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The Manure Spreader: Dog days

Tim Moffett Published on 11 June 2015

They say a dog is man’s best friend. They say in time a dog starts to resemble his owner. That being said, my dog George isn’t much to look at.

A “farm dog” is not a dog. I’m not sure what scientists would classify them as, but dog is not an option. I have seen these beautiful commercials where the dog has perfect teeth and gnaws on a bone like a wood chipper. George is missing a lot of teeth from biting into a black power cord. He got the shock of his life. To this day, whenever he rides in the truck bed, my radio won’t work.

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Some pet foods promote shiny, healthy coats. Like any woman over age 40, George won’t reveal to anyone his true hair color. He is so matted with dirt and dreadlocks he can camouflage himself in a hay pile as if he’s wearing a ghillie suit.

It’s not that I don’t try to wash George, but five minutes after I do, he always finds something decomposing to roll around in. My brother asked me, “When you gonna wash your dog?” My reply: “When is it gonna rain again?” And as far as clipping him goes, there is a reason he’s afraid of a corn thresher.

I remember when I first met George. He was sitting at a table with several other dogs playing poker. He had just lost 14 pounds of Kibble and Bits by “drawing on an inside straight” to a bulldog from Georgia. I know you don’t believe me – because who would ever draw to an inside straight? Down on his luck, I brought him home to stay on the farm.

George quickly adapted to farm life and learned his responsibilities as a “farm dog.”

At first he just did his daily chores, which included walking a mile every day to the neighbor’s farm to get the newspaper. Which is pretty hard because Farmer Frank always kept a close eye on his porch. George would direct traffic by lying in the middle of the road without getting up until vehicles passed. His best work was when George started applying for individual farm subsidies while complaining about the federal government.

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George has never had a collar or been on a leash and has selective hearing. I have no idea what pedigree George is. Based on his behavior, he’s part Australian Shepherd, part raccoon and part garbage disposal. My city friend wanted to know how I was able to housebreak such a dog. Simple – don’t let him in the house.

I wanted George to meet other dogs. So my city friend suggested I take him to a dog park. Culvert pipes and chain-link fence. For George, it was like the prison yard. He actually ground down a Milk Bone dog biscuit into a shiv.

These well-groomed, educated dogs looked at George like he was Andy in Shawshank Redemption. After a few rear-end sniffs and some burnouts in the grass, he started collecting rocks and dug a tunnel under the fence.

George’s “city dog” friends have shared with him that they are all now eating organic dog food rather than regular plain dry dog food. George explained to them that he has been eating “O-natur-al” for years.

He wasn’t sure if it was from all the whole milk, hoof clippings or afterbirth he had eaten, but he’d only been to the vet clinic once. And that was for a paternity test. I was impressed; that Shih Tzu lived more than 300 miles away. PD

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and stand-up comedian. Visit him at his website.

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