Mad Jack: Dogs
by “Mad” Jack Hanks
We’ve had lots of dogs over the years and while thinkin’ about it the other day, it dawned on me that out of all the dogs that we’ve ever had around the ranch, there were only two that I didn’t like. They were dogs that had been given to us and both of them happened to be “good cow dogs.” Boy, that’s a laff!
Them dogs would have had better luck handling a cord of firewood than trying to get control of a bunch of bovines. The main reason I didn’t like them was because neither of them seemed to have any respect for my superior intellect. In other words, they paid absolutely no attention to me any time I was trying to get their attention!
We have a yellow lab now and she was another one of those dogs that was given to us. Nope, she ain’t no cow dog that’s for sure. She is a hunter. Yep, she likes to stick her nose to the ground and take off lookin’ for anything that she thinks she can chase. She got a little surprise yesterday while we were down in the pasture. I was busy knockin’ out some cactus and she, as usual, drifted off down to the crick which is just over a slight incline. She had been gone about 15 minutes when I heard her bark, whine and bark again. I figured she had jumped an ole raccoon that stays down there or maybe a rattler. I was wrong on both accounts. She came flyin’ out of the brush and over the hill lookin’ for some help and she had an ole female coyote latched onto her butt!
Those labs are sweet dogs and very friendly, but boy, do they love to get in the mud and water. The ole crick has dried up with all the heat we have been having, leaving that ole black muck in the reeds and water grasses. I went down for a while today to grub some cactus and my ole dog appeared after about a half hour of being gone. She came trottin’ up with that black stinkin’ muck plastered clear up to her neck. She stopped just short of me and gave me a big smile and seemed to say, “Whadda’ ya think? purty neat stuff, huh? She reminds me of ole Odie, the dog in the “Garfield” comic strip, just because she’s acting like what she is, a dog. When we got back up to the house I tied her up and got some shampoo and gave her a good bath. She acted like she was being punished by having soap and clean water thrust upon her, but it didn’t take long for her to shake it off (all over me) and start running and playing again.
This morning as we were leaving the crick, I noticed she was carefully peering into an ole 8-foot pipe that is down in the creek and is used as a culvert. She would jump back, circle and come back for another quick look.
As I got closer I heard a big deep growl coming from the pipe. I knew it had to be a grizzly bear or that nasty ole raccoon. Being a feller that can quickly make decisions on the random facts at hand, I decided that a griz wouldn’t fit in the pipe, so it had to be the raccoon.
I called my blond-headed dog on to the truck before Mr. Raccoon decided to come outta that pipe and play a tune on her head much louder than the ole coyote would have done had I not been there.
Dogs are funny ’cause you can grab’em by the ears and blow in there face and it’ll make’em mad. Put’em in the back of yer truck and drive down the interstate at 70 mph and they’ll have their heads hung over the side a’lookin’ at the oncoming traffic while their ears are flappin’ in the breeze. Go figure.
Well, gentle readers, stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and love on yer ole dog every now and then! C. Ya.
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Of the approximately 2,270 acres that burned in the April 1, 2021, Medora, N.D., fire, rancher Doug Tescher said all but about 100 acres were U.S. Forest Service land that he utilizes for summer grazing.