Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mixin' It Up

Pit Bulls rule the genetic make-up of most dogs in our shelters now - potential adopters are told “This is a Lab mix, and this is a Beagle mix, and this is a Poodle mix.” The shelters never say, “This is a Pit Bull mix.” My Pansy with the magic foot, that’s the Basset in her,  has pit in her, and it comes out every once in a while in a funny way; she loves to play rough and Boogie obliges, he's twice her size, but if he messes with her bad foot, she squeaks and then goes into a mini rage - but she always catches herself, right at the precipice, she never goes full nuclear, the Basset genes prevail. And she never goes there with Luna because Luna tried to kill her the first week she arrived - Luna went nuclear over a carrot! That's the Fox Hound raised with 80 other Fox Hounds part of Luna, it's not a pretty sight - but she keeps Pansy in check. Poor Boogie, he doesn't have a mean bone in him, he's the gentle giant.

Boogie and I were walking on Sunday afternoon, we have this great 4 mile route we do from our driveway onto a loop road that's mostly rural. Never had any encounters with loose dogs on the road until this walk - there was though, the winter’s day when the albino Pit Bull, that usually lives in a pen at the edge of a soybean plot and mournfully calls to us sometimes, dragged her little boy at the other end of her chain all the way to the street to greet us, it was a frightening sight, but tails were wagging as soon as she reached us, and the boy was unhurt, only embarrassed.

But on this road we pass a family compound that sits on the hill in a grove of mimosa and catalpa trees, right before you get to the 7 Mile Creek bridge - four neatly kept homes, two on each side of the street, all one black family. One of the homes has a Boxer, big beautiful fellow that usually barks at us from the living room window of one of the houses. Well, on Sunday, the driveway was full of cars, they were obviously having a supper gathering after church, and so the Boxer was out in the yard, loose and looking for trouble, and he came barreling out of the yard, hackles up, barking, and thank goodness I had a strong harness on Boogie, all 95 pounds of him, I put myself between Boog and the Boxer, and stomped my foot and hollered "GO HOME!" which means nothing to dogs these days, didn’t everyone used to teach their dogs GO HOME in the old days? But it sounded good at this moment, and you know what? It stopped the Boxer, but then he stood there weighing his options, and Boogie was like, "Mom, let me at 'im" and my good dog turned into guard dog.

So Boogie's barking, using his squirrel-treeing voice, it’s not a bark, it’s a singing, cause he’s really mostly Red Bone you know, no Pit Bull in him, and the Boxer starts trying to get around me to get to Boogie and I'm dancing between them yelling GO HOME over and over and over, while Boogie is singing “Wo Wo Wo” and all I'm thinking is don't let them touch each other, if they touch, the sparks will fly, and then the fight will begin. So Nobody comes out of the house, and I'm yelling at the Boxer and finally I stomp my foot at him so close to his front paws that he turns tail and retreats to the edge of his lawn. Now the old black folks across the street come out on their porch and then the grand kids come out, and you know they're thinking What's Wrong With That White Lady? Cause the Boxer is standing safely in his yard now, just wagging that stump of a tail of his.  Finally the owner of the Boxer comes out on her porch and calls it inside, Get In Here and Don’t Mind That Crazy White Lady and good dog that the Boxer is, it runs straight in the house, which makes me say, “Thank You” very loud and nothing else, cause everyone is looking at me like I'm nuts - oh well. I don't think Boogie and I will walk by there on Sunday afternoons any more - Sunday morning when they're in are church will be just fine.

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