Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Boomer and Bernie

This next story is too good for me not to post it. My lifelong friend, Signa Jean, forwarded it to me today. It is a window into the world I left behind 25 years ago. Signa Jean and her family have been our best friends for 40 years and all are now part of the family because their son married our daughter and the happy twosome live a few blocks away. We were part of that cowboy community in South Dakota, when we left for greener pastures 27 years ago. We made a brief stop in Odessa Texas, for two years and then on to New England for the rest of our lives. This story was from Cowboy Historian and Poet Baxter Black and I am sure he is a friend of Sig and her husband Dale. I've become a bit of a stuffed shirt since moving to NE and this story brought a bit of it, The cowboy life, back to me. Enjoy!

Boomer and Bernie
There's been a gradual change in the way we cowboys do things. It's come over a period of years and coincides with anti-smoking regulations, a healthier diet, mandatory seat belts, bull riders wearing helmets, gentle horse training, improved cattle handling techniques, and now allowing our dogs free run of the pickup bed when we go to town.

It was a long time before I conceded that chaining my dog in the back was the right thing to do. It was about the time I quit speeding, chewing Copenhagen and started taking an aspirin a day. As the loss of my individual freedoms began piling up, I felt less need to let my dog enjoy one of his favorite things: riding unfettered in the back of the pickup.

Bernie, too, had faced the same decisions to do what is begrudgingly safer, but usually not as much fun. In his case, he lets his good cow-dog Boomer ride in the front of the cab with him. Boomer liked it as long as he could have his window down far enough to hang out his head. One fine New Mexico morning they were driving down the Dexter highway, Bernie on the cell phone and Boomer taking in the scenery. Traffic was busy and Bernie was smack dab in the ;middle of a verbal therapy session with his banker. Suddenly the cab filled with a blizzard of old receipts, magazine scraps, ear tags, Maalox pills and a roll of survey tape.
His first thought was that Boomer had hit the electric window all the way open at 45 mph! But no, Boomer's hindquarters from the neck down ws a furious flailing of limbs scattering everything on the seat and dashboard into the air! He realized immediately that Boomer had stepped on the electric window button, but he had closed it on his neck! Bernie fought for control of his vehicle, the cellphone and the mad dog amidst the hurricane of trash that filled the air!

Then, Boomer lost control of his bowels. Digested dog chow, in several stages of viscosity joined the airborne contents in the dog blender. Swerving on the shoulder, Bernie jumped out, raced around and jerked open the door. Boomer was still attached and smacked him on the face! As Boomer dangled momentarily, a passing motorist screamed "Dog abuser!" and made an obscene gesture.

Well, Boomer got saved and Bernie now chains him in the back. He bought a gross of air fresheners to hang on the rearview mirror that smells like cooking broccoli and he is a changed man. Kinder and gentler, but more practical. Yet, the profound question that lingers in his mind every time he climbs into the pickup is, "Why didn't I lower the window from the driver's side?" Maybe it was some deep man-animal bonding conflict, or perhaps simply his vision was blurred.


Kuanyin said...

I was searching around for blogs to tag today, and I discovered yours! You've been blogging a long time...good work! Anyways...I'm tagging you from my blog to write 8 Random Things about Yourself...you can read the instructions on my blog The Art of Living and Dying!

keewee said...

Poor Boomer, and yes, it was definitely time to chain him in the back.
I haven't written a story in a while, too many other things to do, including getting our Fishin' Club's cook book to the publisher, which happens this Wednesday.

T. F. Stern said...

I haven't left a comment here in a while and didn't want you to think I'd fallen off the edge of the world.

People who don't have animals in their lives are missing out on some of the neatest experiences and emotional ties which make being human what its supposed to be, a roller coaster with unexpected turns at each moment. Thanks for sharing this.

Cookie..... said...

Great read amigo....Being a dog owner myself...with a pick up as well...I can really appreciate that story..... ;-)