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HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Martial Arts, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell

When the Light Comes On



More on Leon from my buddy Randy Walker:

"I wanted a good shot of Leon showing his eyes ( bluer than Leo's ). He is Leo's nephew. Leon was a slow starter. He was two years old before he knew I was in the cattle business. He would go with me, but he was just on a lark. He was just running and being happy, while the other dogs worked. He reminded me of Marmaduke, in the cartoons. Then the last few times I took him out with the other dogs he started to work. The light switch came on."

Funny how that happens. How many potentially good dogs are wasted because of our lack of patience? Good for Randy for giving Leon time to grow up.

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Meet Leon!

Leon at work


Some of you may remember a post a couple years back about my friend Randy Walker’s fine Catahoula Cow dog being killed by wild hog. Yes, most working dogs are necessarily exposed to danger, but no amount of philosophizing can blunt the pain from the loss of a beloved dog. Randy took it hard, but like everyone who works closely with dogs, he had no choice but to get up the next day and go to work with his surviving dogs.

So his April 25 email, accompanied by a photo of another Catahoula at work, with the question “Does this dog remind you of another dog,” made my day.

According to Randy, “He is a nephew of Leo. He is not the dog Leo was, but there is still hope. Happy!” Of course no dog is ever as good as the great one that died too young. But I know Randy, and he won’t put up with a sorry dog. I’m betting Leon will make a good one.

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