It’s been brought to my attention that maybe Daisy Duke has been getting a bad rap.

Month after month our clever bloodhound’s destructive adventures are documented and she might come off as a wild child who can’t be trusted.

In reality Daisy Duke is a sweetheart — a goofy, lovable, slobbery, good-natured knucklehead who can be so affectionate.

When her busy schedule allows, she slows down long enough to be petted when she wants. That’s they key. She’ll do anything you want her to — when she wants to do it.

She likes her family time, sitting on the couch watching TV while her step-sisters watch from another couch. Sometimes it takes some encouragement to get her to sit still. Sometimes she might have to be held down for a few minutes until she gives in.

Once she calms down, Daisy Duke is just a pushover. Imagine an 85-pound lapdog. She rolls on her back to have her belly petted. She makes these funny googly eyes as she gets a good rubdown.

But even this has its limits. If somebody in the room has the audacity to move a muscle, either to get up or simply shift in their seat, the inquisitive hound leaps into action. She has to see what everybody is up to because it might lead to something fun — or tasty.

Everybody’s business is Daisy Duke’s business.

Still, it’s nice to see her relax. When she spreads out on the couch, we laugh and say she’s being a “normal dog,” which is really saying something. Rarely is anything ever normal when it comes to Daisy Duke.

Of course, if you happen to walk through our front door, you’d never believe this monster will ever sit still. She gets so excited at the prospect of having company that she can’t stand herself. She barks, howls, jumps and tries to hug anyone who comes through the door.

The craziness goes on for several minutes with everybody involved playing defense. Things eventually return to normal and she goes about the business of seek and destroy.

Daisy Duke has had a few moments recently.

A few days ago, we heard a loud noise on the back porch. When I went out to see what had happened, Daisy Duke was standing next to a lamp. She tried to steal it from the formerly screened-in porch and drag it into the yard, but she only got as far as the length of the power cord. It got tangled on the leg of a chair and when she reached its limit as she sprinted away, the lamp fell out of her mouth and crashed to the ground.

The lamp still worked, even though it appeared to be in rough shape. When I took it away from her, it felt like a victory. I finally got to something in time to save it — almost. I was so proud of myself that I had forgotten about the lampshade.

Five minutes later, I looked out in the yard only to see Daisy Duke putting the finishing touches on the shade. The biggest remaining piece was roughly the size of a dollar bill.

Some victory.

Among other things found in the yard this month were a 16-year-old souvenir plastic Masters cup and a half-eaten pair of reading glasses.

Just as a tiger can’t change its stripes, Daisy Duke can’t change her destructive inclinations.

We love her anyway. It makes her who she is.

Joe Avento is Sports Director at the Johnson City Press. His column on the adventures of his bloodhound, Daisy Duke, can be seen the first Sunday of every month. Contact him at javento@johnsoncitypress.com.

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