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Don Bain

Episode 21: The Low Down on Driverless Cars

Howdy. Pancho the ranch dog again. Miss me? I've been busy.

If you could see me in the picture, I'd be in the ranch buggy tryin' out a new job called passenger. Passenger is soooo much better than pedestrian pug. And I can build up a whole bunch of momentum before launching a blistering audible assault on those durn cows.

The reason you can't see me is I'm wearin' my camo rig. Makes me invisible.

Gonna learn to drive next. In fact, I figure you people have been scammed by the whole driverless car thing by Gooble. Pretty sure dogs in camo are drivin' those things. You might want to think about that before you ranch boys go bangin' your trucks into those cars for sport. Unless of course you find one driven by a Bichon Frise. In that case Bubba, let 'er rip - demolition derby is on!

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 20: She Wears Her Hearts on Her Knees

Hi Friends. Pancho, stuck in my ranch dog job, with you again.

They say some folks wear their hearts on their sleeves. This ole cow wears her hearts on her knees. You recall I mentioned how good therapy dogs have it? Well, I thought I would give the therapy dog career path a test drive with this cow as my first patient.

We had a session in the pasture, and after she got comfortable, got a little cud chewed, she told me just how unhappy she is. Turns out her bull ran off. It didn't really set her back that he left her for 11 younger heifers. No sir, it was that he also left her for 4 older and much less attractive old hags. She reports his calves are no good either, preferring to hang out at the salt lick rather than gettin' a job, never helpin' out around the field and generally treating Momma like just another ole cow. Bottom line, I was good at this therapy thing and dreamin' of better hours, better food and not fearing so much for my life everyday on the ranch.

Then it all went South as the ranch foreman says regular.

I guess I let on that I know the bull, Dang O Bull we call him. In fact, I probably shared that I agreed he was of poor character, ill temperament and seemed only good for plowin' up ground and bustin' fence we he turns on a dog. And I think I mentioned that Dang O snorts out foul vapors just before he attacks our favorite pug.

She turned on a dime. Fellars, it was like flippin' a switch. One second it was all poor me and he is such a low down rat, and the next second it was "How dare you speak badly of my Elvis!" Can you believe Dang O told her his name is Elvis? - and she believed him ?!!! Then, "I'm not gonna let some two bit trailer trash pug talk to me like that!" and fellars, it was cow on pug roller derby all over again. Barely got out alive and yes, the foreman had to fix fence again.

Yessir, therapy doggin' practiced on a ranch is dangerous too.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 19: I Want a Raise

Howdy partners, Pancho the ranch dog with you yet another day. Ranch doggin' is tough. Hours are lousy and pretty much everything on the ranch tries to stomp, sting or stick the pug - and those are my friends.

Today we're gonna talk about ranch dog pay. I mean, have you seen what they serve around here?

I have a horse buddy, goes by Pronto. You may recall, we went to the feed store the other day. You wouldn't believe the gourmet delicacies they have for Pronto - Rolled Oats Remoulade, Alfalfa Tartare and Molasses Crisps all in a brightly lit aisle with beautiful color labels. For Pancho, not so much. To find the ranch dog aisle you have to go in the back, past the sheep dip, where it is real dark and kids are scared to go unarmed. There you'll be lucky to find 2 choices in plain white bags.

The Chicken Delight is the better of the two. Label says "particle board fiber, cardboard and scrap paper, spritzed with just enough chicken flavor for your pug to tolerate choking it down", written in crayon no less. And it is only available every other month when they change the rancid oil in the fryer down to the fried chicken place in town. The other one is called Carnival, the label says "At least 30% post-consumer recycled paper" and the special carnival flavor ingredient is oil from corndog fryer when the carnival leaves town. The post-pug version differs only in color.

The guy at the feed store says, "It's good enough. It is not like your ranch dog is paying rent or anything." I think the crayon writing was his. I told you before, I do not like that guy over the whole "your dog looks like he needs worm medicine" remark.

Fellars, I want a raise.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 18: Check the Drawer

Hi Buckeroos. Pancho the ranch dog checking in again.

More coyote trouble. We have extras if you need some. Ranch foreman has been all pacifist lately, in what he calls his kinder and gentler stage. And it is true that he can't hit doodoo, but at least he could shoot at 'em once in a while to take the bravado down a notch or two.

Anyway, here's another mystery. Coyote walking around the cow herd and everyone is peaceful and calm. I thought I heard 'em all singing Kumbaya together. There's a big injustice here. Drop a ranch pug in the mix and the second law of thermodynamics sets in with those cows(the ranch foreman is an engineer and he likes to say stuff like that - it means all hell breaks loose). I mean fellars, the rodeo starts, better call the rodeo clowns 'cus the ole pug needs a rescue.

All the excitement reminds me of the time the lady found a snake in her underwear drawer at the ranch house. Maybe the cows are not as vocal, and certainly not as operatic, but the vertical and lateral motion is about the same and we had to fix fence again. Ranch foreman called it an immaculate snake, whatever kind that is, doesn't know how it could get in there and always has to turn and go outside to do his smirkin'. Poor lady is damaged and goes through life using a fishing pole to get underwear outta her drawer.

Never dull on this ranch, no sir.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 17: Needs a TicTac

Hi Partners. Pancho your ranch dog with you again. I am still learnin' this language see, and have gotten pretty good at selective listening. One of the quirks I have observed from the ranch foreman is that if you put Oh in front of somethin', as in Oh Shoot or similar, it means somethin' bad is happenin' right now.

Well that rules applies to the creature in this photo. It is nasty on both ends and filled with rotten disposition in the middle. Figures that the first varmit on this ranch I can outrun would be no fun at all. Catch one in the open, circle him up and all you get is hissing sound like air coming outta a tire, big stupid grin and grubworm breath that makes buzzards demand a TicTac before they'll eat one.

Of all the things I'd say in the first seconds of our introduction, Oh Possum was not one of 'em. Oh Well. Oh Pug signing off until tomorrow.

Your Pal, Pancho

Don Bain

Episode 16: A Good Deworming

Hi Friends. Pancho the ranch dog again. Ever had an ear worm? Well I heard this song on the ranch truck radio, "Mama don't your kids grow up to be cowboys," twang, twang, twang. Now I have an earworm.

Last week I broke my promise to self never to ride to town again, you know, after the I-thought-they-said-teutering and they-really-said-neutering-fiasco. Anyway, I hitched a ride on the ranch truck to the feed store with the foreman. They had a guy there, who I do not care for at all, who said "That don't look like any ranch dog I have ever seen. Tell you what, I got some worm medicine that may help, but it is probably too late for the face and tail. Looks like that affliction has set permanent."

Anyway, back to the earworm. Lyrics should say "Mamas don't let your pug pups grow up to be ranch dogs," yao, yao, yao.

No ma'am, they need to get a good job as a therapy dog. Sure they'll have to wear stupid frilly stuff and go to a spa, but the pay, hours and work conditions are much better than ranch doggin. Best if they become a therapy dog to a large person. If they get a skinny woman, the food dish will get littered with celery sticks, carrots sticks and other stuff dogs call kitchen trash. No sir, life is much better with someone who likes gravy, kolaches (if from Texas) and the occasional cheeseburger.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 15: Money Back for Obedience Class

Hi cowboys and cowgirls! Pancho the ranch dog back with you. This here photo is from what we call the post dawn patrol debrief. They are all pretty much the same. After the meeting is called to order and coffee is served, we go over a list of things the dog did wrong. I have heard it all before and use the lecture -- er debrief -- to try to catch up on my sleep. They schedule this dawn thing too durn early everyday.

Anyway, today I was well on my way to earning a merit biscuit for not chasing the cows, when that crazy heifer broke and ran as our patrol went by. If you run at the sight of a pug ranch dog you are either looney or guilty of somethin'. Figuring the latter, the chase was on fellars!

You've heard of the Aryan Brotherhood, right? A bad-dog prison gang? Well these cows have something called the Bovine Sisterhood. When one of 'em is gettin' chased, she'll put out a signal and cows for miles around will come running to get in on the stomp-da-pug action. I mean there were uncivilized cows from deep in the brush that nobody has seen before comin' to get some whip-da-pug of their own.

I am able to let bad feelings go a few seconds after making my rocket escape under the fence or behind the ranch boss, and return to my don't worry be happy program in no time at all. It takes the foreman, Mr. Grumpy, some time to process these things, get first aid and let go of the anger. "Pancho, I got a dog so I wouldn't need a therapist. Now I need a therapist because I got a dog."

The lecture, I mean debrief, always concludes with some form of "If I see that lady that taught that obedience class, I am gonna ask for my mind back" and "Boy am I gonna give her a piece of my money" or something like that. Onward.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 14: You'll Be Hungry 20 Minutes Later

Hi Friends. Pancho the ranch dog with you once again. On dawn patrol we broke up a fight between a coyote and a bunch of buzzards. Not much sport in watchin' two sides when you are rootin' for both to lose. Turns out the fight took place at a crime scene as one of the calves was found dead right there.

I know my way pretty well around a food dish and I have never come across that smell. I think people call it veal. The foreman buys a bag of stuff they pass off as dog food he calls WhatEverWasOnSaleThisWeek. Supporting the pulp and paper industry is fine, but don' you think a hard workin' ranch dog pup deserves better?

Anyway, that bunch of felons - coyote and buzzards - got their fight catered and they served veal! I opened a full and complete ranch dog CSI investigation at the scene and planned to spend the day. The ranch foreman had other ideas, sayin' "Come on Pancho, let's get going to the back of the place to check the cows." I explained the importance of my work and he said, "No, we're going to check the live ones. Seeya. Good luck with those coyotes." and marched right outta the crime scene.

By now, all the other coyotes in the neighborhood where singing. I knew they had been up all night drinkin' and singin' - I heard 'em. After studying the dilemma for some minutes, I figured I should go with the foreman and provide security - didn't want him to be alone with all these ruffians about. Besides, the buzzards give me the creeps. One of 'em said, "Pug is a breed from China. You'll be hungry 20 minutes later." Don't know what he meant by that but all my creepy alarms were going off.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 13: Serenity is Overated

Hi Buckeroos, Pancho here on day 13 of ranch doggin'. I thought we would share this picture of serenity - me savoring a moment as the knuckle-headed cows gather around their water dish. Yessir, this is one of those moments it is good to be alive take account of your work, yada, yada, yada.

Nobody else around here seems concerned about this boring lack of action and general bad attitude of all these cows. Awh heck, what are they waitin' for? If no one else will, I'll pull the pin on this pug and lob him into the mix. Let's get this rodeo started. "Hey y'all, watch this!" is my new battle cry.

Now they want me to take my business in the house. Not long ago it was all "what is that smell and who let Pancho in the house?" I wish these fickle peeps would make up their minds.

Your Pal, Pancho.

Don Bain

Episode 12: Maybe You Should Swerve a Little

Hi Friends, Pancho the ranch dog here. Just when I thought dawn patrol was getting boring, I run across these two characters wearing masks. The foreman, who you can blame for the poor pictures - because, well, he is not worth a durn this time of day - calls them raccoons. I got 'em treed OK, and then the trouble starts.

These two go by Chewy and Paco. Good thing I speak Spanish. I've been practicin' my Spanish ever since the foreman brought home a box of Bocadillos para Perro (o para Pancho as I like to say) from H.E.B. That's Dog Treats, Formulated to Freshen Breath, if your monolingual Bichon Frise at home is trying to follow along. Foreman had something smartaleck to say about I should be glad they are not from China. Anyway, I needed my Spanish with these two banditos.

Trouble started when no sooner than Chewy and Paco got up the tree, they started laughin' and pointing at me, saying 'esta la Pug, teehee, toy breed, ha, ha,...'. Laughed so hard they 'bout fell outta the tree. Well, I told 'em: "I got your toy pug right here. Come on down and get some. I'll show you toy!" Then they started saying unkind things about my sister. Shows how ignorant them boys are. I was part of a litter of two, both boys. I explained all that, and they said something about a Bruce Jenner operation and they really did mean my sister. Well I do remember an operation. That was the last time I go peacefully in a car to town. Could have sworn they said we were going to get teutured.

I try to be charitable. But let's just say if you are driving along and you see these two, well maybe you should make a good faith effort to swerve a little, but I wouldn't go so far as to use the brake pedal.

Your Pal, Pancho.