You see them everywhere in Lubbock. In vacant lots, undeveloped farm land, and The Buddy Holly Recreation Area. They are the unofficial/official rodent of the South Plains.

The Prairie Dog. Our underground neighbors add a level of playfulness and a sense of nature to our urban areas. Yep, four pounds of West Texas cuteness.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

I personally have, on more than one occasion, just parked the car at Llano Estacado Lake and watched these little scamps go about their busy day of foraging and watching protectively over their burrows. Even though you and I know that they have nothing to fear from man, our local prairie pups are always a little skittish whenever people get too close. Although with the sheer population of prairie dogs at the park, they tend at times to simply go about their business, even in the presence of picnickers and sightseers. I'd imagine that they know they have us outnumbered.

Lance Ballance, Townsquare Media

Cuteness, right?

On this Groundhog Day (February 2nd), I think we all know that the lovable, productive Prairie Dog is exponentially cuter than any stupid groundhog.

via GIPHY

Personally, I think the whole Punxsutawney Phil scene is completely played out. After all, dude has a nicer house than I do at this point.

The Punxsutawney Spirit via Facebook

Perhaps it's time that we in West Texas take the mantle and anoint our own Groundhog Day tradition. After all, other states have such representatives as "Buckeye Chuck" from Ohio, so there's no reason we shouldn't place our trust in a homegrown rodent with fierce predictability skills. We've even got a great name for him already:

Lubbock Buck

When he comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of dust.

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