Some biting remarks
Welcoming and departure ceremonies for various events and people are as customary as apple pie itself.Usually, these events are cause for celebration, happiness, nostalgia or whatever, but there is a unique classification not necessarily looked forward to, that is reserved for people such as meter readers, postal delivery people, and yes, veterinarians making house or ranch calls. Looking back upon my own experiences, without exception they spiced up my life.
Most dogs are by their nature, protective of their turf, whether it be a private home, barnyard or junk yard. And such protectiveness motivated people in these occupations who met up with aggressive dogs, to use whatever defensive measures that they could legally apply. Although probably not ethically acceptable under today’s standards, 50 years ago my own defensive mechanisms centered around the use of a kiddie’s softball bat.
Frequently, it wasn’t the overtly barking dog greeting my arrival that caused the trouble. Instead it was the quiet dog lurking just around the corner of the machine shed who launched the offensive shortly after my arrival. Over the years, I was the victim of many episodes of being bitten and/or chased by such dogs, but most have been forgotten over time. Two events, however, remain vividly etched my mind, and those stories go as follows:
The modus operandi of one remarkable dog, I’ll never forget. This creature had the penchant for waiting in the background until my call was nearly complete, when I’d re-packed my gear into the pickup, and was climbing into the cab.
The first event came quite unexpectedly when the dog coming from nowhere, made a bee-line toward me and sank his teeth into the calf of my leg!
On the next visit to these premises (and this is where the kiddie-sized softball bat enters in the plot), I was properly armed and duly diligent (I thought). Nevertheless, the dog evaded my repelling action and bit me a second time (same place).
The third time however, my plan of defense was more properly thought out. As my assailant rapidly approached, I managed to land a “soft tap” alongside the dog’s head. He thereupon appeared to recognize the significance of the event and never bothered me again.
There was another dog that left an unforgettable impression up on my memory (and other parts).
In this case, it involved an ancient dog of questionable ancestry who, upon my arrival in my client’s driveway, was doing what he did the best. He was sound asleep in a flower bed! Or at least he was until I opened the gate to their front yard. Hearing the sound, he roused from his dreams, quickly sized up the situation and with two enormous bounds managed to sink his aged teeth into my posterior.
His duty done, he returned to the flower bed, lay down and promptly resumed his nap.
When it became apparent to me that the wound might need immediate attention and in an area inaccessible to me, I considered asking the assistance of the lady of the house, who by now had heard the ruckus and was standing on the front porch.
Seeing no other recourse, I asked her if she would mind ministering to my wounded area. Expressing words of sympathy and without hesitation, she entered the house and promptly returned with the necessary tape and medications. As gracefully as I could, I dropped my trousers whereupon she quite cheerfully performed the necessary services.
I thanked her, tried to recover my wounded dignity, and proceeded to take care of whatever animal that had originally necessitated my visit to their place.
In the meantime, the dog lay serenely asleep in the flower bed, no doubt dreaming of his most recent conquest.