Hanks: Going to the dogs | TheFencePost.com

Hanks: Going to the dogs

Gentle readers, I think we have already gone to the dogs. Yep, I really do. I believe today's dogs are more human than we ever thought they might become.

I mean they have gone from that Irish Setter from yesteryear laying in front of the fireplace to living in the home just like people. Many times they sleep not on the bed but in the bed and I see some that I swear are driving the family's SUV.

Oooops, time out here. Some of you thought I was going somewhere else with this column but this is really about dogs and maybe even cats. I see more dogs out walking their masters these days than ever before. Why, they even have day care centers, dog parks, some cafes where you can bring your dog in.

I saw a woman letting her little mutt eat off of her fork at the table. Dogs have the run of the place and I believe that they are being shown more love and respect than even some spouses. That's true. I have seen custody fights in court over who gets to keep the dog or dogs. It is a dog day afternoon for sure.

I did a little research to see if ole Fido was still man's best friend or maybe Estelle, the cat, was favored more.

Here's what I found: dogs are still king but only in certain places in America. It seems like folks back East and maybe some northeasterners favor the cat slightly more than they do Herbie. On the other hand, down south and in the western and south-western states, Bo is still the favorite.

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Have you ever seen a cowboy ride out to check cattle with a cat or two trotting along beside him? Forever more, isn't that about the silliest thing ya ever heard? Actually, it happened to yours truly. I ain't makin' this up.

"Little Miss Martha" told me that one time when we were operating a ranch at Alanreed, Texas, that one morning as I rode out to check cattle she noticed not only our dog, but the family cat and the kid's pet goat trailing along behind me. They stayed with me for a good 50 yards or so and I didn't even know they were back there. I reckon it could happen, right?

The plains Indians always had lots of dogs hanging out with the tribes. The Indians moved a lot. They needed more grass for their horses, better hunting and better shelter at times.

There were those times when the game was not abundant and moving didn't solve the problems so "hot dogs" were on the menu and not the kind we are accustomed to. They had to eat their dogs in order to keep from starving to death.

I would almost bet ya there is not one of you out there that would even consider eating your faithful dog. You would rather starve.

I really like dogs. I always have and have had a bunch of different dogs on the ranches over these years. I am just not one of those that likes to have a dog in the house, even though Martha and I did when first married.

Some dogs these days are replacing kids out of the nest. They are wonderful companions for old folks and well, for anybody I reckon. Dogs deserve all the kindness and love we can bestow on them. I have never been a fan of bad dogs.

Those dogs the drug dealers always have chained up in the front yard. Yep, Pit Bulls. My research has proven my fear of those dogs. Hey, I know, I know. If you train them from pups to be gentle they can be very sweet and loving. Yes, I know all of that and I also know that they are only 6 percent of the dog population and responsible for over 51 percent of all dog bites, according to research done by a children's hospital back east.

I wrote once about a rich lady rancher that moved to Lubbock, Texas, bought a mansion and filled it with several hundred cats. How are ya gonna' beat that?

Say friends, thanks for all the calendar orders and the wonderful messages. I appreciate y'all more than you know. I still have ample calendars ready to ship.

So, stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, give ol' Prince a little extra steak tonight and I'll c. y'all, all y'all. ❖