the two-faced dog

I need my head examined. I have a soft spot for animals. Yesterday, Sunday, my neighbor called me about 7:30AM as she was getting ready for church. She told me the dog next door dogonhillsidehad gotten loose and that she had called the police, but they couldn’t do anything for her. The animal control officer is off on Sundays…so she proceeded to tell me the dog was caught on a tree or something in her yard, and of course, she is absolutely petrified of dogs and could not get past it to get to church. This one acts vicious, so I was hesitant about approaching it. It’s a mix of some sort. She told me the officer would not get out of his car to approach the dog, so I guess that might be a clue.

I had just showered and was lounging with coffee when she called, but I put on some clothes to oblige her and the dog somehow. I banged on the neighbor’s door (dog’s owner) but no one answered. As I approached the dog he became highly agitated, baring teeth to all get out. I stood there a few minutes looking at how the lead it was on had broken from the chain wrapped around the tree in the yard. I told the dog I was there to help it, and did not feel afraid in the least at that point. I approached it and stooped down to it’s level to allow it to smell my hands. At one point I saw it’s expression change and then it completely submitted, lying low on the ground at first then rolling over for me to rub its belly. I petted him and talked to him a few minutes, then proceeded to undo the lead from the only thing that kept it from being in the road—the rake it had dragged along with it and caught between two saplings. The dog was obviously frightened to be within inches of the road, but still unsure what to make of me.

I managed to undo the rake and then held onto the large diameter rope that was attached to its collar. Meanwhile, I hear the neighbor screaming inside here house that those are killer dogs, I could get my face ripped off, and she was calling the police to tell them what I was doing. Well, I did see them drive by a few minutes later as I was standing on the  dog owner’s porch, with a very docile animal at that point, knocking on the door. I could not get any answer at the door and still had an animal that needed to be tied up someplace.

I looked to where it normally sits, a rather large heavy chain attached to the tree, on a hillside, not far from the basset sharing the hillside. Neither could lie down unless on an angle, how dreadful…how uncomfortable. They easily got tangled on rocks or the trees they were attached to, and their water buckets were far from where they could get a drink, were they even upright or filled. I did what I could to provide a little water while there.

I was pertrubed, to say the least. I had promised my neighbor she would get to church on time. All I could do was attach the lead to a tire swing rope, a flimsy polyrope, unlike the heavy duty chain and rope that held the dog before, but I had no choice, really. The dog was probably the strongest dog I have ever had to deal with, and were it not for the sapling’s assistance, that dog probably would’ve dragged me into the street when it was first freed and able to move about.

Anyway…I was outside with the dog probably a good 15 to 20 minutes before leaving it.

At the usual time, I went to the neighbor’s house to walk her to church. She was terrified. I told her God was protecting us and that the animal would not bother us on the way to church. He didn’t, he was busy trying to get at a stretched animal skin along the side of the house. So we walked quickly, almost a run for my neighbor, and by the time we got into church, she almost tripped and fell getting into the church, her heart pounding so hard I could feel it when I put my arm around her shoulders to calm her once we sat down. She said there is nothing that makes her feel safe when it comes to dogs, but she felt God was protecting me for some reason. Well, I was determined to getting her to church on time. That was getting to church. Be it the way things usually happen…the preacher chose to use some references to dogs as part of his sermon. On the way to church, I thought it might happen, but I couldn’t imagine how the preacher would tie dogs in to any sermon he had planned. He began with Jeremiah 17:7, which I found interesting by itself. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”He continued a few verses after that. The “dogs” reference came when he was talking about visiting the homes of people (and parishioners) who have dogs. He said if they greet him at the car door, and he can see them eye to eye, chances are he won’t be getting out of the car. He went on to talk about the little yappy ones that he called ankle biters, and that the dog who is smiling is the one to watch out for the most. He said it seems people keep dogs just to keep the pastor from visiting. He got lots of laughs with that.

On the way home from church, it was another story. My neighbor had calmed down but apparently the dog’s owner was still not awake or there, yet. She walked on the opposite side of the street until she got to her steps, then crossed, and I walked on the side of the street as the dog and her house until she got inside. The dog responded to me as though he had never seen me before in his life. Because he was now attached to the tire swing, he was able to come to the edge of the rock wall on the property, putting him about eye level with me as I walked on the sidewalk. He was pretty ferocious, almost foaming at the mouth as he lunged, the tire swing giving him a little more give when he did. I suppose I may have been fearful for my life as a passerby. I let the preacher’s words ring in my ear, about the eye to eye thing. Fear can be a healthy thing.

I went home, put a couple of cups worth of dog food in a bad and threw it into the yard, also placing a bag near the other dog. I had no way to know how long they had been outside, when or if the owner would be back. As far as I knew, he could’ve been dead inside the house. Trying to be a good neighbor here, but I doubt I will go back into the yard to pet the dog. Funny how they can lavish you with affection one minute and froth at the mouth hoping to rip your neck open the next.

Meanwhile, as usual, I did collages over the weekend, but did not do any anagrams, so just enjoy the conversational comics. Collages from the 20th (top) and 19th (bottom).  You may notice in the one I did today, as I was pasting words from a comic strip that say, “Keep moving, keep moving, keep…” I heard a commercial come on for Bank of America, hearing the words, “…we keep moving forward.” That’s kinda’ what I heard when I got near the dog after church…which is why I only threw the bag of food to him but did not even try to pet him or talk to him. It was the least I could do even if he was ferocious again.4-20-09toons

4-19-09toons

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