This man goes by the name Cowboy. Mocha took to him right away...so I knew he was for real. Last night, the three of us sat on the side porch in the dark, listening to the Grand Ole Opry from a transistor radio pinned to the strap of his overalls. During the commercial breaks, he turned the volume down and we swapped stories. 10 years on the professional rodeo circuit, moving cattle and riding fences in Colorado, training bomb and drug sniffing dogs for the Feds and companion dogs for the disabled in California, dropping out of school in the 7th grade to work on a dairy farm...ending up homeless in Nashville and working his way off the streets.
Cowboy dropped a lot of one-liners into his stories...ranging from sage advice to zingers. Hands down, the most profound was, "The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse."
There was a long, comfortable silence after he floated that one out there. We picked up the banter again after a while and our voices wove themselves through strains of country, gospel and bluegrass music until we were too tired to talk.
Today, I went a-googling to see if I could find the source of that quote. Would you believe the following list of men are credited with having said it?:
I'm going to go out on a limb and declare that none of these decorated men can take credit. It's a "Cowboy" original, not because he uttered the words first, but because he lived them.