The Attack Dog

Our front porch was kind of like a screened in front room. It did not stick out from the house. The rest of the front of the house was a “den” with windows on all three sides (including towards the porch). The living room ran the full width of the house.

I have no recollection WHAT kind of dog we had, just that I loved that dog. I recall it being a mid-sized long-haired dog. That dog did not like being excluded from the porch and would dig holes in the screen door to get on the porch. She (aha! It was a girl dog!) … She liked to curl up in the corner of the porch to sleep. I guess it was the next best thing to being IN the house.

A few doors down from us a new family moved in. I believe it was the summer of my freshman or sophomore year (which would make me 12 or 13). Among this family was a pretty cute girl. The dad was retiring from the Air Force and had the attack dog he had worked with in the Air force, guess he was an MP. Apparently, the dog retired with him as well. It was a mean German Shepard.

Whenever I would try to visit the new girl, just to be hospitable you know, that dog would lunge and bark, snarling and showing its teeth. It didn’t work out between us.

Dogs began to turn up dead in the neighborhood, maybe one or two a week. One dog that I saw myself had the back of its hind legs torn out and its throat was ripped out as well. Someone said that was how attack dogs did it – disable the hind legs so the prey can’t run and then finish him at their leisure. Every kid in the neighborhood KNEW (or thought they did) what was killing the dogs. it was that German Shepard!

One night I was home alone watching TV when I heard sounds of a struggle on my front porch – and MY dog making growling noises… I looked out the den windows and saw the German Shepard cornering MY dog on MY porch! I sprang to the kitchen and grabbed the first knife I saw and busted out the front door to save my dog!

JUST as the screen door slammed behind me and as I stood there, knife in hand ready to do battle with the snarling beast in front of me, the thought occurred to me. THIS dog is TRAINED for knife fights!!!

But I also knew they could sense fear, and damnit, he WASN’T getting MY dog! I snarled BACK at him, yelled at him, waved my arms to frighten him, and stomped my feet. I did everything I could think of BESIDES actually attacking him. MY dog hid behind me, glad to leave this one to ME . . .

Almost reluctantly, the beast turned and ducked out the hole in the screen… I was going to LIVE!!!! I don’t know who was happier – me or my dog – we BOTH dodged a bullet that night….

I think word got around because they moved out again – and took the beast with them. The neighbor children rejoiced.

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