We got to puppy-sit Maggie Mae for our youngest daughter Alison and her husband. She was a seven-week-old JackRat (Jack Russell and Rat Terrier). I took her to town on my rounds and people went "looney tunes" over her. She has a raccoon face, black spot on her side, and black tail. She is so smart that our teacher-daughters could teach her to read and sing. When she was six months old we adopted her. Can't you just hear it, "Mom, you were right, we just can't keep Maggie Mae in an apartment." I took Maggie Mae with me the first day. Alison called the next morning to check on her and was surprised that she had slept all night. I told Alison, "I took her coon-hunting with the big dogs last night and she was plumb wore out." Alison is not 100% sure that I didn't.
Two years ago on my birthday, Frances, my wife, and Holly my oldest daughter showed up with a travel bag, put it in my lap and told me to open it. I unzipped it and a baby beagle stuck his head out. I named him Otis Lee, and Maggie Mae just loves him. Her very own playmate, Maggie Mae has Energizer batteries and Otis Lee is a porch dog. They have a lot of fun playing keep the ball and chase whoever has the ball. I take them to the farm and Maggie Mae immediately starts chasing wasps, birds, whatever. Otis Lee starts trailing something and stays with it until another warmer trail crossed it. When he was a puppy he was trying to come back to my pickup and got stopped by a net wire fence while some 1500 pound Brangus cows sniffed him thoroughly and up close. When I am feeding and the cows come up, Otis Lee finds real interesting things to see about under my pickup and I tell him he is a town dog. I don't have a cow quick enough to get Maggie Mae.
At home they have their separate duties. Maggie Mae chases and barks at birds, wasps and flies. Otis Lee won't get off the porch unless it's a squirrel, cat or person. I guess we all have our places.
Well, it's time to go check the water.
Stan Johnson lives and works in Nolan County. Comments about this column can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.