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Thursday, January 10 2019
Bad Santa

Look at this face. 

Part Snidley Whiplash, part Eddie Haskell, this dog is Billy Bob Thornton in "Bad Santa."  An old geezer now, Cowboy is
probably a fugitive from some Old Folk's home. Scratch that, he's not a fugitive - they threw him out. With his sweet face
and lopsided grin, it's tempting to think of him as an old grandpa, but only if your granddad pees on the couch and
exposes himself. He's crude. He's crass. He doesn't even warn you with a "Pull my finger." This dog swigs whiskey with a
cigar hanging out one side of his mouth. He poops in the other dogs' toy box. If someone else is taking a leak, he sidles up and pisses on them. Cowboy is Bad Santa.

Each year we tell ourselves that this may be his last winter. Son jokes that we've said that for five years now and the
immortal foul-mouthed, cigar-smoking, drunkard is still putzing along. Seniority has its privileges - softer beds, more
unsupervised time out. Unfortunately Bad Santa has burned his bridges where that's concerned. His time must be supervised
or you'll find him outside another male dog's kennel, flashing gang signs in an attempt to start a fight through the
fence. If he's loose with a female dog he's trying to molest her. If he's by himself, he marks the recliner. 

His longstanding feud with Ranger, the Blue Heeler, seems to have settled into "Grumpy Old Men" status. One is Jack
Lemmon and the other is Walter Matthau. They despise each other but neither has the energy to do much about it now. Cowboy has
long since retired from actual cow work but still insists on sneaking into the game, hoping to die in a blaze of glory.
More than a few cows around here would happily oblige him. And if it came to pass, I'm not sure if Ranger would cheer, or
silently salute his longtime rival as a worthy adversary who had a good death in battle.

Time has not been kind to him. Years of pulling on the bars of kennels have broken his canine teeth. He had three more
teeth pulled this summer. He lives on pain meds for his bad back, courtesy of a run-in with a donkey - a poor decision
that he lives with daily now. But Bad Santa keeps plugging along. Every day that the sun comes up, Cowboy rises to meet it
like Tim Conway's shuffling old man, waiting for his rimadyl to kick in. He shuffles to the fence where he rallies forth
to charge cows or horses who push too close as they wait for their breakfast. Cowboy stays there as I do chores,
marching along the fence, a grizzled, unshaven soldier, cigar still hanging out, and hung over from the night
before. This old dog does not "go gentle into that good night." He spits a wad of tobacco in Death's eye, and keeps
moving onward. And if Death lingers too closely, that old dog may just hump his leg or pee on his robe. But in the mean
time, Cowboy sleeps in the sun and dreams of working cows and pissing in someone's coffee. 

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Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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