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On The Beat: 8/16

Politics and potpourri By Jim Bucher My late, great dad offered lots of advice throughout his 77 years, some of which still resonates in the old noodle today. A little alarm bell goes off anytime I even think of my father’s solid advice commandments. “If you want to destroy a friendship fast, never, ever loan that […]

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Hats off, Hara

Hara Arena hosts its last hurrah Aug. 27; photo: Jim Bucher

By Jim Bucher What is it about a place that conjures up so many memories? As a born-and-raised Daytonian, it’s always tough to see a piece of your personal past disappear. Too many times I’ve reported on the demise of a local company. It seems never-ending. So, you can imagine the heartbreak this past Friday […]

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Dear Ella, a love letter

The Bucher household always had dogs. Of course, I don’t remember our first pet because I was sort of little, but I do have pictures to back it up.
There was Tuffy, and later Tuffy II, both Boston Terriers.
Chevy and Chase, a couple of mutts, showed up at our door one day and immediately adopted us.
Then, Tinkerbelle the Boxer lived almost 16 years. If you’re a canine lover, you know not long enough. 
Cut now to 2016, and my French bulldog, Ella, is my current best friend.
She’s all white, 16 pounds of non-stop energy, always greeting me at the door or near my feet at all times. 
I’ve written in these very same pages before about her, and the unconditional love we receive from our four-legged friends.
Oh yes, my daughters have cats, though you know a cat isn’t anything like a dog – meaning cats are on their own terms. You want to hold one, but they’re not in the mood. If you get comfy on a couch, that’s when the friendly feline uses your body as a bed. It’s when they say so.
I would never play favorites with my kids, but cats and dogs…different story.
Going on the record to say Ella is the 
chosen one.
Googling life spans of Frenchies was pretty dismaying. They’re somewhere between 10 and 12 years—that’s in human years. Wish I wouldn’t have looked. 
Ella is now 8 going on 9, and in the back of my mind, I dread the day “it” happens: the final trip to the vet. 
This conjures up vivid memories of the last go-around with our Boxer. She was suffering a myriad of health issues which made it palatable to “do the right thing,” even though my selfishness to keep her around by “all means necessary,” almost got the best 
of me.
I can imagine you folks out there, who’ve been through it, know it is not fun to see your companion, take his, or her, last breath. It’s something burned into the human hard drive of memories you want to forget, then can’t.
It’s a damned-if-you-do or damned-if-you-don’t scenario. Should I leave the room or stay? Do I witness the procedure of humanely putting her down or wonder the rest of my life how it went?
I’m telling you, it’s the most difficult decision ever. 
Now, some out there would call me crazy, but you dog lovers know exactly what I’m talking about. The bonds, the loyalty and love are equaled by none. NONE!
So now, as Ella approaches her senior years, thought I’d take this time in Dayton City Paper’s Pet Edition to pen a love letter to my beloved. 
Many times we don’t share how or what we really think of someone until it’s too late:
It’s your human daddy here. Want to thank you for all the great years we’ve shared. Don’t know how I would have made it through without you. It’s been a challenge sometimes, though, with what seemed like a losing battle—potty training. 
And as a puppy getting into everything, you shouldn’t have included yummy cat treats from the litter box. 
There was the time of a communication breakdown, when we ended up injecting you twice with a vaccination that swelled you up like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloon. 
There were great walks we’d take and your fearlessness toward any dog no matter what size, all to protect your master.
Every 20 feet marking your territory with a little spritz and scratching the earth beneath to show others who’s boss.
The crazy thing you’d do at the top of the basement stairs. Dropping your ball, so I’d pick it up and play.
All you did your entire life was to please me.
When I was lying in bed ill, you were there by my feet, or just plopped your butt next to my legs, as if to say, “Life is gonna be fine.” 
The burger we’d share coming from the vet or groomers, for being a “good girl.” 
The time you took on three dogs in the front of the house, their owner flailing and tangled in a twisted mess of leashes.
There’s more, but you get it. You are the greatest friend ever. Even when your owner comes home in a bad mood, you’re ready to please.
“Thanks” is not enough. 
Know this: I will be the best daddy the rest of your days. 
Here’s to many more hamburgers, walks, and territory marking.
Love you, my friend.



by Jim Bucher The Bucher household always had dogs. Of course, I don’t remember our first pet because I was sort of little, but I do have pictures to back it up. There was Tuffy, and later Tuffy II, both Boston Terriers. Chevy and Chase, a couple of mutts, showed up at our door one […]

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On The Beat: 7/26

Who ya’ gonna call…again? By Jim Bucher OK, I’m the first to admit  I  wasn’t really big on a “Ghostbusters” reboot. It wasn’t the female cast, but rather “how dare they even think about touching one of my all-time favorites.” It amazes me how fanatic fans get so hyped-up over a movie. Theatregoers dressed as […]

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On The Beat: 7/12/16

Fire cracking me up By Jim Bucher I know, I know, by the time you’re reading this the 4th of July will have been over a week ago, but I’m writing my column on Independence Day eve. And the bombs are truly bursting in air. I feel like Francis Scott Key sitting in my garage […]

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On The Beat: 7/5/16

Um, go ask mommy By Jim Bucher   If you had or have kids, then this question I’m sure has come up. It did with me, but more on that in a bit. I recall in the not so distant past my own experiences wondering about the “birds and the bees” with my parents. It […]

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On the beat: 6/28/16

Light, camera, Jake Owen by Jim Bucher First of all, show of hands: how many of you experienced the Jake Owen concert at Fraze Friday night? Wow, lots of hands in the air. Know why? Jake sold out.  It was a beautiful Ohio evening, a little warm, but perfect for an outdoor concert. Plus, Owen […]

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On The Beat: 6/21/16

Lion King the first time, the fourth time By Jim Bucher It’s funny, sitting in the beautiful Schuster Center about five minutes before curtain, soaking in the sights and sounds of families, grown-ups and little ones giddy with excitement over the number one musical in the world, Disney’s The Lion King. Count me in as […]

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On the Beat: 6/14/16

Drivers Ed: Enough to drive ’ya nuts By Jim Bucher The rigors of child-rearing. Every day seems like a range of emotions from furious, frustrated, disappointed, discouraged and, lastly, proud. Too bad there’s not more of the latter. My youngest is 16 and the owner of a temporary driver’s permit. If you’re not aware, “temps” means […]

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On the Beat: 6/7/16

Thinking Summer? Then think Summerfest By Jim Bucher By now, hopefully, you know one of our world-class venues here in the Miami Valley is celebrating its 25th anniversary. I’m talking, of course, about Fraze Pavilion. I can remember working at Channel 2 back in the day, covering the groundbreaking on a patch of land in […]

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The Docket: 8/30

Regional police blotters, reported and interpretedby By Ehron Ostendorf Feeding for two The owner of a store said a woman […]

Debate Forum: 8/23


For rent Can Ohio’s national park be “leased” for drilling? By Sarah Sidlow Quick quiz: name the only national forest […]

On The Beat: 8/23

Roadside fruit stands, where art thou? By Jim Bucher Think the older you get, the more nostalgic. Guess it’s all […]

On Your Marc: 8/23

No character like McVie By Marc Katz I know, there were iconic entertainment groups that played early in their careers […]

Debate Forum: 8/16/16


For the love of the game Olympic athletes have big dreams, but empty wallets—Should the government step in? By Sarah […]