Rescue Tales – Turbodog
Just a quick note of warning my friends, make sure you’re not drinking anything that could damage a computer or keyboard. This one is a funny one and I just want to warn you of the potential of spewing liquid through laughter! 🙂
I’m a long-time competitive shooter. When I lived in King, NC…the trip to the firing range in southwestern Davidson County took 45 minutes. Getting started early to avoid the traffic on US52 was a must if I planned to have time to practice my drills and get home in time for my nap. You younger folks will understand in about 30 years.
On the morning of December 18th, 1998…just after daylight…I came to the intersection that led to the range, and saw an overgrown black Lab pup about 6 months old. When she noticed me, she ran toward the truck even before I got to the stop sign. Worried that she’d wander into the increasing traffic on NC-150, or make her way to Interstate 85 just a couple hundred yards away…I stopped and let her in. Wheeling the truck into the service station lot adjacent to the road, the owner was starting to open for the day’s business. He told me that he saw her as a man dropped her out of a dark-colored pickup truck about an hour earlier, and even though she came into the lot when he called to her…she watched the intersection and ran toward it whenever she saw a dark pickup approach…apparently thinking that her “friend” had come back for her.
What could I do? (sigh)
I gave up my range trip and headed home with her. She seemed calm enough on the trip…but she was luring me into her trap with good behavior to keep me from dumping her again. You know. Chin on my leg. Soft brown eyes, lovingly riveted on mine. The usual. Kelie and the kids fell in love with her at first sight. She spent the first three nights in the house…tucked away in the master bathroom in order to minimize any lack of house training issues…and on the fourth night…she displayed her true Lab colors. If you’ve ever been associated with a Lab…no further description is needed.
Now, she was a sweet mutt, and still is. Mostly Lab, and as near as I can tell, there’s a Rott in the woodpile…based on her muzzle shape and jaw strength…and so coal black that she’s blue under the right lighting. But…She was all Lab puppy…and hyper. I don’t mean puppy-esque energetic. I’m talkin’ stark-ravin’ yeehaa batshit hyper, and murder on anything that she could sink her teeth into and keep’em in for as little as 5 seconds. She destroyed shoes, belts, TV remotes, cordless phones, blue jeans, and you-name-it-she-ate-it. When she started on the doors and the woodwork, I gave in and put her in the lot. Gotta have a house to live in, after all.
Of course, bein’ the hyper sort…I had to let her out a couple times a day to let her run off steam to keep her from eatin’ the chain-link dog lot…which I stood and watched from a safe distance on account of the fact that she’d knocked me completely off my feet a few times, not havin’ good brakes and all. I’d open the gate, and she’d accelerate to warp speed in about three steps, and run a circle around the house 12-15 times before she’d slow down. Once, she broke from the circle, and headed straight into a Maple tree…like she was aimin’ for it. She hit it dead on at full speed…staggered sideways…and fell on her side. Thud. I thought to myself: “Well…The damn fool dog has killed herself.” I walked over to her and knelt down to see how badly she was hurt. She looked in my direction, but couldn’t focus her eyes…jumped up…and took off again, smackin’ the bumper of my pickup as she passed it…and then hit it again on the next trip before she headed into the woods adjacent to the property.
I could literally track her by just watchin’ the tops of the smaller trees shake, and when she’d come back a half-hour or so later, she looked like she’d been in a mudhole, fightin’ with a weed-eater. Now, like I said…she was a sweet girl, but when they passed out brains, she musta been asleep and didn’t get the call. Dumber than a chicken, this one.
Anyway…on to the main attraction.
I let her out one day late in the spring after I got her, and she headed straight into the woods without takin’ time to bust anything in the yard…which was unusual.
Before I go further, let me note that smart dogs usually stay away from skunks…we call’em polecats here ’bouts…but like I said, she ain’t exactly the sharpest tack in the box, and we’ve got a lotta polecats around here…so it was just a matter of time.
So, there I was…watchin’ the treetops shake as she cut her swath of destruction through the flora and fauna…completely unsuspecting of the events that would start to unfold within minutes…when I hear this blood-curdlin’ howl comin’ from her last known vicinity. 30 seconds later, I see this black rocket break from the treeline…cuttin’ flips and diggin’ up a trench with her nose that you could bury a good-sized cat in…as she headed straight for the only man on Earth that she thought could help her as I closed the gap between us.
As she got closer, the unmistakeable aroma told me what had happened…and not bein’ as spry as I once was…I couldn’t get to the door before the dog got to me.
I managed to get into the house with minimal eau de shunk clingin’ to me, and she took off again…and ran over to a Yellow Jacket nest at the edge of the yard that I’d been meanin’ to deal with, but never quite found the time…and stuck her nose in their hole. Now, even though she ain’t real smart, it didn’t take long for her to realize that this was a bad move…so she headed for her next best friend…my good neighbor Barry, who was absorbed in power blowing the grass clippings off his walk in blissful ignorance…unaware that a souped-up dog was headed his way at 90 mph with a sizeable entourage of thoroughly pissed-off bees hot on her trail. His day was about to undergo a change.
I’ve heard that God looks after little children and fools, and I guess that includes insane dogs who get into trouble with skunks and Yaller Jackets…and about the time she was close to my good neighbor, He had her make a 90-degree turn, and the bees…bein’ a tad on the stupid side themselves…flew past her and straight into Barry. At last glance, he was runnin’ for the door, strippin’ clothes off like a Chippendale dancer on fast-forward, and the language that he used can’t be repeated in mixed company.
She came back to the door where I stood…watching, but still reluctant to go out because some Yaller jackets are smarter than others, and pled with me to help her with those same eyes that got me into this to start with. By now, I realize that the dog ain’t gonna go away and deal with this thing on her own…so I went out and fought with her until I got her back into the lot so I could go into King to get a few gallons of tomato juice from the grocery store. Didn’t do a thing for the ambiance in my old Ford pickup…but by now, I was gettin’ used to it, and had almost stopped gagging.
You’d be surprised at the way that people in line at the grocery store will let you go ahead when ya smell like a polecat. The manager wasn’t at all sorry to see me go after I’d made my purchase. I knew that people were talkin’ about me behind my back as I left. I just knew it.
Back at the house…Polly had dug a hole in the ground and had her nose in it up to her eyes…with the same expression on her face that she had when I left. I read her loud and clear…but I didn’t want to get in the lot with her, so I stood on a step ladder and tried to pour the tomato juice on her from above. Didn’t work real well. It was like tryin’ to thread a needle in a hurricane…and I knew I had to go take care of it up close and personal.
About the time I had her good and soused…or she had me good and soused…good neighbor Barry walks over to warn me about a Yellow Jacket’s nest in the vicinity…and mistaking the tomato juice for blood…thought the dog had attacked me. I was still wrestling with her. She had me down, and he nearly lost his composure before I could tell him what was goin’ on. He also noticed her bee-stung nose, and put two and two together. He sat down and laughed until he cried…but he did NOT offer to help.
Meanwhile, Polly is tryin’ to get her nose back into the hole, and knocked me down as she lunged for it…into the mix of juice and red clay that makes up about 90% of the soil here. Slick stuff. Grease slick. I fell two more times as I struggled to get to my feet while still tangled up in 90 pounds of high-velocity dog. I crawled out of the lot on my hands and knees, thinkin’ that I was gonna have to administer first aid to Barry, who appeared to be unable to breathe by this point.
God, I miss winter…
This Rescue Tale come from our friend and rescuer Johnny who is associated with Collie Rescues of Carolinas. Thanks for the laughter today Johnny! 🙂
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