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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

NO FOREIGN LEGION DOGS: I want to go to the dogs this week, as in it’s a perfect time to adopt angler dogs at the shelter -- and related pet adoption locales.

What are angler dogs?

They are incredibly cool and compassionate (currently homeless) hounds, ready to become instant family. Angler dogs are marked by an innate ability to lazily lounge with their beloved angler owners, happily taking in fishing shows, like “River Monsters” and “Bill Dance Outdoors.” However, so much as whisper to one, “Wanna go fishin’ in the boat?” and even an all-star NFL linebacker will get bulldozed over if he stands between the angler dog and his boat ride.

There are humane shelter stalls currently filled with fine dogs suffering from domestication turned apathetic. No way to treat best friends.

Seeing as I speak fluent dog-ese, I sometimes eavesdrop on penned up once-pets at the animal shelter. Not surprisingly, the once-pampered dogs wonder what the hell went wrong.

Just this past weekend, I heard a couple angler dogs talking at a packed shelter.

“So, Joe-Joe, how’d you end up in a place like this?”

“I don’t know, Louie. It happened real subtle like. I’m pretty sure part of it was the way I kinda grew up and lost all that cuddly stuff somewhere along the line. Personally, I still feel cuddly inside, mind you.

“I hear ya, Joe-Joe.”

“Then the stuff hit the fan, Louie. The husband ran off with this Latvian contortionist. And the wife blamed me! I still have no idea what that was about. Just like that, she began throwing unopened cans of Alpo at me and telling me to open them myself. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out that stupid electric can opener.”

“I know, they’re a bitch to use, ain’t they? But, Joe-Joe, what about the kids in the family, didn’t they still love you?”

“They did, Louie. ‘Did’ being the operative word. Seems they woke up one day and discovered it was more fun to play with Ecstasy than me. And here I am.”

“Brutal, Joe-Joe. Brutal.”

“But what about you, Louie? You seem bright and, uh, relatively appealing, in a nappy-haired mongrel kinda vein?”

“Well, Joe-Joe, it all came down to fate and the Korean War.”

“Huh?”

“I began life at a store called Kennel Cough Critters. I was purchased by this Korean War vet with a limp and enough leftover Truman-era weaponry to take on the Taliban. But life wasn’t half bad – until the VA began suggesting he try experimental drugs for depression. Before you know it, he’s convinced huge ants are after him.”

“No way, Louie!”

“Way. Hell, I played along the best I could. Whenever he said he heard scratching outside, I’d bark my ass off. It was kinda tough knowing what bark to use against drug-induced over-sized colonizing insect hallucinations.”

Chuckling and chortles from the dogs in other kennels listening in.

“Then what happened, Louie?”

“We were doing pretty good beating back the hallucinatory Hymenoptera until one day he spots a couple through the window and blasts the giant bugs back to the Stone Age with a M1911 .45 caliber sidearm. Ends up shooting both of the neighbor’s Chihuahuas. Which wasn’t all that bad a thing, mind you. But, then, along come the men in white coats.”

“You’re kidding, Louie. There really are men in white coats?”

“Yep, Joe-Joe. They dragged the old boy off to the funny farm. I unwisely thought they’d take me along, faithful companion and all that. I was actually looking forward to it. I hear a lot of food misses the mouth in there.”

“Ended up here instead, eh, Louie?”

“Yep, right as my mixed breed puppy adorableness gave way to pure adulterated muttness. Now, I’m kinda hopin’ …

“Hold on, Louie, here comes some adopters. Listen, do your best to look highly astute but proactively frisky.”

“How’s this, Joe-Joe?”

“Uh, maybe you better just focus on the astute angle.”

“Why?’

“You don’t look frisky, Louie, you look irreversibly demented. Here watch me.”

“Joe-Joe, stop! You look like you’re in the final throes of a one-dog rabies pandemic.

“Oh, crap. Ya think?”

“It doesn’t matter, Joe. They’re goin’ crazy over that pit bull in Kennel 5.”

“What’s he got that we haven’t got, Louie?”

“Uh, brains, brawn, energy – let me know when you want me to stop, Joe.”

“Stop. It ain’t easy being an ex-pet dog, Lou.”

“It’s even tougher for cats, Joe-Joe. A couple weeks back we had a cat in here named Seymour. Most depressed animal I’ve ever seen. He kept sneaking up to the roof to commit suicide. I kept hearing him yell, ‘Good-bye, cruel world,” before jumping off.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing. He just kept landing on his feet.”

Hysterical laughter from the dogs in other stalls.

“He even got me to tie his feet together and rolled him off the roof. He hit like a rock. He looked up and asked me, ‘Am I dead yet?’ That’s when I broke it to him, ‘Sorry, dude, but that’s only one life down and eight more to go.’ He mumbled something about the fall hurting like hell, said ‘Screw this, I’m just going to go join the Foreign Legion’ and took off.”

“Do they take cats in the Foreign Legion, Louie?”

“Nah, not a chance. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him.”

“Hey, Louie, do they take dogs?”

“In the Foreign Legion? Hmmm. You know, Joe-Joe, that just might be our only shot. I mean, I prefer riding the bow of a fishing boat but I can get a decent tongue drip goin’ in the heat. And I’ve always wanted to nip furiously at the hooves of galloping camels. That’s a joke, son.”

“I’ll tell you what, Louie. I’ll start tunneling out of here. Why don’t you see if that poodle in Number 3 can teach us some basic conversational French?”

So, here are these incredibly cool and adoptable dogs wanting an angler to pal around with but are instead forced into sun-savaged lives under a foreign flag. Why not help out. Check out the likes of the Ocean County Animal Shelter (South), 321 Hay Rd, Manahawkin, NJ 08050 (609) 978-0127.

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