He's a rogue. A rascal. Exasperating. Time consuming. Escape artist. FAT.
You've heard the stories:
How he'd escaped every single pen but one on the ranch. How he destroyed fences so he could escape. How he was always on a diet. How he was always getting into things (trying to escape), particularly in the middle of the nights.
But of course he was always entertaining: the time he bonked Steph in the forehead with a hammer, (he was trying to help her fix a fence he broke); how he rounded up cattle with Connie and Finneas and me and Jose, without a rider; how he always knew when he was in trouble when I yelled at him (his head popped up in the air and his eyes pop-eyed with the expression It wasn't me!; how you could jello-poke his fat deposits on his butt; how he cracked me up making funny faces; how he enjoyed (somewhat) exploring rides; how he was, really, just a good looking dude to gawk at; etc.
You may also remember the big hole he left in my heart, DESPITE EVERYTHING, when Steph sold Dudley to a new home in the wine country of California in May of 2011.
I got to visit Dudley on my travels in California this July at the Smeding's ranch, where Dudley was undoubtedly advising them on the subtle flavorings of their fine wines at Flying Horse Winery. Undoubtedly he also posed for their logo. Or he probably thinks he did.
The prodigal son is meeting us (undoubtedly being chauffeured in a limousine) at the AERC National Championship at City of Rocks this week, and he is coming home!
"I missed him," Steph said. "He's family."
THE DUDE IS COMING BACK!