Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Working Like A Dog

At the trading post I often find myself engaged in the following dialogue:

Customer: “What a nice dog. Are you her owner?”
Steve: “Yes, although she thinks it’s the other way around.”
Customer: “What’s her name?”
Steve: “Buffy the Wonder Dog.”
Customer: “Can we take her home with us?”
Steve: “No, that would surely end my marriage.”

Buffy the Twin Rocks Wonder Dog
Buffy the Twin Rocks Wonder Dog.

It seems everyone, from the very young to the very old, is interested in Buffy. Barry and I have frequently considered buying a fur coat and taking turns laying on the rug in front of the Kokopelli doors so people will pat us on the head, scratch our ears and rub our tummies.

Our only concern is having to eat Purina or Pup-Paroni when the UPS and Fed Ex crews deliver. In spite of that, the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages and Barry raises the issue every spring when the European women begin arriving in Bluff. We figure that if we bark once in a while, shake hands and roll over on command, nobody will know the difference. To say we are envious of the attention Buffy receives would be a gross understatement.

Jana has recommended we put Buffy on salary; union scale, medical benefits, retirement plan, the whole package. It seems Buffy is ill-bred and will have serious hip problems in her old age, so Jana is seeking a long-term solution. Apparently Jana wants hip replacement surgery and a guarantee that Buffy will one day be assigned to a first-rate canine retirement home; one that provides quality companionship and ample doggy treats.

Buffy came to Twin Rocks Trading Post approximately four years ago, when she was just a puppy. She had originally been adopted by Jana’s parents who, at the time, were 84 and 92. When a thief stole their Chevy van, which had about 500,000 Reservation miles on the odometer, they decided a guard dog was needed. Buffy, a golden retriever, was the solution. As it turned out, Buffy rarely barks, and would never, and I mean never, harm a soul, so her guard dog days were numbered.

Once Jana’s parents realized Buffy was a lover not a biter, Jana began petitioning for a transfer to Bluff. I deferred, citing the loss of three dogs in rapid succession as the rationale for my objection. Jana’s old dog from a prior marriage had finally succumbed to the pink needle; Freckles, the ugliest dog in the world, had been killed on Highway 191 by an RV; and Sadie, the prettiest, smartest and most neurotic dog on the planet had been accidentally run over one moonlit night by Jana and the kids. I just could not take the loss of one more canine I argued. It was all to no avail, Buffy was reassigned to Bluff in spite of my protests.

After Jana and the kids left on their great adventure, Buffy found her place in the world; the porch of Twin Rocks Trading Post. Barry and I have come to recognize the value of her services, and from time-to-time drape a squash blossom around her neck or place a turquoise bracelet on her paws in a crass, but effective, marketing ploy. We have even thought of piercing her ears so she can wear silver earrings, but are concerned that may be going too far. When you operate a trading post in rural Utah, however, you have to use any and all means necessary to survive, so the issue is still under consideration.

Our latest Buffy initiative involves hanging a ceremonial basket from her collar. We figure it will be like the St. Bernard dogs, which carry a cask of brandy for ill-fated travelers. If someone requires an emergency wedding or healing ceremony, they need only locate Buffy and remove her basket to resolve their crisis.

Realizing the number of marriages in southern San Juan County may dramatically increase as a result of this new project, we have drawn plans for the Twin Rocks Wedding Chapel. Last week I went on the Internet and purchased a rhinestone jumpsuit for Buffy so she can officiate at Elvis ceremonies.

Union scale and a 401(k) cannot be far off.

With Warm Regards,
Steve, Barry and the Team.

Copyright 2009 Twin Rocks Trading Post

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