Fido and the Hitching Post

I had just pulled into a parking space at the Walgreen’s in Stillwater when I saw her.  A middle-aged woman in light blue scrubs was approaching the store entrance, coming from the opposite direction.  A gentle, ongoing conversation with her canine companion who walked easily by her side was in progress.

As she passed the entrance, the automatic doors slid open and the dog stole a brief look inside the store.  She encouraged him, however, to continue down the sidewalk a few more feet.  Her companion followed her bid easily, without straining against the leash or pulling toward the entrance.  His body language sent this message: “I’m here, just show me where we’re going.”

The dog’s owner approached the wooden bench outside the store, asked the dog to “sit,” looped his leash around a black iron leg, and patted his head.  The medium-sized white tail began to wag furiously, a pink tongue licked his owner, and with both of her hands on his face, the owner told him she would “be back very soon.”


Swish, swish, swish.  The medium-sized tail wagged against the brick wall as the dog watched his owner walk into the store.  Once she was completely out of sight, he relaxed a bit and began to watch the street scene before him.

I turned off my car which was still idling due to my frequent affliction: “observer distraction syndrome.” Grabbing my purse, I headed into the store as well.  I told the doggie he was “very good” as I walked by and smiled as the tail wagging began again.  I believe that the tail of a dog is somewhat like a mood indicator, in reverse.  A dog’s tail wags and immediately my mood is lifted.  So, perhaps, a mood influencer?

My one-item shopping trip passed more quickly than the business of the woman in scrubs and I was back to my car within a few minutes.  As I was loading up, the woman exited the store, made eye contact with the dog, immediately commenced the gentle conversation with him once again, and unhooked him from his waiting place.

As I turned the car on, I glanced up once more to see the scrub-clad woman and her dog disappear around the corner of the store.  I looked back at the bench, now stark and empty against the neutral colored bricks.

That bench was a modern-day hitching post.  The woman, a kind-hearted cowboy who had ridden into town for supplies, and the dog…her trusty horse. So what if she walked beside him instead of saddling him up?

I touched my invisible hat in a respectful tip to my fellow rancher, started my own horse and rode toward my place of work, ready to begin a new day.



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Best, Red Dirt Kelly




3 thoughts on “Fido and the Hitching Post”

  1. I’m 38 been married for 14 years been with my wife for 18 years. We have 5 children. I’m in the military and have left home for 5 deployments. A couple of months ago my wife said she was no longer in love with me. I have always been controlling, verbally abusive and even physically abusive to my wife in the past. I am a former gang member and have changed my life allot compared to where I was. My wife warned me that she was feeling this way. I never thought she would get sick of me and be done. She wants to divorce and have me stay living in the house. I have had anger issues all of our marriage always finding something to be upset about towards her and my children. I have went to anger management twice before due to her telling me she was going to leave if o didn’t. It worked for a week or so and I went back to my old ways. She had depression and has tried to commit suicide because of my ways in the past. This time she is allot stronger and has put her foot down. For the last month since she told me she wants a divorce and that she is no longer in love with me I have changed dramatically. I have started seeing a psychiatrist and a marriage counselor. I have been a mess though. I am so depressed and my anxiety is through the roof. It hurts me that she does not want to kiss or love me. I feel like my world is crumbling from under my feet. One of our children is also depressed and had talked about suicide and started cutting himself. About two weeks ago we ended up kind of working on it. I was being a good husband taking her lunch bringing the kids so she could see them, helping out around the house more so she wouldn’t have to worry about things. We were having probably the best sex we had in months. Then all of a sudden she was like this isn’t going to work I still want a divorce. She hasn’t been taking her depression medicine for a while and smokes Marijuana constantly. I love her so much and am so sorry for all the years I was a jerk and she gets mad at me and asks why I waited till she fell out of love with me to change..why now. She says I am a totally different person all of a sudden cause I’m nice and not always angry. I don’t have that answer. It gets her mad when I am nice and do nice things for her. We had sex last night and she was upset and said we are only complicating things. Is this marriage savable..I don’t want to give up hope but I don’t want to go crazy being hurt. Any help is needed and appreciated.

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