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Man’s Best Friend . . . Sometimes.

The big news is that the third book in The Border Series is now available on your favorite ebook reader. “Without Redemption” takes Lonnie, Clarissa, and little Conor on a well-deserved holiday. A little sun and sand? It doesn’t get any better. But where they send Lonnie, everything is dangerous. What was supposed to be a holiday turns into a nightmare attempt to save his family from the man-tracker and the fury of the most successful drug smuggler the world has ever known.

And now . . . to those friends and helpers we in ranch country depend on.

Dogs have traditionally been as much a part of a cowboy’s equipment as the horse and saddle. Not that dogs and horses are just equipment. They’re not. A cowboy’s dogs are special. They’re companions and friends, even if they don’t have world-class ability. Good cow dogs come in a variety of breeds, and folks tend to be loyal to a specific breed. Much of their bias depends on terrain, disposition of the cattle, and to some degree, personal preference.

Often, the dogs that trail our horses or cling to the back of speeding quads are valuable help, but at times, especially in the case of a young dog they can scatter cattle everywhere and turn what was supposed to be a straight-forward chore into a day of wretched pandemonium.

Where cowboys and ranchers gather, there is often discussion on the best breeds. Seldom is there agreement. Two old ranchers ran into each other in town, and . . . well, I’ll let them tell the story.


While sittin’ out in front of the Spur, Which is our local refreshment lure. Ben Akins and I were discussin’ cow dogs, And horses, and cattle, and even some hogs.

And as can happen when things close to the heart, Are discussed and argued and taken apart. Temperatures rose and the insults flew fast, As we defended our dogs to the last.

“Why,” Ben said, “that cuss’d red dingo dog, Is only good if a bull’s in a bog!” “Your border pup is too timid,” says I, “She won’t bite anything more than a fly.”

“You’re senile,” says Bud, “and what do you know, Of finesse and cattle and workin’ real slow? Why my Belle can stare a cow into the ground; She’ll work circles around your red heeler hound!”

“Huh! That two-bit loser? Now I’ll tell you what, My Gyp will outdrive that poor border mutt. He’ll bite the orneriest cow on the place, And take a kick in the ribs or the face.

When Gyp gets kicked, it just makes him real mad, He has no quit, and I’d miss him quite bad. But to be perfectly fair, I’ll have to admit, He lacks some finesse, and your Belle has a bit.”

“Well, it’s high time you gave credit that’s due,” Says Ben as he scuffed the ground with his shoe. “And there may be some merit in the red heeler breed, Though he looks like a coyote in need of some feed.”

So Ben and I left the Spur after our spat, Took our dogs home, but the problem is that, Ben’s Belle and my Gyp had a differing mind, Now there’s six more cow pups, the best you can find. ©

‘Till next time, and God’s best to those folks who live with cattle and horses, and of course . . . dogs.

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