I imagined that was the thought bubble above Pepper Jack’s head when I pushed him out the front door of the Clarkston Zoo Tuesday morning. 

I’m sure the pup wasn’t happy with me. Heck, I wasn’t pleased that I was outside and not underneath my weighted blanket.

It was utterly cold New Year’s Day. I know, I live in Alaska but in my 13 years in Kodiak, I don’t remember many single-digit temperature days. Tuesday was one of them.   

While Pepper Jack shivered in the frigid temperatures, his pal — at least I think they have bonded — Cody the dog frolicked in the snow that remained on the frozen tundra from the Christmas Blizzard.

We have learned a lot about Cody since bringing him into the Zoo a week ago. 

The animal shelter boss said he was 7 years old, but I beg to differ. The pooch acts more like a puppy. The guy does not sit still. More energy than Gizmo ever had.   

He loves toys and has scattered them all over the apartment. I’m thinking of renaming him squeakers because he randomly picks up a toy and squeaks it for minutes.  

He enjoys annoying Shadow the cat, chasing her through the apartment, and often cornering her in the bathroom.

He likes peeking into the ferret mansion and poking Otis and Luna with his big mittens. We have yet to let the ferrets lose with Cody in the room. 

He is a tremendous dog investigator, putting his white claws on everything, including the kitchen counter. I found him underneath the ferret cage Thursday morning.  

And this just in from Lady Human ... “OMG. Cody’s farts smell awful!!!”

It’s a good thing my sniffer stopped working years ago.

With all of Cody’s quirks, he does have plenty of positive traits — his midnight bathroom breaks are quick, he stays in bed until I get up and, the best of all, greets me when I get home. However, he jumps on Lady Human first. We will have to work on that if he remains a member of the Zoo. I’ll let you know if that happens in a few weeks.  

Back to the cold. After walking the dogs, I covered Kodiak’s annual polar plunge at Mill Bay Beach. I was sure the bitter weather would keep people away. Boy, was I wrong. More than 50 people ran into the water. Most ran out as soon as they got in, but there were a few who tested the limits. One guy was shoulder-deep in water for nearly 4 minutes, while another guy thought it was lap swim. 

My toes are still icebergs just from watching them. 



Week 17 was not kind to me as I posted a 2-3 record. I finished the regular season with a 44-30 mark. 

The playoffs begin this weekend with four games.  



I’ve become a fan of Buffalo this season. Josh Allen is a budding star and can win games with his legs and arm, while the defensive unit can be dominant. 

Clarkston: Bills



The Browns, Buccaneers and Patriots are the only teams to have not played on Wild Card Weekend since 2010. 

That changes Saturday when the Patriots play in the opening round for the first time since 2009. That year, they lost to Baltimore 33-14. 

The Titans are playing well, which makes this a trendy upset pick. I like Derrick Henry and young superstar wide receiver AJ Brown, but I’m not buying it. This is Tom Brady and Bill Bellichick. 

Clarkston: Patriots



The NFC is so strong this season that 13-win New Orleans is hosting a wild card game. Crazy. 

Minnesota has talent, but the Saints are hard to beat at home. 

Clarkston: Saints



I was asked earlier this week if I was still upset about Seattle’s close loss to San Francisco that gave the 49ers the NFC West title. 

I was never upset; I was encouraged by the fact that the Seahawks were an inch away from beating the best team in the NFC.

Plus, traveling to Philadelphia is a better draw than hosting Minnesota in this week’s wild card-round. 

Seattle has an NFL-best 7-1 record on the road this season, which included beating Philadelphia in Week 12. 

The Seahawks are banged up, but so are the Eagles, who had to beat the juggernauts of Dallas, New York Giants (twice) and Washington to win the NFC East. Now, they get to play a real team. 

Clarkston: Seahawks 


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