.” All this while 23 million Americans are out of work, and 47 percent of Americans are on some type of government relief.
What is happening on TV and in the press is journalistic malpractice. The big lie has been that an obscure video produced by a Coptic Christian instigated all of the mayhem that is now going on in the Middle East. The deaths of our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was the result of this “offensive film that criticized the prophet Mohammed.” But truth is a hard thing to bottle up, even if Obama and his news media gave it the “old college try.” We know with certainty that the assassination of our ambassador was the result of a well-planned terrorist attack, and the really embarrassing thing is that this attack was led by a terrorist who was once housed at Gitmo. This attack, in fact, constitutes an act of war, yet the Obama administration ignores the serious ramifications of this terrorist act.
The mainstream media has no shame, and they certainly have no respect for our intelligence. Reliable news is important, but where do you get it. News people, whether on TV or in the press, are no longer reliable sources for the news. They spin the news in such a way as to help their favorite candidate, no matter how bad the news may be for the man or woman they support.
Take for example this headline which appeared on a CBS blog: “Only 15 percent of Democrats Believe Economic News is Bad.” To be sure, this false and misleading headline is designed to buck up Obama’s supporters, yet this article is written as a serious article, one that we should accept as gospel. Apparently, the Pew Research Center wants to create the illusion that Democrats are not worried about the economic depression that is facing us.
If it is true that 85 percent of Democrats think that the economy is roaring along in a boom period, then we have lost the country. A huge number of our citizens are no longer rational and capable of deductive reasoning.
Personally, I don’t believe that 85 percent of Democrats think we are living in a boom period. In fact, I think it is just the opposite. They are living in this deep recession just like everyone else, and they know the difference between what Obama has given us and an economic “boom period.”
Then there are the polls. Let me remind you that you should never put too much stock in polls, especially those that are designed not for the truth, but to advance an agenda. Some polls over sample Democrats, for example, by as much as 13 percent. Some sample “registered voters” as opposed to “likely voters.” Some sample people with no party affiliations who simply answer the telephone. Give me the outcome you want or need and I will give you what you paid for; a poll that says exactly what you want it to say.
The press is in a full court press to dishearten and dispirit you, to make you feel hopeless and convince you that Obama is going to win regardless. Don’t fall for that old Democrat trick.
It has been played ever since “Little Jimmy” Carter was in the White House. Think back to two weeks before the election between “Little Jimmy” and Ronald Reagan. Two weeks before the election, the polls showed that “Little Jimmy” was leading by as many as 17 points. Reagan won the election in a landslide.
Remember, also, that it was not that the media liked Carter; they didn’t. But they hated Ronald Reagan and conservatism more than a failed, incompetent chief executive.
So my advice is to hang tough. America is still the greatest place on earth, and despite what the Democrats and the media say, the American people can still think for themselves.
They will demonstrate that fact on November 6.
Jamie Patterson Managing EditorAs the temperatures begin to settle down and fall makes her debut, I welcome her with open arms.
I wish I could run outside and give Mother Nature a giant bear hug.
The fall season to me is a time of outside fun with cool temperatures. It’s an afternoon of football and tailgating food with friends and family. It’s candles with pumpkin and spice scents. It’s colorful potted mums on front porches.
But most importantly, my most dreaded enemy begins its hibernation until the next summer season.
The horrible, aggravating, spiteful wasp will tip its hat to the world and make its cowardly exit from my world.
I have written several columns in the past about my personal war against wasps. Many readers have even contacted me with solutions to get rid of the pesky insects from my home.
We have tried everything in the Patterson home, but it seems like we have a wasp killing daily during the summer season.
The wasps must have shelter in our attic or through our vents because I kill about five a day. I have actually seen them fly out of my vents, right towards me.
And I swear I have spent over $100 on wasp spray because I am too chicken to get to close to them. I will spray them in the kitchen while I am standing in my living room.
We had to take the kids for a Sunday drive one time because I fogged the house out with poison trying to kill just one wasp.
And my husband Jason shares my feelings toward the evil creatures. He’s just more aggressive in his attack. He sits and waits outside on the porch to spray an unsuspecting wasp nest. I have watched him from the window before. He will slide over the hood of his truck, spray a nest and then roll behind his boat to prepare for his second attack.
But as I stick my tongue out to the loner wasps who are making their way to their “safe zone” for the fall season, I must admit that I was attacked this week.
It’s almost as if this wasp was determined to give me a final farewell with kamikaze effort in our home.
I was taking James his supper plate the other night. Balancing a plate of corn dogs and strawberries (I know it’s an odd combination) and a cup of milk, I made my way towards him.
And then I felt it. A powerful sting on my right leg.
“Something just bit me,” I shouted, hitting my leg with my free arm.
Whatever was up my pants leg just got more angry because then I felt another stink, not once, but two more times.
I flung the supper plate on the floor. The milk cup almost took out a window.
I began hitting my pant leg and running towards the bedroom, yanking my belt off my pants.
Jason comes running out of the kitchen, totally clueless about the spectacle unfolding before his very eyes.
His son stood confused among smashed corndogs and splattered strawberries. His wife was kicking her pants off, waving her arms around, and screaming towards the bathroom.
When Jason finally made it to our bathroom, I was laid out on the floor. My pants were shoved by the door, as I sat in my underwear with my right swollen leg getting larger by the minute.
“Something bit me,” I yelled.
Jason immediately started searching my pants to see if it was a spider.
“I see what it was,” he said, holding the pant leg up.
A neon red wasp was sitting and waiting for his next victim. Jason immediately killed it with such passion that I was reminded of a war film.
I took some medicine and put on my pajamas. My leg was swelling up and was itching pretty bad, but I survived the sneak attack.
“How did it get up your pants leg,” Jason asked, still confused by the scene that just unfolded.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I hate those things. It’s like they are out to get me.”
As I made my way to my recliner, bruised and recovering from battle, James made his way over to me.
My young son must be worried about me. He has come to give me a hug or to tell me it will all be better.
“Momma,” he said, looking up. “You dropped my strawberries, and you need to come pick them up.”
My face dropped and I issued the “Momma” look. He quickly made his way out of the room to pick up his own strawberries.
I sat in my chair next to the window, looking outside at the cool wind pick up a few leaves.
As I welcomed fall silently, I noticed a wasp sitting on the edge of my porch. It looked as if he was watching me. And then he flew away, perhaps deciding it’s best to live to fight another day.
He must know about what happened in here. I bet they are planning their second wave for the summer season.
Until we meet again. Hopefully I will be ready.
Jamie Patterson is the managing editor of The Yazoo Herald. She can be reached at 746-4911 or by sending an email to
Jason Patterson Editor & PublisherYazoo history may record them as the “do nothing” board.
Months after Board Attorney Sarah O’Reilly-Evans offered the Mayor and Board of Aldermen examples of ordinances dealing with dangerous dogs from around the state, not one member has even made a proposal.
With some citizens begging for protection and numerous complaints of problems with unsecured pit bulls and other potentially dangerous dogs around the city, the best the board can do is schedule a work session.
That suggests that they haven’t taken a second look at the ordinances O’Reilly-Evans presented. I studied ordinances and even offered my analysis within the same week. I certainly don’t expect the board to agree with all of my observations, but I do expect them to at least examine the material enough to form an opinion of their own.
After this much time, the suggestion of a work session (no firm date was set, by the way) is just sad.
It would be one thing if this was an issue of no consequence, but it could literally be a life or death matter. Ward 4 Alderman Aubry Brent Jr. has pushed the issue, but he has been alone in his stand.
In a recent column I highlighted the number of vicious pit bull attacks around the nation this year. It was just a sample of the reported incidents designed to show that it can happen to anyone anywhere.
We are especially sensitive to the issue here at The Yazoo Herald because we’ve experienced the problem firsthand. A pit bull in the neighborhood that frequently escapes from its yard has on more than one occasion showed up growling at our employees. Once I caught it hiding at the corner of the building growling at an approaching customer. If we had not taken action, who knows what might have happened?
On that occasion we called 911 only to be told that animal control was gone for the weekend. On another the dog was gone by the time the officer arrived, and he informed us that there was nothing he could do.
Several times the board has heard from a lady who lives in fear of pit bulls allowed to roam free in her neighborhood by irresponsible owners.
What if something happens to her or anyone else in Yazoo? Will a work session be needed to come up with an excuse? How will the city deal with the litigation that is sure to follow?
The best argument that I’ve heard against creating a new ordinance, and I still am convinced that tougher rules are required to deal with a problem that didn’t exist at the time the current ordinance was established, is Alderman Jack Varner’s statement that the city should just enforce the existing law.
That would be a great start, but when is it going to happen?