January 15, 2009 | | Comments 0

Dog and Pony Show

Written by: Patrick Corcoran

If you look at the list of great animal trainers you’ll find my name. It’s all the way down in the right lower corner. At least it is in a book at my local library where I wrote it. That reminds me my year of being banned from there is almost up.

Patrick Teaching Tricks

Patrick Teaching Tricks

Anyway I had managed to teach my black and white paint horse to lie down and several other tricks. After wowing the locals with this act I decided to work my talented Border collie into the routine. I can’t say enough good things about my dog or the breed. I worked a routine that when I whistled, my horse would come over to me. Why wouldn’t he? I had a rag hanging out of my pocket with sweet feed sewn into it. He would take the rag out and wave it up or down which was really frustration on his part. Then on a signal, my wonderful Border Collie would dash in and grab the rag from the horse’s mouth and run away to an unknown location. It wasn’t planned that way, he really ran to an unknown location. That was his only fault he’s really a great dog!

In hiding

In hiding

A local horse farmer asked me to perform at a team penning event he was sponsoring. I was to keep the crowd entertained while the cattle were switched with fresh animals. This was going to be great! We practiced all week. The only problem in rehearsal was finding the dog after every attempt. This limited practice time. Yes, he went that far! But he’s a great dog. Really!

The day of our big performance arrived. I teased the horse with sweet feed and agitated the dog into a frenzy! When it was time to switch the cattle, the owner of the property gave me a nod. I entered the arena with a horse going through withdraw and a neurotic dog running in circles looking for something to chase.

I positioned the horse by the rail and I walked toward the center of the arena. The people on the rails were horse owners who more than likely had their hands and pockets lined with sweet feed sometime during that evening. Or earlier that week but I don’t judge on hygiene.

I whistled for the horse but he turned toward the smell of the feed and began nuzzling people along the rail!

I went into my professional animal trainer mode or panic if you prefer. I whistled louder for him. That’s like finding out someone doesn’t speak your language so you talk louder and directly into their ear. It doesn’t work.

The dog was confused because he was used to running in seconds after the horse took the rag. Every time I whistled I had to turn and yell at the dog to stay. He had so many false starts he looked like someone was playing with his forward/ reverse button.

I whistled, I yelled stay, then I whistled again. The crowd watched in anticipation. Or they left for the concession stand, I couldn’t tell from where I was.

The darn dog couldn’t restrain himself and darted toward me. I looked over my shoulder as I heard his paws tearing up the earth. He had a lock on the rag in my back pocket. The horse was still trying to mooch food from the one person left standing there. I guess he wasn’t interested in cold hot dogs and warm cola! Get away from the rail buddy!

I glanced back in time to see the dog strike the rag. He also clamped down on my back pocket and what I had crammed into it. My butt! I grabbed my rear and bent over backwards. I spun and did a dance to shake the dog off but he dug his teeth deeper into the denim and derriere sandwich.

The more I jigged the more determined the dog was to hang on! I screamed, the dog growled and the horse was whinnied! But the crowd was returning!

The stupid mutt tore loose which hurts me to even say! I dropped my pants to inspect the wound. Let me tell from experience, looking at your butt without a mirror isn’t easy! I was missing my back pocket and everything that had been crammed into it!

The Getaway!

The Getaway!

I had the crowd’s attention though. Well not the children with their mother’s hands over their eyes! But everyone else was fixated on what was going on in the local horse arena.

Then I felt the rubbery lips of my horse inspecting the spot where the pocket had been. “Well you’re a little late!” I said!

At least I had a ride back to the trailer. In retrospect I don’t know what was the better choice, walking back with my butt showing or riding a horse with a butt wound.

I spent the next week tacking up lost posters for that stupid dog! I haven’t had any calls yet and I can’t figure out why. All I’m asking to take him back is 50 dollars.

Entry Information

Filed Under: FeaturedShort Stories

About the Author:

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL

You must be logged in to post a comment.