"Duckworth"

 

    “I took Duckworth to the dog show up in the city last weekend,” Dud said.

   The other members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank and philosophy counter just looked at him.

  Doc put it gently. “Dud, was this so he could get some inspiration on looking good?”

  Duckworth was a medium-sized dog that found Dud while Dud was walking and thinking about the novel he’s writing. No one answered the ad he put in the Valley Weekly Miracle, so he was named Duckworth, for some reason Dud seemed to want to keep to himself. To be honest, Duckworth looked like he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

   “No, I was going to enter him in the dog show,” Dud said. “Took him right up to the registration table and tried to get him in a class. The lady there looked at ol’ Duck and asked to see his papers.”

  Dud grinned. “I told her they were back home on the floor of the laundry room. She didn’t think it was funny.”

  Now Duckworth had been introduced to the other dogs in the group at the sale barn, as is the custom, and Dud’s pals had been hesitant to ask much about him. Duckworth looked like something put together by a committee with a sense of humor. Oh, he was a dog … no doubt about that. But what kind of dog he was? It made for interesting coffee speculation, that’s for sure.

  “You know,” Dud said, “Anita was against me getting any kind of dog until Duckworth came along. When I explained to her that Duckworth was a bird dog … a duck dog, actually, and that he’d help me bring more birds home, she finally gave in.”

  “He’s a bird dog?” Steve said. “What kind?”

  “Now that’s what that dog show lady asked me, you know? I had to explain to her about canardly terriers, because she wasn’t familiar with them.”

  “Canar…”

  “Canardly terriers, you betcha,” Dud said, grinning, “why, I’ll bet you canardly tell what kind of terrier he is!”



Brought to you by new book The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List. Look for it at LPDpress.com.

 

 

Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.

 

  Huntington Beach News


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