Here I am again at 60 years old and worried about getting the dreaded "greetings" letter from the president. In this case, I fear the letter will come from the president-elect before January. And it goes like this:
Greetings from President-elect Obama: The new official White House Dog Selective Service Board has determined that your rescue shelter dog, Gus, is non-allergenic status and his lottery number is in the first selection range for reporting to the local draft board and induction center.
You will bring Gus to the center and he may not be returning home with you. Failure to comply carries a stiff penalty of up to 10 years for both you and Gus in potential euthanization, impoundment and/or a fine of $10,000, which will be redistributed.
Now, here is the irony friends: We just adopted Gus this past July 4. That's right, Independence Day. And now Gus has to face becoming disillusioned and cynical about his freedom from the so-called "rescue center" and his rights as a free dog and resident of Georgia.
I went to the induction center in Nashville, Tenn., in 1969 when the president greeted me with "the dreaded letter," but they sent me home as 4F. I had arrived at the center with many F's of my own and I was very happy to get out with only four of theirs.
My wife, Julia, and I love our Gus and I will not comply this time. Gus is a beautiful German wire-haired pointer mutt. Uncle Sam might point his finger at GUS, but Gus is pointing north to Canada, and so is my pickup truck. Gus has a blue collar. I thought this victory was for him!
To my beloved friends and fellow boomers, I want to bid you a tearful farewell. If Gus gets drafted, we're headed to the Northwoods with him.
He's a wonderful dog with only one issue for which we plan to hire a dog whisperer in hopes for a cure: He does not like to get up on the furniture or the bed. I believe we can change that with professional help. From time to time, don't we all need professional help?
Joseph "Doc" Johnson