Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who Let The Dogs Out?

Who Let The Dogs Out?

There's a new family in the neighbourhood. They seem a nice couple, with a couple of nice kids, a couple of nice cars, the usual double-double of suburban life. They have, however, added something very different to our perfect little landscape. They have not a couple, but three fully-loaded doberman pinchers which they allow to roam free every morning.

I suppose these good people believe that their dogs are the most well-trained animals in the world. They're probably right. Those three sleek brown and black canines slip in and out of reality as quickly as any hallucinations I've ever had. One minute, they're beside the car, and the next, they're cruising around the garbage bins at the back door. One minute they're across the street, and in the twitch of an eye, they're looking in my front window.

And I don't like the look in their eyes.

I suppose it would be more reassuring if they barked. But they don't. They just slink, slither, and skulk in suspicious S-curves.

I'm getting concerned.

Please understand that I have no great fear of dogs. Still, these poochies seem pretty intimidating. I suspect if one were to bite me on the ankle, another would go for my arm, while the third would be busy putting the death grip on my throat. I imagine it would be something like a frenzied attack of hungry sharks.

Yes, I'm definitely getting concerned. In fact, I've been watching them all morning to see how they would react to the kids who march up and down the street as they go to and from school. So far, no casualties. Not surprising. These dogs seem to like kids.

I suspect they're saving their angst for me. I'm not sure why. Possibly, they have a doggie score to settle.

Once, when I was a mere 8 years old, I had it in for a neighbourhood collie. He was sort of a demonic version of Lassie. Instead of having that wonderful tawny golden coat and a "let-me-save-you-Timmy" disposition, he was black and white with a serial-killer's imagination. On my way home from Tuxedo Public School one day, he knocked me over and ravaged my arm before turning his attention on my sister who was running for cover. My mother later counted 10 teeth marks in my left forearm, some of them quite oozy and bloody. So yeah, when I was twelve and had learned how to masturbate up some courage, I admit that I was the one who threw a lit pack of 52 firecrackers into that Son of Sam's doghouse one night. And yes, yes, yes, there was an element of unconscionable revenge involved.

Then there was the summer of '69 when I got bit by some mutt of dubious heritage as I was doing deliveries for a now defunct company called Eaton's. He got me good, just below the knee. Thirteen stitches and a week-with-pay off work. When I next saw him on my route, he was roaming the middle of the street and stood there defiantly in the sights of my delivery truck's hood ornament. Did I hit him? Did I already tell you about the thirteen stitches?

Now, I know some of you are going to write and say I'm a merciless, psychotic dog-hater. Hey, nothing could be farther from the truth. I've been blessed with canine companions all my life. My last dog was a little black mongrel who, after 15 years with me, died of old age in my arms. It was a sad and tragic experience, but I was damned if I was going to take him to a vet's to die by lethal injection among strangers. He'd been too great a companion for that. And, anyway, it would have cost well over $50.

No, I love dogs. I really do. I love walking into a new acquaintance's house and hearing the growl and skitter-skatter of enraged paws on the kitchen linoleum as the resident hound wakes from a life of sleep to rush at me and smash snout-first into my groin. I love how people say, "Oh, don't mind Bongo, he's harmless," while Bongo does everything but mistake my manhood for his newest rawhide bone. And I especially love how Bongo's version of "settling down" means he gets to hump my leg, even as I try to walk into the living room to sit down and offer him a more suitable and comfortable position for him to complete his endeavours.

I do love dogs, but dogs probably shouldn't be allowed to roam free. I mean if it's one of those little shih tzu fluff balls, I don't mind so much. They're fairly easy to drop-kick half the distance to the goal line. But dobermans? That's another story. I wouldn't even consider allowing them the chance to snag my foot with those razor-like teeth.

Let's not be naive. There is a dog mafia out there. It's run by the Poochini family. I know it and you know it. They are involved in all kinds of shady deals -- smuggling illegal Jack Spaniels across state borders, setting up eco-disaster puppy mills, pimping underage poodle bitches in dark alleys, and the like. And the designated hitmen for this mob, this pack of wolf-wannabes, are the dobermans. And three of them are out there waiting. For me.

What's that? You think I'm barking up the wrong tree?

Oh sure, your loving lab, cuddly cocker, precious pug, or marvellous maltese is cute and innocent now, but one false step on his tail, a few more repeated raps on his snout, or too, too many harsh words, and you could be next.

Something to chew over, don't you think?



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