When I was a young kid, I wanted a horse just like every other kid.  Unfortunately I had to settle for the family dog.  He was a very big labrador named Duke.  Duke had many qualities, none of which really deserve bragging about, but he did have one amazing talent.  You could throw a rock to the moon and that dog would retrieve the exact rock and bring it back.  This was field tested many times and he never missed.  I was about six years old with a wild imagination and decided that Duke was really big enough to saddle up and ride.  Of course, I wasn’t stupid enough to be the one to get on but somehow I managed to get my 9-year-old sister to get on.  So we tied a rope around Duke’s head and my sister climbed on.  The one thing she did not take into consideration was my diabolical mind.  Once she was seated, I wanted to see if she could ride so I picked up a rock and threw it as far as a six-year-old could.  Duke took off, I would say 0-60 in about 5 1/2 seconds, with my sister hanging on and screaming for dear life.  Duke had the best pair of “brakes” I had ever seen on a dog.  When he stopped, it was on the spot.  Well this left my sister as a flying projectile.  Of course the minute she came to the end of the rope she was tied too, she dropped straight to the ground.  I could not contain my laughter even after she told me that I was going to get it from Mom.  After dragging me back to the house screaming, we opened the door to see my mother literally on the floor with tears spilling down her face.  I guess she had seen the whole incident and thought it was a lot more funny than what my sister did.  I escaped a kick to the butt that day.

I was thinking about this story when I remembered a story my brother-in-law told us of a dog-riding monkey.  I cannot begin to tell a tale like he.  I don’t have the right cowboy accent nor the animation associated with his storytelling.  I will try my best to relate the story.

Years ago, he was attending a rodeo where the halftime show was a dog-riding monkey.  They would strap this little fellow to the back of a dog and that dog would run a course with the monkey never falling off.  Well this particular day, something went terribly wrong.  When the dog came into the arena to start the show, something caught the dogs attention and threw it off course with the monkey still astride his back.  The dog, with no thought as to what was strapped on his back, proceeded to run under a truck whacking the monkey’s head on the axles and thus knocking said monkey out.   The dog came out from under the truck still going at a good clip, the monkey was still attached and bouncing around like a limp rag.  The dog didn’t stop there, he ran under another truck as if he was chasing an imaginary cat or something.  It took awhile for them to get to dog stopped to administer medical treatment to the monkey.  Yes, the monkey did live through it.  Although he probably turned in his two-week once conscience.

I know it is horrible to laugh at something like this, but it just goes to show you that even the best, well-trained dogs have brain-farts once in a while and nothing should ever be strapped to their back.  Whether that be a monkey or a child.

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