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wally and blackjack, cowdog wannabes

We had a lot of snow last year. Like, the kind where my car couldn't always make it over the drifts to get into town kind of snow. 
This year has been snowless and relatively warm. I--to put it mildly--find this fantastic. 

My farmer husband . . . not so much. Warm equals mud, and mud equals miserable on a farm. He has been known to stand at the kitchen window, point his finger outside and say in a determined voice, "Just freeze already!" while I stand behind him and vehemently shake my head sideways at, well, whoever it is he's talking to out there.

So when the sky finally let loose with a dusting of sticky snow last night, well, neither of us were really all that excited except for Blackjack and Wally who, at nine months old, has never seen snow. 

They started before the sun was up and at lunch, they were still going strong. Running. Sliding. Rolling. Playing. Eating snow. Making yellow snow. You know, the usual. 

After watching them enjoy the snow, I'm convinced these two have read the Hank the Cowdog children's series, because they personify the lead character: Hank, the mutt that serves as Head of Ranch Security. 

When Hank says, "I'm no dummy. There's a thin line between heroism and stupidity, and I try to stay on the south side of it. I didn't go out and fight, but I answered them bark for bark, yap for yap, name for name. The coyote hasn't been built who can out-yap Hank the Cowdog," it might as well be Wally's life motto. 

And as for Blackjack? He basically wrote Hank's biography: "When I took this job as Head of Ranch Security, I knew that I was only flesh and blood, four legs, a tail, a couple of ears, a pretty nice kind of nose that the women really go for, two bushels of hair and . . . add all that up and you don't get Superman, just me, good old easygoing Hank [read: Blackjack] who works hard, tries to do his job, and gets very little cooperation from anyone else around here."

"Preach it, bro." - Wally 

But despite the snow and the slick, the mud and the flakes, one thing about these two stays the same. If there's something to see or hear, they'll see it and hear it. Geese flying overhead. Pick-ups flying past. Coyotes in the distance. Snow doesn't stop them from noticing it all. And come rain, come sleet, come snow or hail . . . the feed truck will always get his man. Err . . . heifer. And the dogs will always chase the feed truck. 

The driver calls in the cows and drops off a load of feed for the day. But he might as well have called in labs and Great Pyrenees too . . . because, snow or no snow, they are convinced they're cattle dogs, just like Hank who knows, "Every dog in this world isn't cut out for security work. It requires a keen mind, a thick skin, and a peculiar devotion to duty. I mean, you put in 16-18 hours a day. You're on call day and night. Your life is on the line every time you go out on patrol. You're doing jobs that nobody else wants to do because of the danger, etc. You make the world a little safer, a little better. You take your satisfaction where you can get it, in knowing that you're doing the job right. The very people you're protecting won't understand. They'll blame you when things go wrong. But that's the price of greatness, isn't it? And if you were born a cowdog, it's all part of a day's work." 


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