In the doghouse |

In the doghouse

There has been a rather large influx of people into the cattle business in my state recently. The new folks want to be stockmen but they don’t really care to own any cows. You see, they passed a law in California that made it illegal for a dog to ride in the back of a pickup unless the dog is kept in a kennel. But dogs that belong to stockmen are exempt from the law.

In just one week I had my fence stretchers, salt block and all the empty beer cans stolen out of the back of my truck by would-be-cowboys who needed proof. Right now there is probably an electrician driving around with my beer cans and his illegal-Beagle in the back of his truck. I understand the sale of cowboy hats and four wheel drive flat-bed pickups has skyrocketed. Contractor-cowboys are joining the state cattlemen’s association just so they can get a decal so they can  prove they are stockmen and haul their dogs in the back.

I did not buy a kennel for my dog Aussie because they cost more than she did and because I am a bonafide stockman, or so I thought. The local gestapo didn’t think so because he pulled me over. I was in the doghouse because my dog wasn’t.

“You know it’s illegal to have a dog in the back of your truck unless you are a cowboy,” warned the cop.

“But I am a stockman officer.”

“You can’t fool me. You are wearing a ballcap, you don’t have a cattleman’s decal and there aren’t any beer cans in the bed of your truck. And you are telling me you are a stockman. Ha, ha, ha.”

“But officer, somebody stole my beer cans. And who do you think I am going to feed those 12 bales of hay to that my dog is perched on.”

“You can’t fool me, that is just window dressing. How stupid do you think I am? If that ugly mutt of yours is a stock dog I’ll eat that hay.”

I had to admit he had a valid point there. Much to my dismay he wrote me up and gave me a warning. “Don’t let me catch you again. Either get a kennel or let the dog ride up front with you.”

Not long after that incident we were cruising, my dog up front and my wife in the back of the truck. (There are no laws yet saying that a wife has to be incarcerated in a kennel.) 

I  looked in my rear view mirror and saw one very mad wife and that same officer attempting to pull me over again. Just then I realized that I was breaking another law that the state had just passed. Aussie was not wearing her seat belt. She never did like it, she thought it was too confining. Realizing that it was a $250 fine if the cop caught me without my passenger being buckled up, I struggled with my outlaw dog to hide her under my coat. Aussie was putting up a fight and as I fought with her it caused me to drive in somewhat of an erratic manner. I finally got her concealed under my jacket just as the cop got me pulled over.

“Hello, officer,” I said as I struggled to keep Aussie hidden under my jacket. Being confined in a such a dark space must have scared the heck and other things out of her because I soon felt a moist and warm sensation under my jacket.

“You sure were driving funny,” said the patrolman. “Have you been drinking?”

“Of course not, sir. I don’t drink.”

“Well, what is that you are trying to hide?” He drew his hand across the moist spot on my jacket, put his finger under his nose, took a long whiff and tasted it with his thumb. “Smells and tastes like cheap, white wine to me.” he scolded.

“No… expensive Kelpie dog,” I smugly replied.

More Like This, Tap A Topic
Lee Pitts

See more