While most everyone in Monroe County knew that today was the first day of school and was focused and ready to start their day, one local resident was a little bewildered this morning.
Red Jones, AKA “mail dog,” resident of White St., in Tompkinsville, who lives with his family Josh, Elizabeth, Austin and Tucker Jones, watched as his charges got onto the big yellow bus and drove away this morning, something he had not witnessed in a few months, chased after it for a bit and then stood around looking each way as if trying to decide on his next move.
Red the dog was a stray who appeared on White St., one day and quickly become well loved by the neighborhood children and adults. Each morning he would make sure all the kids on the street made it onto the bus and then he would head out to local fast food places for his breakfast. He relied on the kindness of strangers for his next meal until he was adopted by the Jones family. He now has a warm bed at night and never misses a meal but he still stops in local establishments for a hamburger or some taco meat on his daily commute.
The dog eventually started following James Denton, local mailman, along his mail route and now has a routine each day of meeting James at the post office and following him throughout the day.
Red, affectionately called “Boomerang” by some of the neighborhood children, as stated by Marissa Simpson, “because he always comes back,” made it back to White St., every day just a few minutes before the bus would return in the afternoons and he would see his kids made it home safely. When school ended back in May, the animal was noticeably bothered and looked for the bus for a few mornings, almost depressed, before getting back to his usual self and focusing mainly on his mail route.
He has become “Famous on Facebook,” as someone is always posting on the social media site of his adventures, from lunch at local hamburger joint, Dovies, one of his favorites, to pictures of him awaiting Denton at the Post Office. And as Red has gotten used to sleeping in, he wasn’t quite prepared for the bus this morning but he adapted quickly and will no doubt be better prepared Monday morning.
Red refused to comment when we caught up with him this morning at the electric company. He was still a bit preoccupied, looking both ways-toward the post office and back toward his house, searching for Denton or perhaps the bus which took his charges. He did however pose for a quick picture before rushing off to start his day.
After all, even if he does’t say much, he is used to being photographed.