With all the important problems going on in the world—the war in Ukraine, political upheavals, and Oscar Award winners assaulting each other on live television—I’d like to tell you a few things that happened last week that you might not have heard about.

Such as Janice’s dog, Freddy Fender. Freddy went missing last Thursday in McLennan County, Texas. Janice printed up flyers, she went door to door, she asked people to keep an eye out. She prayed. She cried. She camped in her car, hoping to spot Freddy.

Then, on a whim, she visited her priest, who had an idea.

“Cook bacon,” suggested the padre.

“It was brilliant,” Janice told me. “My priest said the smell of bacon naturally attracts dogs.”

Leave it to the Catholics.

That same evening, her priest came over to help. He stood outside her house, frying fatback on a Coleman camp stove and using a welcoming voice, saying, “Here, Freddy, Freddy!”

Come to find out, when a priest fries bacon in a suburban area, it does more than attract dogs. It also attracts middle-aged dads, neighborhood children, woodland creatures, feral cats, hitchhikers, escaped convicts, and members of Congress. In a few minutes, Janice’s priest was the most popular human being in nine city blocks.

He cooked one package of bacon and it worked. In a pivotal moment that can only be called “cinematic,” a slightly overweight, 19-pound pug came trotting out of the woods, heading toward the smell of hickory-smoked Roman Catholicism.

“We call Freddy the ‘Prodigal Pug,’” remarked the padre.

Meanwhile, over in Charlotte, North Carolina, a kid named Ryan was given a good medical report. This past year has been traumatic for his family, and the pediatric oncology treatments have been pure misery. Still, after months of medical hell, the therapy has worked.

As of last week, Ryan was given the all-clear by his doctors. Ryan’s family wept so hard they forgot to eat.

The next morning, when Ryan’s family awoke, it was to the sound of a noisy air compressor thrumming in the backyard. When Ryan’s dad looked out his window, a few neighbors were erecting a bouncy house in Ryan’s yard to celebrate, unannounced.

Another surprise came in the form of more unannounced cars arriving in the driveway. Soon, the downstairs was alive with the voices of unexpected visitors, throwing an impromptu party. Hundreds stopped by to wish Ryan well.

“A lot of people had been praying for him,” said Ryan’s mother. “It’s been a long journey for us all.”

Ryan’s dad spent an entire 12 hours jumping in the bouncy house with his children. Ryan’s dad has an appointment with an orthopedic knee specialist next Wednesday.

At the same time, over in Redding, California, a young woman named Alejandra had just left a store and was walking home when she realized she was being followed by a bearded man. Her follower kept getting closer; she kept walking faster.

She became so concerned that she called her mother. Her mother told her to call the police, but Alejandra decided that (a) she was not going to call for help because (b) she used to run track in high school and could probably still run a mile in under six.

So the young woman tore into an Olympian sprint.

“My legs have never ached like that,” she recalls.

After running for what felt like fifteen years, Alejandra turned to look behind her. She was out of breath, doubled over, and her face was purple from oxygen debt. That’s when she saw the young man still chasing her. He wasn’t giving up.

When he got closer, Alejandra struck a fighting stance and announced that she was about to detach the young man’s head from his neck with her bare hands.

The man shouted, “Please, don’t hurt me, ma’am! I’m just trying to return your credit card! You left it back at the store!”

Then the young man presented Alejandra her card, whereupon he limped away, massaging his sore hamstrings and cussing a blue streak.

Which takes us to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where a group of second-graders led by 7-year-old Lucinda had an idea for raising money to aid Ukrainian refugees. The second-graders were mostly girls, although one boy was involved. His name was Mark.

“It was my mom who made me help,” said 7-year-old Mark. “She really gave me no choice.”

The kids held a bake sale. Lucinda set up card tables in front of her house and all her friends made cookies and cinnamon buns. The kids earned enough money that they were invited to hold another bake sale in a local church.

This time, the ingredients were donated from a local charity and many other kids got involved. Altogether the children raised nearly four grand for Ukrainian refugees.

“I pray for all those kids in Ukraine,” said Lucinda. “I hope they know we care about them over here in America.”

Said Mark: “My cookies turned out super weird, and they tasted like plastic.”

Well, I’m out of room here or I would keep going. I could tell you about the man who dove in front of an oncoming SUV to save the life of a 5-year-old; about the guy who received a new kidney from his school principal; about the young woman who traveled across 10 U.S. states to rescue a feral dog; or about the man who built a small house for a homeless single mother using his own two hands and his personal checking account.

But I’ll save all that for another time because right now the padre is cooking bacon.


  1. Old Lady Liz - March 29, 2022 6:40 am

    Bless u, Sean and all those who are doing nice, sweet, GOOD things….just because. We..at least I need to be reminded. 😌🙏🏻💕.

  2. Virginia - March 29, 2022 6:42 am

    Oh, Sean – I just love you! You make me laugh; you make me cry; you teach a good lesson; and you always restore my faith in humankind.

  3. Debbie - March 29, 2022 6:46 am

    Thank you, Sean. Being bombarded daily with current events on the news makes life a little hard to bear sometimes. It was yesterday after binging in your archives, I told my husband I’m realizing there are still many good people. Today you have reinforced my realization of yesterday. It’s good to be reminded. Bless you for all you do.

  4. Kristi - March 29, 2022 6:50 am

    Brilliant! Distraction and change in our perspective makes all the difference. Thank you!

  5. Susan H Poole - March 29, 2022 8:18 am

    I cried, I smiled, I laughed, then I went to find my frying pan and $8 package of bacon. LOVE your stories, Sean.

  6. oldlibrariansshelf - March 29, 2022 8:40 am

    Dear, dear Sean. You are probably too old to remember columnist Erma Bombeck, the absolute queen of hyperbole. You are definitely the king. You are also one great guy to share so well the stories of people you see and those of people who pour out their stories to you. Bless you!

  7. Joy Jacobs - March 29, 2022 10:21 am

    We all need a little good news. ❤️

  8. Carol from GA - March 29, 2022 10:26 am

    Everyone needs a “Sean” in their lives… thank you for being ours!

  9. Robert Goodson - March 29, 2022 10:27 am

    Crunch crunch while petting my dog under the table

  10. beachdreamer - March 29, 2022 10:35 am

    You’re the best! These ‘good’ stories so needed, so appreciated. You touch our hearts with your words. Keep them coming. God bless you…and God bless the people in Ukraine. ❤️

  11. Ann - March 29, 2022 10:48 am

    Thank you thank you…we know there is a lot of goodness around but we are fed so much negativity everywhere we look, so your beautiful column today reminds us to keep seeing the positive and share our best views….and just maybe cook some bacon…it’s a positive!!

  12. Anne - March 29, 2022 10:49 am

    Sean, that was a beautiful uplifting essay! Thank you for getting my morning off to a good start.

  13. Debbie Schmidt - March 29, 2022 11:11 am

    We are all blessed because the Lord made you the keeper of His stories.

    • Anne Arthur - March 29, 2022 12:52 pm

      I second that statement, Debbie. So grateful that we have such a great story keeper. Cudos to Sean.

  14. Sonya Tuttle - March 29, 2022 11:30 am

    You made the song come true!! “Sure could use a little good news today”. (Anne Murray)

  15. Tom Salter - March 29, 2022 11:46 am

    If the kids had sold bacon rather than cookies … we could have world peace.

  16. Sandi Saunders - March 29, 2022 12:02 pm

    You bring precious! Every time! Thank you!

  17. Paul McCutchen - March 29, 2022 12:12 pm

    I loved the stories but, you had me at bacon.

  18. Cynthia - March 29, 2022 12:17 pm

    I need these kinds of stories to counterbalance my impression (derived from popular media) that life is so hard and ugly.

  19. Gladtobealive - March 29, 2022 12:31 pm

    Thank you. Just, thank you.

  20. Robyn - March 29, 2022 12:53 pm

    You are such a blessing Sean…thank you! And the padre and prodigal pug!

  21. Paul - March 29, 2022 12:59 pm

    Believe the world would be a better place if all the days news started with the good things that have happen.
    Thank you!

  22. Susie - March 29, 2022 1:06 pm

    Love your uplifting stories, Sean, but, really, the story about the guy chasing the girl? Kinda an old one, and when he coulda just yelled to her about forgetting her credit card and waving it at her, before she felt compelled to run from him??

  23. Jan - March 29, 2022 1:09 pm

    Love this!

  24. Tess - March 29, 2022 1:13 pm

    We need more columns like this in today’s world.
    Thank you for putting a smile on my face.

  25. Leigh Amiot - March 29, 2022 1:16 pm

    My husband and I were chuckling over Alejandra’s 5K with the young man in pursuit.
    Cooking bacon…good ole common sense to the rescue of Freddy the pug! Love it!
    And oldlibrariansshelf, I loved Erma Bombeck’s column and books! I’m definitely old enough to remember her. She thought women shouldn’t worry about extra calories and said, think of all the women who waved off the dessert cart on the Titanic.

  26. Shelton A. - March 29, 2022 1:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing these examples of love in action. God bless…

  27. Ruth Mitchell - March 29, 2022 1:49 pm

    How refreshing! Thank you.

  28. Maggie Priestaf - March 29, 2022 1:58 pm

    My heart is full! Thank you, Sean, for this Good News!

  29. Cathy M - March 29, 2022 2:07 pm

    What a great way to start today. Bring on the bacon and yes to all the positive stories. The world may be in a mess but there are still so many good people with kind hearts. God is good and you are such a big part of our lives. I am grateful ❤️🙏🏻

  30. Jody - March 29, 2022 2:21 pm

    Beautiful way to start the day ❤️

  31. Lauren Lopez - March 29, 2022 3:07 pm

    So thankful for you, Sean, and your gift of sharing good stories!

  32. BEX - March 29, 2022 3:15 pm

    You always remind us of the good that goes on around us while the news touts all the bad and horrible! Keep writing and reminding us of the love that exists in the world and that love will overpower the hate.

  33. Sean of the South: Good | The Trussville Tribune - March 29, 2022 3:24 pm

    […] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]

  34. Allyn Holladay - March 29, 2022 3:57 pm

    Thank you for your reminder that we do live in a beautiful world.

  35. Nancy Robertson - March 29, 2022 4:04 pm

    This just helps my heart! Thank you!!

  36. Linda Moon - March 29, 2022 5:02 pm

    I like the priest’s bacon-frying and the Biblical name he gave to the pug. Pediatric cancer is the worst kind of all and causes teardrops to fall every time I hear about it. I wept for Ryan and his family just now, so keep telling us about the Good in ordinary people, priests, and Angels, too. My brief good story is from a really-long phone conversation yesterday with one of my grandsons and a long visit with both of them at The Pit!

  37. Susie Flick - March 29, 2022 5:21 pm

    Great moments in life and then there’s always bacon!

  38. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - March 29, 2022 6:49 pm

  39. Paula - March 29, 2022 6:51 pm

    Thanks Sean ! Beautiful!!

  40. MAM - March 29, 2022 8:01 pm

    Every day, rain, snow, tornadoes or hurricanes, you give us an antidote to the bad, ugly, awful news of the day. Thank you, Sean, for always being in my inbox every day!

  41. Karen - March 29, 2022 10:44 pm

    Sean, this is the America I believe in and know. Thank you. You bring us hope and laughter and tears.

  42. Patricia Gibson - March 30, 2022 1:40 am

    God bless you Sean for reminding us of all the good in the world 🙏❤️

  43. Bkr - March 30, 2022 2:00 am

    Good golly. I love your stories!! Thank you!

  44. Janet Moffat - March 30, 2022 2:19 am

    Thank you for the uplifting news

  45. Slimpicker - March 30, 2022 3:37 am

    Sean, you hit the trifecta of story telling. Bacon, dogs, & children. Great job!

  46. Diana - March 30, 2022 3:55 am

    I know people who just refuse to believe that such good stuff still happens in this world, and always will. Thank you, once again, for reminding everyone of that … and for the laughter and tears and thankfulness! Blessings to you and your family!

  47. Rich - March 30, 2022 3:57 am

    I’ve been reading your essays every night before bed for about a year now. I want to go to sleep with a more positive view of the world and with hope that I can wake in the morning and see that world as you do. Thank you for ALL the good, Sean!

  48. Life in the 50's and beyond... - April 2, 2022 2:57 pm

    I’m always a little late finding your writings but this one made my day. Not many people can make me cry real tears and then LAUGH OUT LOUD in a manner of minutes. You are a jewel.

  49. Tony Jenkins - April 4, 2022 5:04 am

    I’m setting here with watery eyes from the burnt bacon. I love my bacon burnt, and of course any other way you can cook it.
    One of the greatest joys of life is eating bacon and reading some good news.
    Thanks Sean, I always enjoy your writing.

  50. Judy - May 25, 2022 1:41 am

    How I love thee.

    Thank you for this post. It is an older one as I save your posts until I can find time to read them. I just read this one after watching the news of yet another mass needless,horrible elementary school shooting in Texas. My heart is aching for these families and their loved children. Your post reminded me there is good in more people than there is bad or mad people with guns. However one gun, one assault weapon in one man’s hands killed 18 little kids and a teacher. In minutes.

    Why can’t Congress pass strict laws on guns. Why do states fight to protect unborn babies, but allow gun laws to be weak and give opportunity for kill others and ironically, children that an abortion law may have saved?

    I am 78 years old. I thought it was scary that I had to get under my desk in drills to protect myself from a Russian attack. That was a piece of cake compared to fearing being killed by a shooter and having shooter drills.

    What is going to change our country?

    Is it too late? Too many assault weapons out there for “personal use”. Hunting! Ridiculous!

    Is it too late for climate change?

    Will my grandchildren and great grands have classes inside a vault to protect them from violence and massive heat and storms or other weather related issues?

    Lord help us.


Leave a Comment