Dogs…and the gifts they bring home “out here”

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If you never owned a dog…you’re missing out.

If you OWN a dog, but have never lived in a rural area…then YOU TOO are missing out – in a big way.

Out here, with dogs, the gifts we receive are MORE than just companionship, or in some cases protection; the gifts WE receive…are legendary.

[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×300.png” width=”225″ align=”right” title=”” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=”A gift from the dog”]

Case in point – take a look at the photo attached to this podcast. That’s my 12-year-old Golden Retriever Yogi, admiring a well-gnawed hind deer leg brought back to the house by our littlest dog, Squirt (From hoof…to knee…to hip – all in tact and ready to chew on).

See ‘round here – it’s all about the outdoors…from hiking and biking, to hunting and fishing. It’s not uncommon for an outdoorsman to clean his kill where he dropped it, or clean it in his own back yard…so every year, by the conclusion of deer season – we can eventually count on one of these finding its way to the front door. Disgusting? Yes. But you should see how PROUD that little 40-pound mutt looks dragging her gift into the yard…and then you should attempt the experience of trying to get it away from her! Forget cardio at the gym – just chase a dog around with one of THESE in its teeth…

All of us who live rural have dozens of stories about the gifts we’ve received…

Like the time my buddy Roger and I were driving some back-roads in Taney County a decade ago…Yogi’s head hovering next to ours, standing in the back of the SUV. Don’t know where Yogi found that oily rag, or why he chose to eat it…but you have to understand, despite my buddy’s rugged appearance and country upbringing, he has the most delicate stomach of anyone I’ve ever met – and when that regurgitated rag hit his left knee, he literally jumped out of the truck at 25 miles per hour.

‘Round here, don’t ever forget that you’re burning a brush pile out back…I can’t tell you how many times flaming sticks have tried to make their way into the house, un-torched end clenched between some canine incisors.

The worst by far, though – had to be there year I decided to pour the spent peanut oil from a turkey-fry into the ashed-out fire-pit down the hill. Not an intelligent move…as I found out after letting the golden retriever back-in after-dark one night. He wasn’t in the house 3-minutes, and the gift arrived…violently. There had to be at least a half-gallon of black-ash soaked peanut-oil, mixed with foamed-out stomach acid, laying in a puddle, soaking into the light-tan carpet in front of the wood burning stove. Never got that stain out – to be honest – eventually just ripped out the carpet and put down wood floors. There’s no telling what’s soaked into the cracks since.

So dog-freaks in the ‘burbs – I don’t bring this up to gross you out, though I’m sure it was effective! I just wanted to let you know how good you have it. So your dog brings in an occasional poopcicle from the fenced yard on cold winter days…

Take a look at that photo again…it could always be worse.