Those rotten pups!
It's National Spoil Your Dog Day! Plus, we have an update on Temple's decimated bat population, a look at a trucker's familiar art and more.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021
45 percent of pet ‘guardians’ spend the same amount of money or more on pets’ healthcare as they do their own.
Cooper and Dixie Belle are ready to celebrate National Spoil Your Dog Day, a canine equivalent to Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho!
The Dog Day has arrived!
By JENNIFER WILSON, Our Town Temple exclusive
Guess what today is? It’s National Spoil Your Dog Day, and with 77 million dogs in the United States (according to the American Veterinary Medical Association) it should be easy to find a cold wet nose to indulge.
Americans LOVE their pets — so much so that the 67 percent of households that have pets enabled the pet industry to earn a record 100-billion dollars last year.
Here are a few more interesting facts courtesy of the American Pet Products Association:
· 45 percent of pet guardians spend the same amount of money or more on pets’ healthcare as they do their own.
· Dogs are the biggest influence driving first-time home purchases for millennials.
· One in 10 pet guardians are putting off having children (or more children) because of pet expenses.
· While writing articles about National Spoil Your Dog Day, authors receive text messages advertising sales of their dogs’ favorite chews. Authors go on to spend almost $80 on sale and non-sale chews that their dogs “need.”
OK, maybe that last one isn’t a national fact, but it is a local one (and Cooper and Dixie Belle are worth every penny)!
Interesting statistics? Maybe to some, but if you are actually reading this article, then I would bet they aren’t really surprising.
You see, today’s pet owners are not owners — they are pet parents or pet guardians. We hate the term owner. Owner implies a superiority over the owned, and this is just not true.
My dogs are a lot more superior than most people I know. And when it comes to that proverbial question, “If your dog or your husband were in a burning building…,” let’s just say there is a reason my husband keeps so many fire extinguishers in the house.
The point I’m trying to make is that for today’s pet parents, every day is National Spoil Your Dog Day (and cats too, but cats already know this and take advantage of it — why else do you think you surrender ownership of your home to said feline when you adopt one? Cat people — you know what I’m talking about).
August 10 is just an excuse we use so we can go out and buy the $625 Modernica Case Study Solid Wood Elevated Dog Bed with Removable Cover, or the $83 Tuffy’s Dragon Plush Dog Toy, or even the $242 Bones & Chews (Case of 25) Made in the USA Braided Bully Stick Dog Treat because, after all, it’s a special day!
And yes, these are all real products — unfortunately, the Bully Sticks are out of stock at the moment. See — everyone is doing it.
So, join in the fun this Tuesday, head on over to Petco or PetSmart, pick up a shopping basket and fill it full of all the toys, treats, chews, and food a dog could ever ask for.
Don’t feel bad if you run out of time or are a little short on cash — if you want to really, really spoil them simply give them some extra love. After all, they spoil us so much — you know they deserve it.
FYI: Did you know many fast-food restaurants offer special dog treats at the drive-through? Next time you are picking up a snack, take your best friend with you and ask for a free treat (most locations):
· Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Pup Cup;
· Starbucks, Puppuccino;
· Sonic, Secret Canine Menu (varies by location);
· Dunkin’ Donuts, Puppy Latte;
· Dairy Queen, Pup Cup;
· Chick-fil-A, Milk Bones.
If you happen to find yourself at a place not on the list, most restaurants will be happy to cook a plain piece of chicken or burger for you — just tell them it’s for your dog so they don’t put any extra seasoning on it. You’ll likely have to pay — but probably not much. Just don’t indulge your buddy too often with rich food — tummy aches are not fun.
BAT EXPERT: Prior to the big freeze, bats did an excellent job of controlling insect populations in Temple and across the state. We’ve lost a lot of our insect control for years to come.
Bats stream from underneath the H.K. Dodgen Loop bridge over I-35 in Temple in this photograph from 2020.
Fewer bats means more insects
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple update
Bat populations in Temple will take decades to rebuild after a devastating winter storm killed thousands of the flying mammals, according to one of the state’s top experts.
Amanda Lollar of Weatherford-based Bat World Sanctuary, said around 100,000 bats were killed statewide during and after the freeze.
Lollar said because bats reproduce very slowly, it will be years before colonies in Temple, Austin and throughout the state reach 2020’s numbers.
“A female (Mexican free-tailed) bat has one baby every year for about 20 years,” she said. “It will take years for populations to rebuild.”
Lollar said bats continued to die in Central Texas weeks and even months after the February freeze.
“Some froze during the extreme cold, others starved because of decreased insect numbers,” she said.
While bat population growth will be slow, insects will rebound at a much faster rate.
“Texas likely will have severe bug problems for years,” Lollar said. “People don’t realize the important role bats play in controlling bugs.”
“Prior to the freeze, bats did an excellent job of controlling insect populations in Temple and across the state,” she said. “We’ve lost a lot of our insect control for years to come.”
Lollar said bats do a lot more than keep mosquito populations down. They also protect crops from harmful bugs and allow farmers to grow produce without the use of chemicals.
“In the past, bats saved Texas farmers an estimated $1 billion dollars a year on insecticides to protect crops,” Lollar said. “Now that many of the bats are gone, there will be increased use of these harmful chemicals, and that means more pollution in soil and in streams.”
But pollution isn’t the only downside to increased use of insecticides, experts said.
“The price of food likely will skyrocket,” Lollard said. “It will cost more to grow crops for human and animal consumption.”
A large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats reside under the H.K. Dodgen bridge over I-35, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife mammalogist Jonah Evans, but the colony’s population dropped significantly as a result of the storm.
According to Evans, Mexican free-tailed bats are the most common bat in Texas.
“They live in large groups — like the colony under the I-35 bridge — and they are often in public places,” he said. “It’s evident they took a hit.”
Evans said Texas also is home for many other bat species, including several that live in isolation.
“Red bats, spotted bats, evening bats, ghost-faced bats — these aren’t very common and there’s no way to tell how many were killed,” he said.
Evans said crews have found dead bats across the state, and huge colonies in Temple, Georgetown, Austin, Houston and San Antonio were affected by the prolonged deep freeze.
"The cold temperatures were just something that most species and most people in Texas have not seen before and not experienced before, so the impact on various species of wildlife has been significant," Evans said.
TONY MORRIS: I paint whatever is in front of me. I drive a big truck, so finding a place to park can be a challenge.
Trucker creates lunch-hour art
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Tony Morris is on a mission.
The Mesquite-based artist wants to paint every courthouse in Texas — all 254 of them. And, he’s off to a good start.
“I’ve painted 50 since I started in January,” he said. “But it’s going to take another year and a half to finish. I had no idea there were so many.”
Morris, who uses his middle name “Delane” as his art signature, is by profession a truck driver.
“I drive for Trulite Glass & Aluminum, and my route covers a big chunk of Texas — from Sherman to Lampasas and Wichita Falls to Nacogdoches ” he said.
His wife, Tresa, suggested the courthouse challenge early this year, and he tries to squeeze in at least a couple every week.
“My route doesn’t allow me to personally visit every county in Texas, so I paint those I can’t get to from photographs,” he said.
Morris routinely packs a lunch of a protein drink and a piece of fruit to eat wherever he may be at lunchtime. During his 30-minute daily break, he gets out his watercolors and paints whatever is in front of him. Lately, he’s been trying to pace his driving so he’s near a courthouse at lunchtime.
“It’s not always convenient,” he said. “I have to keep a schedule so I’m not always near a courthouse. So, I paint whatever is in front of me. I drive a big truck, so finding a place to park can be a challenge.”
The delivery route brings Morris through Central Texas every week, so some of his paintings have included the Hawn and Kyle Hotels, First United Methodist Church of Temple, Cinemark and, of course, courthouses.
“I don’t always know what I’m painting,” Morris said with a laugh. “Tresa posts my work in various Facebook groups and people identify the buildings in their comments.”
Locally, Tresa has posted Tony Delane Artwork on Our Town Temple and City Watch Temple Facebook groups. The posts instantly draw a flood of “likes” and comments.
His work has become so popular that Tresa has set up an online store at etsy.com where original paintings and prints can be purchased.
The Telegram isn’t the only media to take notice of Tony’s work.
“Tony just finished filming with Texas Country Reporter in March and the segment airs in September,” Tresa said.
Morris’ interest in art began at an early age.
“I started drawing superheroes when I was six,” he said. “Batman was my favorite, but I drew them all.”
His love of art never diminished, and he routinely draws just about anything sees. But it wasn’t until about three years ago that he took advantage of those short lunch breaks while on his delivery route.
“I was at a rest stop on I-35, and I decided to get my watercolors out and see what I could accomplish in 30 minutes,” he said. “I showed Tresa and she posted it on Facebook. It took off from there.”
Morris favors older buildings, but he says his subject selection depends on two things: His mood and finding a place to park the truck.
“He’s drawn to landmarks, old barns and of all things, gas stations,” said Teresa as her voice broke into a laugh. “He really likes gas stations.”
Morris credits his painting success to his wife.
“I’m just a humble guy who loves to paint,” he said. “She says we need to take this somewhere.”
Morris said his lunchtime habit is one he plans to continue.
“It gives me a lot of pleasure,” he said. “And besides, there are a lot more Texas courthouses out there.”
CLEAR THE SHELTER ON SATURDAY
Free adoptions at Temple shelter
If you are looking to add a furry friend to your family, there’s no better time than now.
The Temple Animal Shelter is hosting Clear the Shelters this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at 620 Mama Dog Circle.
“This event helps us relieve some of the capacity constraints that come from the high-intake months of summer,” Animal Services Supervisor Amy Strunk said.
Clear the Shelters is the perfect opportunity for those looking to adopt a pet, she said. Adoption fees will be waived; however, other minor fees — such as vaccinations — may apply.
To adopt a pet, you must be at least 18 years old and have a photo ID.
The Temple Animal Shelter is also seeking volunteers for the event. Please contact the shelter at (254) 298-5732 for more information on how to volunteer.
TEMPLE PUBLIC LIBRARY RECEIVES STATE GRANT
Funds will buy Spanish language materials
The Temple Public Library will soon bolster its collection of Spanish language materials, thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Texas Book Festival.
“Our library serves a culturally diverse community, and we would like to see our library collection reflect that,” Library Director Natalie McAdams said. “The demand for Spanish materials in our library has increased dramatically over the past few years, and this grant will help us meet those needs.”
The grant will allow the library to add more than 250 adult, young adult, and children’s materials to its shelves.
The Texas Book Festival awards grants to support collection enhancement for Texas public libraries. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,305 grants totaling more than $3 million to more than 600 libraries throughout the state.
Share your best recipe for tailgating
It’s still summer and football isn’t far away. Share your best summer party and football tailgate recipes — barbecue, tacos, burgers, sides…it’s all good. Desserts and appetizers are yummy as well, and vegan dishes are welcome, too. Send your recipes, and a photo if possible, to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Our TAILGATING ISSUE is August 13, deadline is August 11.
What’s Happening, Temple?
August 10, Tuesday - Farmer’s Market, 121 N. Montpark, Temple. 7 a.m.
August 10, Tuesday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian Theatre. Free! Second Tuesday of each month. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
August 10, Tuesday - Family Night at Mexiko Cafe. Taco Tuesday and Loteria, a Mexican version of Bingo. 6 p.m.
August 10, Tuesday - One Half the People: Advancing Equality for Women, Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, 10 a.m.
August 10, Tuesday - Folklorico, Learn about the history and culture of Mexican Folklorico dancing! Gober Party House, 5:45 p.m..
August 13, Friday - SmokinMaxx Carter live at Fire Base Brewing Co. 6:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Karaoke Night at Spare Time, 9 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Love Connection Matchmaking at Corky’s. 7:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Broken Time & Midnight Tradesmen at O’Briens. Two hot Bell County Bands! 9 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 13, Friday - Hyway Traveler, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Clear the Shelter animal adoption event. Temple Animal Shelter. Noon to 4 p.m.
Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 N. Main Street. 8 a.m.
August 14, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 14, Saturday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo at Fire Base Brewing Co. Featuring mixtapes of the 1980s and 90s. 7:30 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - The Damn Moore Boys & Co. at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - Broken Arrow at Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 15, Sunday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 15, Sunday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 16, Monday - Short Story Reading Group at Temple Public Library. 6 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - An evening with winemaker Tom Parmeson of Parmeson Wines. Four-course wine dinner at Pignetti’s. 6:45 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - Taroks Card Party and Lessons at Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center. Learn and play the 1400’s European card game brought to Texas by Czechs in the 1800s. 7 p.m.
August 19, Thursday - Temple City Council, City Hall. 5 p.m.
August 20, Friday - Coffee with a Cop, Bella Blue Cafe, 7-10 a.m.
September 11, Saturday - Pink Fishing’s Reeling in the Cure, 6th annual bass tournament. Proceeds benefit breast cancer patients and cancer research. Cedar Ridge Park. 6 a.m. Call (254) 681-0102 for details.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
Our Town Classifieds
REMODELING KITCHEN AND MUST SELL KItchenAid Dishwasher. It is in great shape. $100. (254) 913-8309.
HAVING A GARAGE SALE? Let your friends know with an Our Town classified.
LIFE SPAN TREADMILL DESK: Great condition. Desk and treadmill come as set. $500. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
HEY, REAL ESTATE AGENTS — Here’s a perfect place for your newest listing!
LARGE DESK WITH CHAIR: Great condition. $250. Dark brown in color. Approx 55 inches long, 35.5 inches wide, 35 inches tall. Sides of desk act as bookshelves. Call/Text 254-654-0548 if interested. Can send pictures.
SELLING YOUR CAR? Post it right here!
BIG MEDICINE BALL — 40-pound soft-sided Rage Fitness medicine ball. Great for Atlas drills. Like new. $40. (254) 624-4010
MAKE GREAT SMOOTHIES — Vitamin. Great condition. Comes with two pitchers. Also great for salsas. $200. (254) 624-4010
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL? List it here!
PLYO BOX: Soft-sided, 20x24x30 plyometric box. Great condition. $40. (254) 624-4010
Subscribers get FREE classifieds up to 25 words. Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com
Our Town Deals
FREE COFFEE WITH PURCHASE OF ANY BREAKFAST ITEM — Easy As Pie, 1217 S 1st St A, Temple.
To list your business in Our Town Deals, call (254) 624-4010