Judy Tuma says that while the Krewe of Mutts parade in downtown Baton Rouge (held last Sunday) is fun for both dogs and humans, it also offers some canine therapy:

“A few years ago someone dropped off a poodle at my house. He was in bad shape, and heartbroken that his owners did that to him.

“He was trained, and a sweet dog. I nursed him back to health.

“Well, the Krewe of Mutts parade came, and my friend Erin and I took Pierre to the parade.

“He was scared at first, but he then decided the parade was for him. He loved it, and afterward improved in health and emotions.

“The next year for the Mutts parade Erin could not go, but I started grooming Pierre. He was not too happy.

“I walked across the room and held up Mardi Gras beads. Pierre’s eyes lit up, and he ran to the car, turning his head, looking at me to hurry up.

“He ran up North Boulevard — he thought he was the king of dogs.

“We went to the parade a couple more times before he passed. The Mutts parade helped him heal after his bad situation. I was very grateful to the parade organizers.”

Old-fangled car

Rock Ryen, of Slidell, says our story about the “keyless generation” rang a bell:

“I spent several years restoring a ’66 Mustang. My then 17-year-old son Dan couldn’t wait to drive it.

“When the time came he was very excited. We hit I-10, and I asked him to put the window up (AC was an option then).

“He looked at the door, then looked at me and asked, ‘Where is the button?’

“Needless to say, I got a good laugh out of that.

“The real kicker came as we were getting out. He asked me what the little round silver button on the floorboard was for.”

The wedding sleeper

Frank Carney says our wedding disaster tales remind him of growing up in the ’50s in a small town in a weekly newspaper family:

“Everyone in the family had multiple jobs, with one of mine being the photographer. This involved taking pictures for all weddings and other special occasions.

“One wedding I remember was an obvious shotgun wedding, performed without benefit of a rehearsal.

“The minister was quite late, and some of the older members began to dose off.

“When the minister started, he got to the point about ‘Who gives this bride to be married?’

“Silence. He was not to be put off, so he repeated the question. Silence.

“After the third or fourth request, there was a loud ‘Uhhh!’ in the crowd, with some guy stammering ‘I do.’

“A sharp elbow to the ribs was likely the cause of the sound.

“Of course, there were a few smiles, including the photographer’s.”

Stop the music

A while back we mentioned songs likely to get stuck in our heads, and the difficulty of getting them out.

I was afflicted with this condition Monday morning on my way to work.

I had KBRH on the car radio — I’m an R&B guy — when on comes “My Boy Lollipop,” a 1964 hit by Millie Small. It’s far from one of my favorite songs, but here I am, still stuck with it!

Maybe if I put on a Mardi Gras CD, Professor Longhair can melt that lollipop...

Special Valentine

Delores Brady, of Gonzales, says that after the death of her husband Forest’s stepmother, they found she had been saving items from his school days — including Valentine’s Day cards from the third grade.

“In those days,” Delores says, “everyone — boys and girls — sent Valentines to each other.

“One of the senders of a Valentine was Ray Troxclair, who lives near me in Gonzales.”

She says that after telling him of her discovery, “we have been mailing this Valentine — approximately 70 years old — back and forth for the past 15 years.”

Special People Dept.

Joe Kowalczuk, of St. Francisville, celebrates his 94th birthday on Wednesday, Feb. 11. A World War II veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, he is retired from the LSU AgCenter.

Dot and Eddie Bennett celebrate their 64th anniversary on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Over-water parking

Art Christy says our mention of WWL talk show host Bob Ruby reminds him of this incident:

“I think his shining moment was when he held a contest to name New Orleans’ then-new Mississippi River bridge.

“The winning entry was ‘car-strangled spanner.’

“‘World’s longest parking lot’ was second.”

Meet Mr. Essential

Roy Pitchford, of Monroe, says, “As the state budget crisis looms, officials have to evaluate whether employees are essential or non-essential in preparation for layoffs.

“One snowy morning, Milford Fryer was giving me a ride to the Morning Advocate, where we both worked. A radio announcer said the governor was instructing all non-essential state employees to stay home.

“‘If I was a state employee, there is no way I wouldn’t go to work today,’ Milford said.”

Talk to Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.