Point of No Return – Our world is nuts. Let’s focus on a turkey-dog

Date Published: 
November 18, 2016

Sigh.

Racist graffiti and damage done to churches, schools and municipal buildings across the country. Protestors spitting on the concept of peaceful and lawful assembly by doing their own damage and extending hate. It’s enough to make you want to climb a mountain, put together a hovel crafted of branches, dirt and whatever else one might find on top of a mountain and just trade in this life of insanity that envelops us for the quiet solitude of the mountain hermit.


Or, we could talk about a turkey that pretends it’s a dog. Yeah, let’s go with that instead.

The UPI shared a story earlier this week about a turkey at a California animal sanctuary that seems to act more canine than dinner turkey.

Maybe this is just the act of a clever turkey that knows what’s coming to many of its kind next week. You know — the whole cranberry-and-stuffing thingy. I mean, think about it. You’re a turkey. You lead a pretty good life of gobbling and pacing, and one morning you wake up to feel a bit of a chill in the air. You’ve heard the stories your whole life, and you know this cooler weather means Thanksgiving is on its way, and all of a sudden some people pick you up as you’re casually walking down the street, minding your own business. What do you say at that point?

You say, “woof.” That’s what you say.

“He has been a love-bug since the point of being rescued,” sanctuary manager Christine Morrissey told ABC News. “He likes hugs and kisses on the top of his head and getting belly rubs, which is something dogs love, as well. His personality has been very sweet and he has gotten more and more interested in being our companion in the sanctuary.”

I see you, Leon. Pretty crafty, brother.

Staffers at the sanctuary said Leon was immediately comfortable with people, and speculated he might have been someone’s pet. Their hope is he will have a future as a therapy animal.

“Everybody is just swooning over him,” said Morrissey. “He has just captured our hearts in the short time he’s been with us at the sanctuary. We are so privileged and happy to save his life where so many other turkeys, especially in the month of November, are slaughtered for food.”

I know I’m sold. And now very hungry for my Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkeys aren’t the only flightless birds getting help from humans these days, even though they are undoubtedly the most delicious.

Some researchers in New Zealand decided to get together with local officials to build a small tunnel underpass beneath a busy road, according to another UPI story.

The reason for the underpass? Well, penguins. Specifically, blue penguins, the world’s smallest kind of penguin.

The Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony shared a video to its Facebook page of the tiny penguins using a tunnel installed under the road that separates the South Island town’s harbor from where the penguins traditionally build their nests. The project was a collaboration of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, the Oamaru Town Council, the local tourism group and civil-works companies.

“It’s a well-used and well-traveled road, particularly in the summer when the penguins have their chicks and their movements are highest,” Jason Gaskill, the colony’s general manager, told CNN. “At most of the other places where the penguins come ashore there isn’t the volume of traffic or there are no roads. So it was kind of a special case.”

Gaskill added that Oamaru’s blue penguin colony is one of the few populations to be growing, as it is declining elsewhere in the country. And he believes firmly that this tunnel can be a long-term benefit to that continued growth.

“Penguins are quite habitual,” he said, “so once they’ve discovered that there’s a safe route they’ll tend to use it.”

Here’s where I usually add a snarky remark, but penguins are kind of cool, and I like this effort a lot, so let’s move on to funny cops. That’s right — funny cops.

A Maine police department recently reminded its town’s residents not to set animal traps without a permit. Most departments would send out advisories informing people that the police do take this seriously, and residents who intend to trap animals must obtain a legal permit to do so. But not the Augusta Police Department.

They instead chose to post a photo to Facebook showing a hapless officer getting snared by a trap promising “free donuts,” according to yet another story from UPI that I stole.

The post read: “Attention to all Augusta residents. Our ACO wanted to remind you that you need a permit to trap. Now with that being said, to whomever keeps setting up this donut trap, please cease and desist! This is the third time this week that Officer Chase was late for work because of this well-meaning trapper. For shame!”

That’s good stuff, there. It’s a great way to reach your audience in a way that will stick in their heads, and it further humanizes police officers to the community they serve.

Hopefully, that trap doesn’t snare a barking turkey...