Family dogs, we couldn’t live without them.
Ours are supposed to be “working cow-dogs” right? And they are, but of the atypical pedigree. The original Border Collies of the ranch are now blind, crippled and retired. They continue to help move cattle when work is close to home.
Our working dogs are an eccentric mix of mongrels: Doctor Pepper is a two year-old red healer, Winnie is a Welsh Corgi and Squeaky Juke Box ( a.k.a Jukes) is a Cur hound.
We went for a family picnic Sunday: the kids, my husband, me and the young dogs.
Driving across the open prairie, several dozen antelope raced near the truck.
Jukes, whom had already leaped from the moving automobile proceeded to gain the fleeing beasts in her tiny, ill-equipped ocular senses, as Doctor Pepper heaved his bulk off the rambling truck bed in her pursuit.
I must take a pause to explain my perspective of this political/environmental/moral/economical debate. No, I do not encourage my dogs to chase wildlife. Ever!
However, the prolific number of antelope grazing freely across our deeded lands prohibit me from wasting my breath to intervene. Heck, the goats are gonna run anyway. My dogs will never catch them.
We did choose to punish the pair of savage antelope chasers. We did not stop to wait.
“They’ll find us, or they’ll go home.” We all agreed. Winnie, the Corgi, relished being our only child. Her premeditation of this outcome is unlikely,
because Corgi’s four-inch legs leave little ammunition for pursuing high-speed antelope chases, let alone clearing the sides of truck beds.
Our picnic site high on the ridge overlooked the ranch and our Private road. We witnessed a White Chevy and a blue Tahoe hunting; as noted by the ATV trailer attached.
We watched as they stopped on the hill where we had left the dogs, then went on their way. One of us mentioned, “Bet they picked up our dogs.” We all sort of shrugged and carried on our picnic adventure.
Winnie scampered a top the tallest rocks with her six-year-old companion both pretending to be bigger than they actually are, and both snagging far more hot-dogs and marshmallows than their tummies could stand.
There were only the two old cow dogs awaiting us upon our return. The warmth of the sunshine had exhausted. No dogs.
The reality was stupefying. We had sat on the ridge and watched strangers take our dogs! Perhaps, unconsciously we had hoped they would. Heck, they’re both obnoxious as hell. Doc, jumps up on everyone that gets our of their car and Jukes, her name really says it all. “Those ____ hunters are getting their just deserves, now!” I think, I said.
But Jeez! As ornery as they are, they are our ornery. I imagined the horrors that befell them. Oh! Guilt …
The six-year-old, and her mother, got teary. I called: the neighbors, the dog pound, the radio, the bars (The bars in Meeteetse are a genuine source of information as to the identity of unknown automobiles).
Lying in bed, I said a prayer, “Dear God, I’ll do everything humanly possible to find those pups. Please keep them safe and happy until I do. Thank you, Amen.“
I began to drift off to sleep thinking, Oh maybe those hunters were really nice and they’ll give the dogs a good home. And maybe, I’ll get a new puppy. Yes, it’s time we went back to the Border collies. We need some brains on this outfit!
My sorrows subsided, I’d given God my worries. The dogs would be happy in their new home. And I could just maybe get a new puppy. I could practically smell the sweet, soft new puppy kisses. Wait, what did I hear?
I leaped from my slumber.
“YBGTRX!” rose from the dark. Dashed were my hopes of a new pup. “Scritch, scratch,” came from the door. “YBGTRXS!” They lost the antelope chase and came home. “God, I think I wasted a prayer. But thanks.”