Friday, May 14, 2010

He was a lover and a fighter.

(GSD = german shepherd)

There was no doubt that Father was a ‘Lover’, after all his name derived from his sexual prowess in fathering god knows how many litters of puppies. Now I want to mention the aggressive side of Father. I’ve commented before about my apprehension of Father’s temperament. He was ‘semi-feral’ and furthermore, he was mean to me when he first came around our home. It turns out my misgivings about Father were not unfounded. I would later find out that Father knew how to fight and would readily scrap with any dog that challenged him. I’ve noted in this entry how Father tried to kill Abby in Abby’s first week at our home. This is just the tip of the iceberg concerning Father’s disposition to fight. What made Father’s belligerent tendencies around other dogs even scarier was the fact that Father was good at fighting. He pulled no punches and literally went for the jugular.

For example, a couple of stray dogs ventured to our house one afternoon curious to check-out the canine scene. When the pair saw Father who was on the other side of the fence from them, one of the dogs high-tailed it out of our yard. The schnauzer stuck around--dumb. Father jumped over the fence (the new fence had not been installed at this time) and faced off with the schnauzer. Not only did the dumb little shit not run away, but he squared off with Father and postured defiantly. This dog was about to have a bad day, almost as bad as a day can get for a living creature. Father didn’t bark or growl. He immediately sized up the dog, took his right front paw and knocked the schnauzer to the ground and in a near simultaneous move, clutched the interloper by the throat and lifted the animal off the ground. Father then began to shake his head back and forth vigorously. Now, did the schnauzer realize the dire situation and began screaming for its life. Father handled that thing like it was a rag doll. Had I not intervened, Father would have killed the trespasser, but I yelled at Father and by the time I opened the gate, Father dropped the dog, and the schnauzer ran away. We never saw him again.

Another fight I saw Father get in was with a German shepherd about 20 pounds heavier than Father. The dogs first met while Father was accompanying me on a run one afternoon. As we jogged by this dog’s house, he started barking and yelling at Father. Father was scared and rightly so. I had to protect Father from the bigger, aggressive, unfenced, and unleashed dog. We turned around and went back home. GSD 1 Father 0.

A couple of days later, the very same gsd came to our house. I guess he felt emboldened by Father’s fleeing and ostensible cowardice the other day and wanted to drive Father completely out of the neighborhood. This took a lot of nerve for the gsd to invade Father’s territory. The gsd walked up the hill where Father met him. This time, Father would not back down. I can’t fill in the details of the full encounter between those two, but the most vivid recollection I have is both of them on their hind legs with both of them baring their teeth. Even though Father gave away 20 pounds to his opponent, Father somehow gained a strategical advantage in this fight by locking down on the gsd’s throat with his jaws. Once again, Father was going for the kill, and once again, I had to intervene to save a neighbor’s dog that bucked up against Father in a losing battle. The gsd tucked its tale and ran away. A few days later, he had the nerve to return to our house, but this time all it took to ward off the trespasser was Father’s barking. The gsd didn’t even step foot on our land. We never saw him again.
There was a close call at the vet’s office one visit. In the waiting room, Father was sitting to my left while to my right a few feet away was an extremely high-strung Jack Russell Terrier. The little loud and yappy bastard constantly barked at Father for 5 minutes straight. The owners did nothing to curb his obnoxious taunting. I guess they thought it was cute. Meanwhile, Father was either too scared or weak to snap back at the dog. He may have been still recovering from the car sickness he suffered on the ride over. Father was also scared of the vet, so he couldn’t give his full attention to the little snot. Finally, Father was about to snap. He slowly lifted his head, turned to face the Jack Russell Terrier and let out a slow and low growl. Normally Father doesn’t give a warning to a dog he is about to kill, but these circumstances were unusual for him and he was out of his element. The JRT immediately shut the hell up and actually ran behind its owner. Finally, the owner spoke up and said to his dog ‘You better shut up or he’s going to kill you.’ Father would have killed him. I had no doubt.

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