Real Life Ranch Wife

Don’t Rope the Dog and Other Barn Rules

Don't rope the barn dog is one of the barn rules

When you visit the Young family, follow their list of ranch rules, which includes a $5 fine for whining and a telling a two-joke minimum.

Here at JY Livestock Gathering, LLC, we aim to run an orderly outfit. It’s a bit difficult at times, because some members of our team tend to strip down to their underwear and rope the dummy in broad daylight. They also delight in throwing handfuls of mud at the yard fence, each other and their unsuspecting mother.

Both of these individuals are under 4 years old, so some of their misbehavior can be attributed to the follies of youth. This defense also applies to my husband and most of his friends, even though they are getting less youthful with each additional gray hair. But in an effort to facilitate a more harmonious experience for all involved, I figured we better establish some ground rules, pronto. 

1. If you rope with it, coil it back up.

We like to rope, and we like to take care of our ropes. Please neatly coil all catch ropes and hang them on a designated rope holder. If you are unsure where a rope holder is located, please ask a member of the management team. Or just observe our 1-year-old son, because even he knows how to correctly hang up his play rope. Thank you for your cooperation.

2. Don’t rope the dog.

Our Border Collie, “Sis,” is old, good natured, and half crippled. She is more porch ornament than working dog these days. We don’t want to hurt her. Plus, we probably like her more than we like you.

3. There is a $5 fine for whining.

Because Chris LeDoux said so. Also, whining is really annoying. We know because we have three kids. And we whine about them a lot.

4. Losing your temper and throwing a fit — or a rope, curry comb, shoeing hammer, etc. — is strictly prohibited.

Repeat offenders will be held down and tickled until their mood improves. For individuals who would like to shorten the duration of their tickle treatment, one minute shall be deducted for each genuine smile they display. Two minutes shall be deducted for each giggle.

5. Don’t yell “Be quiet!” at the dogs.

They’re catch dogs, and we depend on their ability to bay up maverick cattle in the brush in order to make a living. We only holler at them to be quiet late at night when the baby was super difficult to put to bed. At all other times, their baying shall be considered a sweet melody that helps put smiles on our faces and a wild cow in the corral.

6. Management imposes a daily two-joke minimum.

We don’t care if you drink Coors Light, wine coolers or lemonade, but we appreciate it if you would at least try to embrace the humorous atmosphere we strive to create and maintain here at JY Livestock Gathering, LLC. You can crack your own jokes or laugh at ours; just make sure you belly laugh at least twice per visit. Anything less will be considered a disappointment; anything more will be counted as a bonus.

Not like a bonus that pays money or anything. We’re not that fancy.

7. No screaming in the saddle house.

‘Nuff said.

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