True Stories from “Out Back”


Howdy ya’ll, remember me? I am Zeke: the yard guardin’, critter chasin’, boss pleasin’ cattle dog from down south…well, southern Lapeer county anyway. That’s why I called you all ya’ll!

The last time you heard from me I had narrowly escaped death by a coyote trap that had somehow gotten around my ankle. A horrifying experience that I will not soon forget. I learned from it though…yep, do not always follow your nose! And watch your step! Hard lessons.

Watching my step is quite easy, since my front foot is seldom more than ten inches from my eyes. The whole nose thing is a different story altogether. Let me explain.

About a month ago, I was enjoying the morning sun on my favorite side of the porch when the boss, and his boss, stepped outside and headed straight to the van. I followed them, and when they got there, they invited me to join them for a ride. “Excellent” I thought! Nothing quite like a Saturday morning walk in the woods to get the weekend started.

Shortly after we took off, I noticed something different about this ride. Boy was I in for a big surprise! You see, we didn’t take the same route that we normally do. And when we made the first wrong turn, I realized that I had been tricked. The next word I heard told the whole story: VETERINARIAN. We were headed to the veterinarian. Not exactly my favorite place to go on Saturday morning, but I made the best of it.

As a dog, most of the memories I have, locked away in my steel trap of a brain, have gotten there through my nose. And since that whole coyote trap thing, I have been a bit reluctant to trust the ole’ sniffer as much as I used to. Now this is quite a dilemma for a canine, and the veterinarian’s office was only going to make matters worse.

There are smells in that place I don’t know what to make of – even when I do trust my nose – and I just knew this visit was going to be an olfactory nightmare. Dogs, cats, other people; I had a heck of a time sorting friend from foe that morning. So, I just focused on the boss and did what he said. That always seems to work out best.

Once we got into a room by ourselves, with the door closed, I felt much better about the whole ordeal. I have known the doc since I was a pup and I know she is safe. When I was three months old, she did some sort of surgery on my eyes, and they have worked great ever since.

I don’t actually mind going to visit the place – I go regularly – but when a dog does not trust his nose the vet’s office can be very confusing. Usually, I get lots of attention so, except for the thermometer going where thermometers just shouldn’t go, it is kind of fun.

In the end – pun intended – I came away with a good report. “Zeke looks great,” she said, “Keep doing what you’re doing and he should be around a few more years.” Music to my ears. More porch layin’, critter chasin’, and yard guardin’ for me. My kind of life. Just the way I like it “Outback.”

So, until next time, remember this: never trust someone who sneaks up behind you and grabs your tail!

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Special correspondent Zeke writes about his experiences as a porch layin’, yard guardin’, boss pleasin’ cattle dog from southern Lapeer county.


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