Nothing Like a Good Dog

Slim Randles is my guest today with a touching story about a dog and a man. Billy, the dog, is not a registered therapy dog, but it is obvious he brings great joy and comfort to those he meets on his rounds around town.

I can attest to the value of having a dog as a companion and a friend. I have had many throughout my lifetime, and they all have been very special in their own way. If you have a favorite story about one of your dogs, please do share that in the comments.

Maybe one of the treats Billy gets at the Gates of Heaven Chinese Cafe in town is a Pork Baozi, which is quite good, by the way. My daughter-in-law has made them several times, and they are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Grab one and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.

Now, here’s Slim with this week’s story.

Billy’s been a busy guy ever since he became the official town dog here. Sally had been the town dog until she passed away on Doc’s porch, and then Billy’s owner died just two weeks after that, so it was something of a natural progression. Sometimes offices are filled without an election.

The high school wood shop boys built Billy a dog house next to the school crossing, but Billy preferred Aunt Ada’s couch in the cold months and a nice dog depression under an oak tree when it’s warm.

Billy was making the rounds this morning. He had snacks at the Gates of Heaven Chinese café (back door, of course) and the Mule Barn truck stop, and conned a granola bar out of some kids just leaving the convenience store. Then he headed down the main street, turned right at the drug store, and ended up on the porch of The Rest of Your Life Retirement Home.

A brief scratching and whining gave him access, and he cruised around, being petted and loved, until he found Pop Walker.

Pop can remember what happened in World War II right down to the mess hall menu, but he has a tough time with names and whether he’s had breakfast today or not.

“Uh …?” Pop looked at the lady in the nurse’s uniform.

“I’m Jean, Pop.”

“Oh sure … Jean, okay if I go outside with the dog?”

“Only in the back yard, Pop. Okay?”

He grinned. “Okay.”

Pop and Billy walked around back there for a while, and Pop found a stick and threw it for Billy a few times. Then they went to a bench in the shade and Billy laid his head on Pop’s knee and got some free ear rumples.

Pop looked down at the dog.

“I’m glad you came over today … Billy,” Pop said.

Pop remembers World War II, also.

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Brought to you by your friends at Tractor Supply Company. Feed, seed and things you need. Visit them on the web at:, or stop by your nearest store.

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Slim Randles writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country” and is the author of a number of books including  Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing. That title, and others, are published by  LPD Press
If you enjoy his columns here, you might want to check out the book Home Country. It has some of the best of his offerings through the years.

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