Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Defender

I am sitting on the screen porch writing as the clouds move in. The weatherman says a cold front is headed our way and rain is eminent.
Just then a big dog ambled into the yard. Ol' Buddy was sitting at my feet and he tensed up and the hair raised on his back and he tore off the porch like a Rottweiler. He doesn't like any other animals around me and he put the dog on the road. But I was screaming at the top of my lungs BUDDYYYYYY GET BACK HERE!!!!! I could just see that dog turning around and making canine sushi out of Ol' Buddy.
When Jilda and I first married, we lived in a mobile home in Sumiton. I worked with her Dad for a time when I was between jobs. We went to this house down in Burnwell to do some plumbing work and a woman there had a long-haired German Shepherd. He was a magnificent animal. He took up with me immediately and followed me every step I made. Sharky (Jilda's Dad) when we had finished the job said, "she might give you that dog if you asked just right." I mistakenly thought he had already broached the subject with her. So I asked. She said, "well, we hadn't thought about it, but we do have a new born baby and we have been worried what to do with the dog." She called her husband and they agreed that I could have the shepherd. His name was Duke. Let's go boy I commanded and he jumped up in the bed of that truck as if he had been waiting for me all his life.
(What started me down this path was the canine sushi remark above.) There was an older woman in our neighborhood that had a Chiuaua who ruled the roost before Duke arrived on the scene. About the second day we had Duke the Chiuaua was going to show him the road and the next think I knew all I could see was the Chiuaua's tail and two back feet dangling out of Duke's mouth. STOPPPPPPPP Duke. ....PUT HIM DOWN!!! I commanded. I ran over and pried the critter out of Duke's mouth. He had a lot of slime about the head and torso but unhurt. It was a miracle the tiny dog had not been running faster when he colided with Duke because he may have been swallowed entirely. When I put him on the ground he was off like a shot and he allowed Duke to remain in the neighborhood. After a while, they even became good friends.
Duke was a defender too. We kept that dog 13 years and when he died, I cried like a baby.
If people were as loyal and brave as dogs, this old world would be a better place.

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