Walter Mencken 10:15 a.m., Dec. 13
There are a lot of Dog owners in California - Ok this is popcorn/fluff but what can I say? I go door to door and I deal with dogs a lot, I mean they are usually the first ones to the door. And I have grown to respect them, I even have developed a rapport with em yep I,m serious and not on drugs. Not illegal ones anyway -to my knowledge that is- never can be too sure. Anyway when I walk up to a door with a dog inside and lately with the heat and all, the door is usually open with a latched screen door or metal door etc... And a dog usually comes up and depending on the type and closeness of his or her owner will act in a certain manner. The older dogs like the Labs or retrievers will usually bark at first to let me know they are doing there job then they will usually look back to see if anyone is coming and i'll usually say something like "go get ya folks" and the smart ones will look over there shoulders or bark at me a little more if there owners are watching. Its a trip I did not realize how intelligent some of these dogs are. Then there's the ones that jump on the door. ( ATTENTION THERE WILL BE NO TERRIBLE TRUTHS AT THIS TIME) So go and hunt for pain somewhere else.
Back to the story, The other day a dog jumped on the door ( I get those all the time especially with the small dogs but this was a Blue Ausie with the light eyes he jumped on the door and it came open. Now I knew this day was gonna come sooner or later and I was glad it was a medium size dog and not a Pit or Dobie. Anyways he was in shock, plus his owner was watching so he kinda stood there with a look like "whoa this ain't suppose to happen" and I,m backing up putting my trusty plastic flag container in front of me. Then he was relieved when his owner came and grabbed him around the collar and of course he stood up on his hind legs and growled vicously after that and it was at that moment I could swear I heard a voice say ( Dude it ain't nothing personal I,m just doing my job) Nawww it couldn't be. But I kinda understood if he could talk that's probably what he would be saying.
Not all of them are like that, I came to a door in Kearney Mesa and there was this huge Shepherd Elkhound mix that was about 150 pounds standing behind a portable fence, kinda what a lot of people put up for small children. His owner was there and the dog was obviously well trained but instead of growling he was making a whining sound and breathing in spurts and snorts that sounded a lot like a horse, I swear I could hear him saying after his owner said the same words I have heard a million times before. - (Don't worry he dosen't bite) And I could swear I heard the dog reply. - I ain't gonna bite him but please!! just let me chew on em a little bit. (needless to say I made a hasty exit out of the yard)
Dogs are intelligent, I spoke with a lady about a month ago with MS on the bus and she had a Gold Lab with her and she was in a powered wheelchair. She told me that her dog was just like her son and was trained to bond with her for life, he was actually trained to warn her if she had a siezure coming on - now that's deep, the dog could actually sense when she was about to have a siezure and warn her and anyone else in the area to assist her if need be. So I have gained a new respect for our four legged friends and I now realize that probably the main reason I have been so lucky with dogs for the past several years is because most of them can sense when people are a threat.
Plus I never walk up on a dog that is tied or just sitting in the yard when no one is watching and I also respect there territory. So after 7 years of door to door I have been lucky but also cautious too. Now on the other hand some times I run into some real stupid dogs especially the ones that's been tied up in the yard all of there life or kept in fenced in yards with minimal human contact.
The reason most of the dogs I encounter are so smart is because they are loved and cared for by there ownwers and it shows. However the rescued dogs are usually the ones that go all the way off and its mainly because believe it or not. They know that they have been rescued, and usually when someone gets a dog from a shelter. They become probably the most attentive dog owners out there, because they are taking a chance on a dog that's more than likely been abused, abandoned or whatever.
I recall one situation when I went to a house and this wired haired springer something- something, went totally off and was chewing on the door snarling, barking and growling all at the same time. There was another dog behind him, a White Toy Poodle jumping up and down behind him on her two hind legs and spinning around. Now when the dogs owner came to the door he was a huge guy around 6' 6" and was very mild mannered and the dog really started yelping as if he was hurt and licking the owner then turning to me and growling as he was being taken to the back yard.
When the owner returned he said he really gets upset when people come to the door and it's mainly because he is a rescued dog (meaning he got him out of an animal shelter). I agreed that he did seem a bit upset. And again my imagination kicked in, I guess because before he even said anything I knew that this dog was a rescued animal because I actually understood what he was saying and it went something like this .- I AIN'T GOIN BACK, I WAS ON DEATH ROW DUDE AND I AIN'T GOIN BACK AND I MEAN ITON EVERYTHING. YOU STEP IN THIS DOOR AND IT'S GONNA BE YOUR ASS OR MINE - I AIN'T PLAYIN, YOU AIN'T GONNA MESS THIS UP FOR ME - (and then when his owner picked him up he said)- Aw c'mon don't let him take me away and then he looked at me and said c,mon man don't mess this up. Look at that retarded poodle over there, they bought her for me, that's right i,m the only dog on the block with his own dog, yeah she ain't wrapped too tight but she's mine. C'mon man don't take me away. That's what I heard yall, what can I say? when ya walking door to door ya never know.
Update- 09/27/2009 -7:15PM- The Chargers Won !!!! And is it just me or does Norv look like a Coach all of a sudden? Did he go to Coach camp this summer or did he change barbers? He has a different look in his eyes. He lost that Gomer Pyle thing that he had going. Or was it Goober? I,m not sure but he reminded me a lot of Pat Riley today, and his demeanor and body language exuded confidence. All I can say is keep it up and please stop sending Sproles up the middle. Oh yeah on another note The Mesa Olympians won there first game on there new astro turf football field 38- 27. It was a great game, keep it up!!!
Ok back to the story, I actually only had a few dogs that really stand out in my mind. The first one was Rover and Rex when I was about four years old Rover was black and Rex was brown they were both just muts and the only thing that I can remember about them is that they killed and ate a few chickens that we had as pets. Then when I was nine we had a dog named Ruff a pedigree German Shepherd with papers. He used to actually sleep in the bed with me, and I even trained him with a book I got from the library. He was by far the smartest dog we had ever had before he would fetch the car keys when we going for a ride bring in the paper and all types of different things he was very posessive when it came to me and my brother and that's what caused him a lot of grief my mother was spanking me one day and Ruff started growling and barking at her. If we cried or got hurt he would actually howl and cry too. Well my mother wasn't having it, so Ruff got moved to the yard on a chain. My neighbor and friend would tease him through the fence while he was on the chain and one day we were all playing ball in the field behind my house and Ruff broke the chain and ran after the kid that teased him and bit him in the butte. He didn't break the skin but he ripped his pants. We had to pay for his slacks and then a few weeks later a parade was coming down our street and I was walking Ruff with a chain and harness and when he saw the kid from next door he went nuts again and broke the harness and ran through all those people out there and again bit the kid in the butte this time he did break the skin and we had to get rid of him so we gave him away. Then there was Curley Jo a black and white Border Collie mix about two months old that I got from this 18 year old white kid that I worked with that had serious aspirations of becoming a Rock Star. I basically saved him because he was actually living on a piece of Mcdonalds hamburger everyday.
This dog was unbelievably smart and possesive, I taught him hand signals he would actually stop and sit down a block away and then come to me just by watching my hand movements this came in handy when I was in a store and taking him for walks without a leash. He loved to take walks with me but all the training would go out the window if another dog approached me. He would fight any dog that came near me no matter how big they were. By the time Curley was about a year old he stopped eating the Purina that I kept in his feed dish. I had just moved into a house with my girl friend Cathy in the Park Hill area in Denver and we had a four foot high chain link fence around the yard of my house that he would clear with one hop, he would leave whenever he wanted too. But would always try to be home when I came home from work. Except once when I came home he would usually come up to me and give a little Doggie Dapp which meant he would place both paws in my hands while standing on his hind legs while I would pet him for a few minutes this was our bonding time. But one day I walked in the yard and there was this Caramel Cockerspaniel which was obviosly female sitting on the lawn next to him that day he just looked at me and grinned and I smiled and walked in the house. Every now and then he would go missing for a couple of days and I would go through the alleys looking in the very large dumpsters which is where I would usually find him. He enjoyed foraging and hunting for scraps of meat or whatever and I didn't have the heart to tie him up.
It's really difficult for me to write fluff stuff or stuff that makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over it's just not my style of writing ( not that I know what my style really is). But when I think about dogs in california and all the love and money that they spend on their pets and I try to see life from the dog's point of view. In other words I try to walk in their HHHMMMNNN "Paw Prints'' , I guess- hey they don't wear shoes, well most of them anyways. Then I think back to a time when I was about thirteen or so and my best friend Ty got a puppy and named her after a song that we were playing in the classical band at school, her name was "Wendy" . Now Ty and me went back as far as I could remember, we even ran home from school on the first day in the first grade because some one pulled the fire alarm and we thought it meant that we were supposed to go home. Ty had a lot of brothers and sisters but unlike everybody else in the bible belt they called their parents by there first names which was very hard for me to accept. I mean everybody called every adult Mr. or Mrs. but not them and they lived in a custom built home that resembled a Mini Castle at least to me at that time. Ty's grandmother was a close friend to my grandmother and I called her Ms. Ernie, she would always say back to me "my name is Ernie not Ms. Ernie" but I would still call her Ms. Ernie anyways. Now Ms. Ernie was different than most older women in the neighborhood. She would actually take walks around the neighborhood and get exercise while wearing a surgical mask. And most people just thought she was a little weird. But I didn't, I used to like talking to her because she always talked to me as if I were her equal and she made me feel like my thoughts count. Well one day we were discussing Wendy and at the time a lot of people were opting to get their pets neutered or spayed and I was talking to her while waiting for Ty to come out so we could go somewhere and she said something that I had never even considered before. I asked her if they were going to get Wendy Spayed and she replied " Why would you want to do that' don't you think that she would like to have some pleasure too? Ok again this is the bible belt and I,m thirteen. So I replied, "she's just a dog she dosen't know any difference". Then she said' "Dogs have feelings too". For some reason I never forgot that conversation with Ernie. And you know something I think she was right and why shouldn't pets experience the full life cycle. Why should they have to live their lives as living ornaments. On behalf of the pets in the world why not give them birth control instead of castration or de-sexing for a better word. For all those working dogs that devote their lives to their masters maybe sometimes they might want to have fun too. How about this?!! Why not open a resort for dogs that's not spayed or nuetered, kind of like the Love Boat, where they can meet other dogs and hang out and do what dogs do for fun and hey just because Benson, chases a frisbee dosen't mean that's really what he loves to do. But maybe that's his way of sucking up so he can get out to play. Who knows has anyone ever bothered to ask Benson what he would like to do? I say let the dogs be dogs and have some real fun after being good watch dogs, working dogs or even there to make you feel less lonely or even amused. How about a weekend every now and then at a dog resort. Who knows maybe one day we might even consider marriage. Ok Ok i'm not poking a stick at the Gay Marriage issue as a matter of fact I,m all for consenting human adults making commitments in a Wedding ceremony. And just kidding about the dogs getting married OOKKAAYY.
Ya know I got to thinking a little more about our furry friends and I wonder what exactly did they eat and how did they get food before we opted to domesticate them - I mean what did a Pomeranian or Chiquhaha eat or even a Pug? Seriously how did they survive with out Purina or an Owner providing for them or are they all the results of selective breeding and descendents of a wolf or something that can actually fend for themselves. Ok I,m getting away from fluffiness.
Ok That's it, I've been working on this piece for a month off and on and let's face it I am not a fluffy kinda dude. I just simply do not do Disney!!! At least at this time in my Life and this peice started out as a fluffy dog story and turned into an on-running doodle with commercials. I should have cut it off at the end of the dog impersonations. SO HERE IS THE GIST AND "T" TIME AGAIN.
It is very obvious that I have gained a lot of readers over the years since beginning this "Dog Owners Delight" I have watched people stand in the shadows as their dogs come to the door. I have had several dogs come out of the door at me which only usually happen about twice a year and lately it's twice a day. I actually had a dog the size of a St. Bernard attack me in the middle of the street and chew up my Flag container. So yeah I'm being read by many all over the city. How they are reading my drafts and e-mails is a trip to me. But the bottom line is that people are interested in what I have to say and love to "Sneak Peek" .
For the most part I think most people are curious about my relationship with a Drug dealing Pimp, that's been robbing me for my money for the last 17 years that every law enforcement agency knows about, but does nothing. That story I will not tell because I hope to sell it for a price. Which is how I plan on re-cooping some of my losses. I can not also tell about certain other areas because I am in the process of litigation. I am not going to be paid for any of my neighborhood stories by this magazine no matter how good I write.
So here's the deal - I think I can write good stories and since I,m not going to get paid don't expect greatness but decent stuff. So lets take this sneak a peek relationship to another level and here is the Pepsi challenge- If I get comments on my stories from anonymous people suggesting a subject and a thumbs up or thumbs down or what-ever it dosen't matter - I will pick out a subject and write a thousand words at least Bi-weekly but in return I gotta get a show of hands from the readers. Now I realize that this is really straightforward in a world where everybody talks out of the side of there mouths and it takes some of the fun out of it for the Sneaky Peekers but that's the deal. Take it or leave it!!!!