Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Good samaritan saves little Sheba the dog




columnist
        Well dang, kinda nice to see there are still a few of them out there. Selfless souls, we mean. Referring here to Chris Dunsmuir and a dog.

        Specifically, Bob and Marilyn Thomas live on Clifton Avenue, near where it dead ends at Spring Grove, and have a basenji name of Sheba. She never leaves the house except to, well, you know — and when the Thomases have workers in and she gets spooked. Like last week, when Sheba bolted, ran in to the woods. She got lost and wandered down to Interstate 75 where, you guessed it, she was hit by a car.

        “Marilyn and I did everything. We searched for two days, roamed the woods, knocked on doors. We were giving up hope.”

        Then, a coincidence.

        “As a last resort, Marilyn called our vet at the Colerain Animal Clinic and asked if they could put up posters. The receptionist said they had just treated a dog that looked like Sheba and gave us the information.”

        Turns out Dunsmuir and his friend, Julie Richey, were driving down I-75 and saw Sheba. Something in her eyes, he told the Thomases, made them stop.

        Dunsmuir took her to the vet, spent $750 to get her fixed up — broken leg, dislocated hip — then took her to his Price Hill home to nurse her back to health.

        And became attached plenty fast. So much so that after the Thomases picked Sheba up, he found a 5-year-old basenji named Tex and is now adopting him.

        Sheba is back home, with a cast and a taped hip. But happy there are people like Dunsmuir out there.

        Still Singin': Going to prove once again, you're never too old to get drafted by somebody.Just ask 95-year old Bernard Hoetker, who this morning finds himself drafted by the Delta Kings Barbershop Chorus.

        Hoetker, see, has been singing barbershop stuff since 1945 and is today considered one of the godfathers of barbershop singing in Cincinnati.

        So anyway, Don Gaffney and the Kings decided it was time to get him singing again. They knew him from when they were booked to sing for his 95th birthday party.

        “We sang, and he joined right in,” Gaffney says.

        They invited him to their weekly meeting Monday at Harmony Lodge in Winton Place, sang a few songs, made him sing along, then drafted him.

        He's now a Delta King and, for all we know, rehearsing for “Convention,” the group's annual summer extravaganza.

        Onstage: So why, you were wondering, is sixth-grader and former Cincinnatian Brandon Vaughan a big deal in Seattle?

        Turns out that since late April he's had one of the leads in When I Grow Up I'm Gonna Get Some Big Words, a Seattle Children's Theatre job about Martin Luther King Jr. Vaughan, who lives in Redmond, Wash. (dad works for Microsoft), plays MLK as a child.

        And well enough that others are taking notice: He has recently done Bill Nye the Science Guy as well as commercials for Sears and Heintz.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

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