Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-28-12
Farm dogs are traditionally part of the rural family. Some live pampered lives in the home, but most live semi-pampered lives outdoors where they try to earn their keep as watchdogs, on predator surveillance duty, varmint killers, livestock herders, hunting partners, grandkid babysitters, 4-H Club projects, and pickup front-seat companions.
But, occasionally I hear a farm dog story that goes above and beyond those normal activities. This story wuz told to me recently as a for-sure-true story that happened at least 30 years ago and involved ol’ Joe, a mostly Cocker Spaniel that my ol’ buddy C. Faren Wyde picked up from the shelter for his daughter Julie’s pet.
One summer the Wyde family had a seasonal hired man, Bruce, and it wuz the summer busy time and Bruce wuz doing all sorts of jobs around the farm and buildings. But then disaster struck when one evening at quitting time ol’ Bruce discovered that he’d lost his billfold and, worse, the billfold contained several hundred dollars – which wuz a king’s ransom for a hired man back in those days.
The whole Wyde family joined Bruce in trying to retrace his steps and find the lost billfold – but all to no avail. They finally gave up and ol’ Bruce resigned himself that the billfold and the money were gone forever and he faced the onerous task of replacing his driver’s license, Social Security card, etc.
But, on the morning of the second day after he lost his billfold, Bruce drove into the Wyde farmstead for work and when he got out of his vehicle, lo and behold, there sat ol’ Joe with the errant billfold in his slobbery mouth and he laid it on the ground at Bruce’s feet.
The overjoyed Bruce told ol’ Joe to wait in the shade and that he’d be back in a little while. When Bruce came back from town, he rewarded the faithful Joe with a big, thick beefsteak.
And that, my friends, is a whale of a good farm dog story.
Now I’ve got another story about another kind of old dog of the human variety that comes straight from Senility Central, which is kind of like Comedy Central, except it features folks with memory lapses.
My good friend, ol’ Avery Ware, drives weekly to see his elderly mother who lives near Wichita. And recently, one of Avery’s best friends suffered a horrific car accident that left him in a Wichita hospital for weeks on end.
Well, to kill two birds with one stone, Avery does a twofer most weeks and stops to see his friend at the hospital before going on to visit his mother.
Well, on the day of this story, Avery drove to the big city hospital to see his friend and the only parking available wuz in the huge four-story parking garage. Avery told himself, “You big hillbilly. Now pay attention to where you park or it could become difficult to find your vehicle again.”
He finally arrived at the Orange Level and found a parking spot close to the entrance of Section One. So, Avery repeated to himself: “Orange Level, Section One,” and confidently went into the hospital to see his friend.
After the visit, Avery found an elevator, punched the button for Orange Level, exited the elevator right below the sign that read Section One and looked around for his car. He couldn’t see it.
He looked at the signs again to make sure he wuz on the right level and section, but he still couldn’t see his car. So, he walked up and down the aisle at least four times and still couldn’t see his car.
Then he got to wondering if there wuz more than one Orange Level and Section One, but decided he had to be in the right place. After walking the aisle a couple more times, Avery had about decided that his car had been stolen.
But then, suddenly, he walked behind a pickup that looked just like his and had his home county identified on its license plate. He said to himself, “That’s funny, someone’s got a pickup parked here that looks just like mine.”
And, that’s when it hit him. Yep, folks, ol’ Avery had forgotten that he drove his old pickup that day and not his wife’s nice sedan which he had always driven on that trip becuz it gets better gas mileage.
“Milo,” he said to me. “I felt like a danged fool. I had to walk right behind that pickup a half-dozen times before I recognized it for my own.”
Welcome to that onset of senility, Avery!
I’ve talked about old dogs in this column, so I might as well finish it off with some words of wisdom about dogs from Will Rogers. He said, “The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn’t go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he’s got.”
I think I’ll go eat a T-Bone. I’ll think of you while I’m eating it.
Have a good ‘un.