ABC Dog School
copyright 2009  Carole J Sulser
2009  The Big Fight
Tuesday, Jan. 27  Journal

   As if not enough has already happened over there today, I hear yet another commotion.  I see Yellow Dog near his box in a strange juxtaposition with a black dog.  He's draped over the other dog, his hind feet being lifted from the ground;  This looks bad, but at least his tail is waving slowly.  Where's the Mrs.???  (I learn later that a tail waving slowly only to the left means trouble.  That's exactly where it is in the photo.)

   I take a picture and head out with my camera and a walking stick;  the dogs are really tangled up.  Suddenly they're fighting savagely, Yellow on top, black one underneath on his back.  I scream at the Mrs. to get out there, but no sign of her.  I scream some more, with no results.

   I snap some quick photos and scream some more and then set to work trying to get the dogs apart.  Yellow Dog is standing; black and tan is lying under him, right side up now; Yellow's nose and ear are bloody.  Using my stick to keep them from fighting and to avoid being bitten, I try to get them untangled.

   Yellow's chain in wrapped around the other dog's waist and between his hind legs.  He must be in a lot of pain.  There are cables and a number of snaps, none of them attached to the black dog.  Between intermittent fighting and fast-freezing fingers, I work at the snaps, but can't get them open.

   At some point I get one snap open, but it doesn't help.  I think the black and tan is the one I call Shorty; the one that was hanging in Star's pen earlier.  In desperation I start screaming toward the trailer again, then go back to work.  Creamy, the hot chick, is nearby observing and barking, maybe cheering them on and waiting to see who will win the prize.

   The dogs are all going ballistic, and my fingers are numb.  I get Shorty's hind leg out of a loop of cable, but it doesn't seem to do any good.  It looks hopeless.  And then, salvation!  I see the mailman stop.  I start yelling at him to please help me, but it doesn't look as though he hears me.  Finally I scream bloody murder, and am relieved to see him get out and come towards me.

   He tries to keep the dogs from fighting while I work on snaps.  Still no progress.  He holds Yellow while I go unfasten his chain from the tree.  Yellow tries to drag us toward Creamy, taking Shorty along with him.  Still can't get Shorty out of the chain.  Oh, God.  At last one of us gets the right snap open, and Yellow is free.  Off he goes with Creamy.

   Shorty wants to go after them, but he's still wrapped in chain.  I tell the mailman I need to go get a leash and call someone.  He offers me a cell phone, but I don't know any numbers.  So I leave him there holding the dog while I get home as fast as I can and call the pound.

   Answering machine!  Can you believe it?  I'm shaking, exhausted, and hysterical, but manage to hear a number for the dog warden.  I scribble it down, hoping it's right, and scream at the answering machine, hoping someone will pick up.  Then I try the dog warden and get another answering machine!!!  So I scream at that one and hang up.

   The number is different from the one he gave me last summer, so I call that one and finally get a living person to scream at.  They'll all think I'm a lunatic.  He tells me this situation isn't his job and I need to talk to the humane officer.  I tell him to send her immediately because I have to get back over there.

   When I get back, he has got the chain off of Shorty and tied him to the tree with it!  What a relief!  But, short-lived, as the dog gets free and takes off across the next neighbor's field.  About that time, Yellow Dog comes our way, and I grab him.  Using one of the snaps attached to a piece of cable, I fasten his chain to his collar and hope it holds.

   But the story doesn't end there, with everyone getting back to their business.  Shorty comes charging back, loaded for bear, and heading for Yellow Dog!  I get him stopped, and bless his heart, he lets me get a collar and leash on him.  But now what?  If I let him go, he'll be right back where he started.

   What would I want someone to do if my dog was in peril?  I'd want them to keep it safe.  So Shorty comes to my house for safekeeping.  Then I get a call from the warden, who is on his way, and a callback from the humane officer, who is plainly fed up with my complaints.  I wish she had been here!  And then the dog warden drives in.