October 29, 2009
Just like that moose in Vermont who fell in love with a Hereford cow named Jessica, other species go bonkers over me. I hasten to add that there is nothing sexual about my attraction. It’s just that I get along better with animals than I do people. Cats are always rubbing up against my leg and purring, deer congregate on my front lawn awaiting my appearance, and if there’s a dog around I’m petting it. Some people who’ve made note of my special prowess have suggested that I am a “dog whisperer” and that I seem to be able to communicate with animals in ways that other people simply cannot. In public I attribute my special talents to my animal science degree and a lifetime love of animals, and I take great pride in seeming to possess a skill that other people do not. I love the fact that animals appear to like me better. The key word being “appear,” for, although it pains me to admit this, I don’t really possess any special kind of animal attraction. It’s all done with smoke, mirrors, treats and a trick.
Around our neighborhood I am like the Pied Piper. The minute I walk out the door seemingly every dog within three miles is following me. And it’s not just dogs. An entire menagerie, sheep, cats, cows and even my horse, Gentleman, get in line. This may surprise longtime readers because I’ve often written of how hard my horse was to catch, but that was only when I had a halter or a rope in my hand. The rest of the time he wouldn’t leave me alone. I constantly had to shoo him away. That’s because I nearly always had a carrot for him. I carried the tasty tubers in my back pockets and easily taught Gentleman how to help himself. This was fine as long as I was showing off for folks, but the trick almost resulted in my premature demise.
One day I was in the horse pasture trimming a tree with my chainsaw. I know you aren’t supposed to do this but I was reaching high overhead with the chainsaw to cut a branch, which left me in a most vulnerable circumstance. My shirt had risen well above my belt, and because I am such a svelte hunk of manhood, my pants were almost falling off. In other words, I looked like a modern day teenager, without the tattoos. Because the chainsaw was noisy I never heard Gentleman sneak up behind me. You can imagine how surprised I was when I first felt his wet lips, nose hairs and incisors as he tried to take a big bite out of my butt. I tell you, I nearly cut myself in two!
Dogs love me because they know I’m easy and if I have any food I’ll share it. Such was the case at a recent neighborhood gathering where we all sat down to a California cuisine-ish type of meal that the host was very proud of. Unjustifiably so, if you ask me. The meat-like substance, which I have a sneaky suspicion was a tofu derivative, tasted like a leather ball glove after it had been dipped in Milk of Magnesia. Trying not to be rude, I took little untasty tidbits and discreetly fed them to all the neighborhood dogs who were camped under my chair. (Dogs will eat anything.) In such a manner I cleaned my plate and even asked for seconds. Needless to say, after dinner the dogs followed me around as if I was a pretty poodle in heat. The neighbors all thought I was whispering to the dogs again. Needless to say, they were all really impressed.
I am not a one-trick pony and dogs adore me even if I don’t have any food for them. That’s because I always carry around something else dogs are extremely fond of. Because I am a cow person, the bottoms and sides of my boots and the legs of my jeans are often dusted with, (how shall I say this?) cow manure. And you know how dogs love that! At the party later in the day we were all invited to go swimming in the hosts beautiful pool, as I knew we would be. I love to swim and had my trunks on under my Levis, so I stripped down right there in front of everyone. That’s when, in the glare of the sunlight, my body and I were exposed as frauds. After leaving my clothes in a pile and walking away from them not a single dog followed me! No, they were busy gnawing on my boots and rolling in my jeans.