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Cowboy Humor


Drift Fish by Wayne SchererLeft: Drift Fish by Wayne Scherer

Cowboy Humor, by Ben Marshall

It's kinda funny how we can love a member of another species.

We're talking about dogs now.

Sure, some folks like other kinds of animals and there's nothin' wrong with that.

I just prefer to love a creature capable of loving me back.

I have a friend named Ross who has a little fancy winery (Halleck Vineyard) down in Sebastopol.

Halleck puts out a moderate amount of wine each year and Ross still has time to work in another profession.

I always thought making wine should be a profession, just like ropin' a calf should be. Perhaps it is.

CarTrawler is one of the top car hire companies in the world and Wine Country Welcome has been working with them for fourteen years, now.


Anyway, back to my story. Ross seems to have discovered one of the true secrets of the galaxy.

Smaller wineries are able to make a better wine than most large wineries. This is why I never refuse when he invites me and one of my girlfriends over for a glass of his wine.

He asked me to come by recently when he had a problem he wanted to ruminate on.

Well, I finished my chores after he called and invited one of my local girlfriends to go along with me the next day.

When we got to my friend's gate, I looked around for his dog, Blaze, but he wasn't in his normal place guardin' the fence. Instead there was this cute little puppy jumpin' around and actin' like he wanted to come home with us.

My girlfriend picked him up and fell instantly in love. See what I mean about that alien attraction thing?

We put him in the Jeep and rolled down to the big house where we found my friend waitin' for us.

Ross is a pretty smart fellow who says he does branding although I've never seen him near a calf. "So you met Frankie," he said when we all piled out of the Jeep.

We walked down to his fire pit where he had a bottle of wine waitin' for us. "Where's Blaze," I asked when we sat down.

"He's no longer with us. I got Frankie to replace him."

The suspense just about had me ready to burst. Besides being smart, Ross is one of the most easy-goin' fellas around. He's been through his share of hell and always seems to come out ok. "So what's botherin' you, Ross?" I asked.

"It's the raccoons again, Ben," he replied. "They ate half my crop last season."

"I see."

"That's why I got Frankie. He's a Basenji."

"He's kinda small but he sure dances a lot," I said. He was dancin' as I was talking, tryin' to get my girlfriend to pick him up again.

"He doesn't bark," Ross said. And sure enough, Frankie wasn't makin' much of a sound.

"Well, I don't imagine those raccoons are goin' to be scared away by his two-step, Ross. Why don't you get a dog that barks?"

"That's the problem, Ben. I've fallen love with Frankie and don't know if he would welcome a new dog around."

"That is always a problem," I agreed. Then I thought of a possible solution. "I have a neighbor with a 100-pound pit bull. She might let you borrow her dog, Violet, for a few days."

"Sounds a little frightening," he replied. "Violet?"

"Aw, she's adorable," I countered, "and she could certainly help you crush your grapes during harvest."

"We don't crush our grapes," he said sorta under his breath. I ignored it because I really didn't understand what he meant.

"You know, Ross, I'd let you have Clare for awhile but I couldn't bear to be without her for very long." Very long for me would be about a day.

We finished our wine without comin' to any resolution on the matter but we sure had a fun time tryin' to work it out.

When we left I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Frankie dancin' around Ross. "Don't you think we should be able to love other people the way we love our dogs?" I mused mainly to myself.

"Indeed I do," my girlfriend answered.

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