One of the great pleasures of hanging around down at the livestock auction barn each Saturday morning is being able to take your dog along.
Why do we go to the sales barn? We love agriculture, and it's part of living here to see who buys what and rejoice in their good fortune, even if our own grass is stressed to the limit by whatever varmint we're currently feeding.
Or, it could be that we figure we've already lived too long, and if the right horse or cow comes through there, and we buy it, our wives will see to it that we don't suffer in agony for untold years.
This weekly auction is a treasure house for our dogs. It's a dog's day out, a chance to scrounge under the bleachers for dropped hot dog portions and the occasional sweet bun crust. It's a chance for them to get reacquainted with dog buddies and to check out any new pickups in the parking lot whose tires have not yet been properly baptized.
My coonhound loves it. She had done her munching, scrounging and socializing and was curled up under my truck, waiting for me, as we were getting ready to leave. Dud's blue heeler was flitting around in the bed of his pickup truck, guarding against anything that might deign to trespass.
And Doc had a new dog, of non-obvious parentage, on a leash, which meant he was not yet broken in to sales barn etiquette. Once he got used to it, and had been introduced to the other dogs, he'd fit right in and the leash would be history.
"What kind of dog is that, Doc?" we asked.
"Why, he's an Egyptian shepherd."
"I never heard of an Egyptian shepherd. Does he work cattle?"
"What's he do?"
Doc grinned, "He makes pyramids in the back yard."
From the new book, "Home Country," at www.slimrandles.com.
Read free samples of Slim's books at www.slim randles.com.
Home Country is a weekly syndicated newspaper column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.
Contact Slim Randles at homecountry8@gmail .com.