By MARINA WATERS
The Herald & Tribune is usually delivered by mail or newspaper carrier, but for Mac and Judy McAdam, their weekly copy is delivered directly to their easy chair via 10-year-old collie mix, George.
George waits every morning for the newspaper carrier to drive through Ida Sue Drive in Jonesborough where he grabs the local paper and takes it to his owners as he has for more than 10 years
“He actually taught himself to do it,” Judy said. “The woman we got him from told us he liked to carry a stick. So we let him carry a stick around, but then he wasn’t happy with that.
“Then we read somewhere that some dogs should have jobs.”
Learning to fetch the paper was no task for this canine; George’s family said he even carries the mail, groceries and any delivered packages.
“We come home with the groceries and he comes right out of the door to meet us,” Mac said. “We give him a can of beans or a can of soup and he’ll bring it in. Sometimes he’ll come in and drop them and then sometimes he comes in and keeps them in his mouth for ransom to make sure he gets his pay.”
George was adopted from a no-kill adoption facility in Greeneville on the Fourth of July almost 11 years ago. Even though Mac wasn’t totally sold on the idea of having another pet after having a dachshund and then a pit bull before they moved to Tennessee, the McAdam family finally adopted George to make their house a home.
“Mac said, ‘No, we’re never getting any more dogs.’ But when we came up here from Florida,it was kind of lonely without an animal in the house,” Judi said.
But before their pup started his newspaper “job,” the rescue dog needed a little TLC from his new family and forever home.
“When we got him, we heard he was left on the side of the road in a bushel basket with his brothers and sisters and he happened to be on the bottom,” Judy said. “I don’t know if that was what did it, and he’s the runt of the litter anyway, but he has hip problems. When we got him, we had to carry him up and down the stairs. He still has a hard time on the hardwood floors getting up.”
To build his strength, George and his people hit the walking trails every morning — after he brings the paper in, that is.
George isn’t the only one who benefits from his relationship with his masters, however; Judy said their furry companion has only added to their lives since they adopted him.
“He has been just a love for us. It’s company; it gives you something else to think about other than yourself I think,” Judy said. “With him, it’s a little bit more than that because he runs our lives.”
“I said to Judy, ‘We’re 62 -years-old. He may outlive us.’ And he really could,” Mac said. I didn’t really know if we needed another dog, but he’s been a great guy.”
Now, when George isn’t bringing the paper to his masters, he can be found lounging in the front yard, waiting on visitors. Whether he’s laying in the yard waiting on a small white mail truck to roll by or sleeping by Mac and Judy’s feet, this fury part of the family loves his job as part newspaper delivery service and part pet.
George might make life a little easier for his owners by fetching the newspaper, but more than that, both Mac and George are just happy to have their companion — and a pet to hold and love and call “George.”
“We named him George because of Bugs Bunny and the abominable snowman,” Judy explained. “He picks up Bugs Bunny and he says, ‘I’m gonna hold you and kiss you and love you and hold you tight.’
“And he squeezes him and says, “‘And call you George.’”