Gut Rumbles

January 18, 2008

small tall dogs

Originally published June 9, 2003

When I attended the Universtity of Georgia, I lived in a two-bedroom mobile home about a mile from the school. I walked back and forth every day because student parking was such a pain in the ass. Besides, it was good exercise on those hills. I was 23 years old. I NEVER got tired back then.

I left my house, cut through a patch of morning glories, hopped the back fence and went down the neighbor's driveway to hit the main road. About 100 yards from there was a small bungalow, very close to the street. It had a small fenced yard with two maniacal chihuahuas running around barking, yapping and damn near foaming at the mouth every time I walked past. I ignored them because they were rat-dogs and they were behind a fence, too.

But one day when I was walking home from classes, the devious little shits had an ambush planned for me. They dug a hole under the fence, and when I passed by, they came charging out like like a couple of crazed weasels, shot through the hole back-to-back and attacked me on the street.

One of the bastards would attack me from the front, and while I was busy trying to punt him through the goalposts of life, the other one would run up behind me and nip my ankles. If I turned to kick at THAT one, the OTHER ONE started biting my ankles from behind. They were FAST, too.

I did a weird, high-kicking, whirling dervish voodoo dance in the street for about two minutes, then finally gave up and ran for my life with BOTH of the rats nipping at my ankles. The turds drew blood in several places and ripped the cuffs of my blue jeans to shreds. I was humiliated and angry.

I went home, got my Bowie knife and cut me a switch about 5' long off a sycamore tree in the front yard. I peeled it so that it was the thickness of my little finger at the base and it tapered down to a needle point on the other end. It make a nice "WHITT" sound when I whipped it though the air.

I had my ass whipped with something similar when I was a child, so I knew EXACTLY how painful that instrument could be. I propped it up against the back fence for retrieval in the morning.

On my way to school the next day, I hopped the fence, reached back over and fetched my switch and headed down the neighbor's driveway. I had my books under my left arm and my switch in my right hand.

The rat-dogs were waiting for me. As soon as they saw me coming, they shot through the hole under the fence and tried the same tactics that worked so well the day before. The howling and yelping began immediately.

They never saw the switch. They just saw my right hand move and suddenly felt incredible pain in the face and eyes. I could whip that thing around pretty fast, they quickly became tired of being stung in the face, and the switch worked just as well on their asses when they were trying to retreat BACK through that hole under the fence and they got jammed up in there by hitting it at the same time. Two mean, quivering doggie asses that couldn't move. What a target. I wore them out.

About that time, the front door of the house opened and an elderly woman came out on the porch. "What are you doing to my dogs?" she yelled.

"Paying them back for yesterday," I said, never missing a lick. WHITT! WHITT! WHITT! The dogs finally managed to squeeze through the hole and run up on the porch, where they stood next to the woman and whined.

"If you hurt my dogs, again, I'm calling the police," she warned.

"Call them now," I suggested helpfully. "They can get Animal Control over here. I've got bite marks all over my ankles and a pair of destroyed blue jeans I want to discuss with them. Do your dogs have their shots?" They were both wearing nice collars with shiny silver vaccination tags.

"Of course they do. But my dogs don't bite."

"Yeah, right. They won't bite ME again, you can bet on that. Once was enough. If you don't want me beating the crap out of them every time I come down the road, you'd better cover up that hole under your fence and keep them in the yard. You calling the cops, or not?"

She turned and went back inside, taking the dogs with her. I propped my switch against a tree about 50 yards down the road where I could find it on the way home. I picked it up that afternoon, and sure enough, the dogs were outside in the yard again. As I walked by, they barked their asses off at me, after they ran up on the porch and stood quivering by the door.

They never offered to attack me again, and I stopped carrying the switch after about two days. That one episode of stings coming from something they couldn't see was enough for them. They recognized me as a dangerous man. I was a Tall Dog and not to be messed with.

Almost all dogs get this kind of message really quickly. That's one thing I really like about dogs.

Convince them once, and they STAY convinced.

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