Posted 10/13/15 (Tue)
I’m a Facebook guy. As I said before, I don’t use it a lot. But it is a nice way to catch up on who has cats, which had a baby, and what your grandkids are doing. But I used it for an emergency this week. I’ll start at the beginning.
You can usually tell how good an animal is going to be, by how susceptible it is to injury. If the animal in question is a good running horse, it will paw through a fence and damn near cut a foot off. If it is a slow, hammer-headed horse that will kick you when you walk by, you can run him through a junkyard line fenced with razor wire and he will not get a scratch on him.
If you have a cat that is a good mouser, it will get run over crossing the road, ran through a hay cutter, or the blue heeler dog will practice fetch with it.
A good bucking horse will get dinged up on a chute gate, or pick up a stone and get an abscess in his foot. A no-buck son of a gun can fall out of the back of a truck going down a gravel road and be grazing in the road ditch by the time you turn around.
I have a dog. Well, actually two dogs. You know Vern. Vern Baker. He’s not much good, but he’s a pretty good friend (although we have had falling outs). And he is kind to little kids. And then there is Tyke. Tyke is only a year old. He is a blue heeler. An overly aggressive blue heeler. I think that is why I no longer have any cats around.
And until last week, I was pretty sure Tyke was going to be an outstanding cattle dog. And he’s a dang good friend. And, he too is good to my grandkids. He will dang sure chase a bunch of cows. We do have a little trouble with direction, but he dang sure chases. And he stops pretty dang good if you have a loud voice and a stick or whip in your hand. Kind of like my grandkids. I don’t go anywhere without him.
He loves to ride in the back of the pickup and bark and snap at semi trucks that we meet. Which is alright with me. But I don’t have an end gate in my pickup. “Why,” you ask? “Pilot error.”
Last week I was hauling a trailer- load of cattle between Halliday and Killdeer. I knew he was in the pickup box when I went through Halliday and got on the highway. When I reached the pasture, he was gone! I mean really gone. I know that falling out of the back of a pickup going 60 mph pulling a 24-foot trailer full of cattle is pretty much a death sentence. I can tell you that it is hard on saddles, gas cans, and boxes of livestock pour-on. And I knew it had to be hard on a year-old dog.
I drove back the entire route, expecting to find a puddle of blue heeler somewhere on Highway 200, a route filled with gravel trucks and water haulers. No dog. I drove it twice.
But I have a niece and another friend who is a girl (that is different than a girl friend) that posted Tyke’s picture on Facebook. A day later Tyke turned up at Maynard’s ranch. He recognized that this was a quality animal and called around. One of the people he called had seen I was missing a dog.
I stopped there the next night. It was Tyke! A little subdued and stiff, but only missing a little hair on his head and a bit of hair on one hip.
So now I am thinking, there is no way this dog can be any good! A good dog would be dead!
But thanks to Maynard and my “peeps,” he is home safe and sound.