Friday, July 27, 2007

My Favorite Dog

I am not a big fan of dogs. I have nothing against them, but I am allergic to them. I don't like being around them and I dislike taking the drugs needed to be comfortable in their homes.

Still, I live with it. It's not the end of the world. It's not the dogs' fault that I am allergic to them.

Some dogs I have liked more than others.

My allergy developed as an adult. As a child, I lived with a series of dogs. The first dog was Sugar. A terrier. Then there was Laddie, the shepherd-collie mix that I adored and lived with us for many years. Then there was Patches who was taken from his litter too young and was always a little wacky.

Laddie was quite a dog. Handsome, loyal, fun.

Across the street from the projects, between the municipal pumping station now owned by Wentworth Institute of Technology and Howard Johnsons, lived a junk-yard dog. A doberman who was mean. He barked a lot and the owner never let him run free for fear he would devour someone or something.

One day he got out and made his way into the projects. We lived on McGreevey Way, which was the next block up from the dog's home on Ward Street. It didn't take the dog long to make his way to the front of our building, and when he did, Laddie stood front and center. As the frightening-looking and frightened doberman made his skulking way towards us, Laddie began to growl. The doberman was walking in a crouch close to the ground growling back and before you knew it the dogs were a mangling heap of violence. Blood spewed, kids cried, mothers screamed, I yelled and yelled at Laddie to kill the doberman.

It seemed to go on for hours, but the fight was over in less than two minutes when the doberman's master arrived and pulled the dogs apart.

The doberman had blood all over its face, coming from its mouth, running down its legs. Laddie was covered in blood, too, and the conversation instantly went to the logistics of getting him to Angell Memorial Animal hospital three blocks away. It didn't take long, though, for one of the neighborhood mothers to notice that Laddie was not bleeding, that the blood on his coat was all from the doberman. She carefully wiped him down, and we found no cuts at all. He looked very proud and was calming down. I was so proud of him.

The dogfight was exhilarating and my dog won.

Until recently, I never wondered how I would have felt had Laddie lost the fight.

Recently, however, I learned that NFL quarterback Michael Vick killed dogs who lost dogfights. Seems a bit extreme to kill the dog because it lost a fight.

I never would have killed Laddie.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Excellent Sides Of Swamp Dogg Vol.1
Swamp Dogg

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