Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dogs and Things

I have always thought dogs were best suited
for the purpose of attracting pretty women.
Hey everybody. Look what I found on Big Dope's computer. - C.W.

First, I am no animal lover. They are okay, but best enjoyed as members of someone else’s family, much like children.

So, while I don’t go out of my way to live with dogs, I shall share some strange experiences with them over the years.

My mother told of two experiences that must be true. One happened when I was a pre-toddler sitting in a sand box while she was hanging clothes on a line. A “mad dog” suddenly appeared and would have attacked the two of us had not the loyal family dog interceded. Needless to say, I never got to know that dog.

Another time, I apparently had been motivated by watching a movie as a toddler, in which people were having a grand time swimming. I apparently thought it looked easy enough to try in a nearby stock pond next day, an adventure that must have ended badly except for the alerting of the family hound.

This is Monkey Mountain.
I was up there somewhere.
Moving forward, we reach that period of my “service” to my country. For several months, I found myself stationed at an isolated compound near the top of “Monkey Mountain,” an imposing feature forming the south boundary of Da Nang Harbor.

Facing long periods of boredom, we took in stray dogs and cared for them. One, a large black mutt with the “slave-name” of Charlie, was a bit adventurous. There were other compounds up and down the mountain and Charlie evidently had friends in each for he would, from time to time, stand on the road outside our compound and catch rides with vehicles from other encampments. He would go down the mountain for a day, but reappear toward dark in another vehicle whose driver had recognized him.

Sometimes, I swear, he had a smile on his face as he trotted back into the compound. Sometimes he staggered a bit. But anyway …

For all the prevarications and outright lies of which I have been prone over the years, this story of the “hitchhiking dog” is the one that is most true and least believed. So much for veracity.

Our first dog after marriage was a mentally deficient mutt we called Jeremiah, after the prophet. He pulled many a strange stunt but his cutest was when he ate a cannabis plant that had grown from a seed given by a friend.

Let me be clear. Our motive in growing the plant was a desire for criminal justice. We, uh, wanted to see what a mature plant would look like so we could alert officials if we happened upon one.

Yeah, that was it.

Anyway, we awoke one morning to find “Marcel” nipped off at ground level so to speak and a sheepish looking Jeremiah sitting peacefully beside it, his two eyes rotating in opposite orbits.

He prophesied mightily for an hour or so until the effects wore away and he fell asleep. We learned many interesting things.

For example, do you know that it is quite easy for dogs to speak our language? Seems the problem lies not in their ability but rather in their aspiration level.

And finally there is “Matthew,” the world’s cutest dog. Our favorite thing was to go out of a Saturday morning and “drag” the commercial corridors. He could lean out the passenger window and attract the attention of any girl driving alongside. Enough of that. I don’t think the statute of limitations has expired.

The real story is that he received perhaps the first “butt call” ever on a phone. It happened this way. While home alone, he meddled with a phone on a table. The phone fell to the floor and the jar activated the redial mechanism. Since the last call had been to my office, it rang me. When I answered, the dog heard my voice and began barking. Of course I recognized him and we had a nice chat. It took days for me to figure out how he had reached me.

Acts of terrorism have resulted in sentences
 of solitary confinement for some dogs.
Time restrains me from accounting for other canines of interest. For example, there were Uday & Qusay, the twins who terrorized our farm for years and eliminated a healthy cat population. Also, we must skip over “Preacher,” the world’s laziest dog and Fisbo, who owned the farm before we did.

Anyway, as I say, I don’t care much for dogs.

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