(To "The Gambler")
On a train bound for Houston,
I met up with a handler,
We were headed for the dog shows,
The same circuit bound.
We talked about the dog game,
Of this addiction that had claimed us,
I, the bright young novice,
He, the pro renowned.
As the train began its journey,
I asked the handler questions,
Like how to get your dog to shine,
The way he does at home for you.
He said, "If you don't mind my saying,
I can see you need these majors,
So listen close and I will tell you
All you need to do."
You've got to know when to gait 'em,
Know when to bait 'em,
Know how to move 'em out,
And make it look like fun.
You never count your ribbons,.
When you're at the steward's table,
There'll be time enough for counting,
When the judging's done.
When the dog you've got's a good one,
You want to show him to advantage,
You need to move him out with style,
Don't string him with the lead.
For ev'ry dog's a winner,
And ev'ry dog's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for's
To exemplify the breed..
Now the handler he grew weary,
For we'd talked like this for hours,
At last he closed his eyes and then,
He drifted off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness,
The handler he broke majors,
But in his final words I found
A prize that I could keep.