Howard is big dog at TB&

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

When Howard grows up he wants to be a big dog at Troy Bank & Trust.

Actually, Howard is already grown up and he has all of the credentials of a big dog.

When the bank president brings a dog a rack of tasty ribs and a prime customer keeps him supplied with roast beefs, chicken nuggets and double-cheeseburgers from fast-food restaurants on Troy’s Hamburger Highway, that dog already qualifies as a big dog.

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Three months ago, Howard was down on his luck. He was making nightly rounds at restaurants along the highway and roaming the backstreets during the day.

Of course, Howard was mum on where he’d been and what he’d been doing. But from the telltale signs, he’d obviously been in some kind of scuffle and one that he probably didn’t win.

For some reason, Howard found the shelter and safe harbor at Troy Bank & Trust.

“This dog just took up residence in the drive-thru at our main office,” said Dianna Lee and our employees and many of our customers have fallen in love with him.”

Actually, the bank’s employees are “addicted to him,” said Nikki Hightower, who added with obvious pride, that Howard has let her pat his head and she considers that a real compliment coming from a dog that is rather skittish and shies away from people.

But over the time Howard has been “banking” at TB&T, he has started to warm up to the bank’s employees and recognizes their cars when they arrive in the morning and trots out their way.

And, why wouldn’t he? The employees shower him with doggie treats and his wagging tail is an appropriate “thank you” for whatever they bring.

Louanne McCall’s green truck hauls more than doggie bones. She and her children check on Howard on weekends and she brings him human treats – bacon and sausage.

“But not biscuits,” Brittany Duett said. “Howard doesn’t like bread.”

“Oh, yes, he does if you put the biscuits in the grease where you fried the bacon or sausage,” McCall said, quickly covering her mouth on that little slip of the tongue.

But not one of the fellow employees that were huddled around blamed her.

“He’s such a good little dog,” said Lindsay Sikes, with whom Howard has found favor.

Judy Chancey said the dog that was a bag of bones is now “as fat as a butterball” and seems to be enjoying life in the “drive-thru lane.”

“The yellow lanes are his except on Fridays and he doesn’t like Fridays,” said Duett, who named Howard. “That was just the first name that came to mind.”

Bank president Gary Guthrie calls Howard, “T-Bone” which might be a clue that he brings Howard more than a rack of ribs.

And, for a while, some of the employees called him Chuck. But now “Howard” is as official as it gets.

Howard’s future is a bit uncertain.

A couple of people have offered to adopt him, if they can get their hands on him long enough.

But the speculation among the bank’s employees is that Howard would soon find his way back home to TB&T.

After all, at TB&T he’s a big dog and he’s in the money.