Corwin and the Hog Dog

image imageAunt Essie, like all of my aunts, was a wonder of fertility, if not child-rearing acumen, raising seven of the meanest boys outside Alcatraz. Thank God, her reproductive equipment gave out before she managed more. I thought Mother exaggerated when she said they’d all end up in jail or dead before they were thirty. She was wrong. Only four of the seven did jail time, and of these, one died in a bar fight after he was released at the age of twenty-eight. Most of rest passed their time boozing it up at Aunt Essie’s house when they weren’t begetting children or needed in jail. Contrary to Mother’s unjust prediction, all but one made it past thirty and one never went to jail.  The meanest of the lot turned out to be pretty boring. He opened a very successful auto body shop and became a deacon.  I hope Mother learned her lesson about being judgmental.

When Aunt Essie’s boys weren’t trying to kill us, they could be entertaining. Uncle July was an avid hog-hunter and was extremely proud of his Catahoula Cur Hog Dog, Catch. Out on the hunt, Catch would le go berserk with hog lust and “catch” wild hogs by the ear, hanging on until commanded to turn loose; not a nice dog. Uncle July kept him penned up, sternly warning us away from the fence. Catch might rage through the fence, “catching” us by the ear.

Aunt Essie and Uncle July heard “catch” noises from the dog pen and were horrified to realize one of their angelic three-year-old twins was missing. They rushed out and found Corwin and the monster dog rolling around in the dog pen. Expecting to retrieve the bloody corpse of his precious child, Uncle July leapt into to the pen to find Corwin latched down on Catch’s ear, blood pouring from the tattered edges. When asked why he bit the dog, Kelvin replied, “Dog bite me.” Corwin was fine except for a few drag marks.

Considering his tender age, it seemed premature to categorize Corwin, but he showed all the hallmarks of a psychopath. Energized and empowered by his encounter with “Catch”, his strange little mind focused on the unfortunate beast, making his life a living hell. Despite his concerned parents’ warning, he was soon back in the dog pen and had Catch cowering in a barrel half-buried in the dirt that passed for a dog house, howling piteously for rescue. Realizing he was no threat to Corwin, Aunt Essie and Uncle July abandoned poor Catch to his misery, knowing Corwin was off their backs as long as poor Catch was crying. Catch wet himself and ran under the truck next time Uncle July tried to take him out hog hunting, his spirit broken. Uncle July swapped him off to an unsuspecting buddy for a pirogue the first chance he got.

Surviving five horrible older brothers made Corwin and his twin Kelvin dangerous little devils. Their parents doted on all the boys, seemingly unconcerned about their reputations as hellions. When people complained about their bullying, their stock reply was, “What did your Johnny do to them?” artfully ignoring the obvious fact that the damaged kid was three years younger. Aunt Essie grieved because the twins would be her last babies, so she let them carry their baby bottles till the school put a stop to it. It was bizarre to see them coming in from playing football with their brothers, pull their bottles out of their back pockets, and fill them for themselves. They were fluent in profanity from the time they could talk.

As an adult, between stints in jail, Corwin lived in the dugout of the local ballpark. He’d worn out his welcome with Aunt Essie and his tippling brothers after attempting to burn her house down over their heads. He was forcibly extricated by the more sober among them, but did live to the ripe old age of forty-one. After the immediate threat of roasting in her bed passed, Aunt frequently mentioned letting him move back in, feeling he’d learned his lesson in jail, but her other boys had a longer memory and wouldn’t allow him back in.

Corwin spent the rest of his life residing between the ballpark, jail, and homeless shelters, except for brief stints with friends when he was flush with cash from his drug sales job.

image                    BUY my book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

How to connect with Linda

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

 

Advertisements

Comment from Newin Defol

I was once the shared owner of a Samoyed dog – not dissimilar in appearance to Buzzy, the same snow white colour, but perhaps a little larger (he was a male), and learnt a thing or to (the hard way!) about the upkeep and daily maintenance of these gentle and endearing long hair breeds (We acquired bags and bags and bags of dog-hair!) They make a wonderful addition to a home, but are something of an all-round labour of love…ever more so when deep blue carpets run throughout the house…and boy, do they like to chew…doors, fridges, skirting boards, floor tiles, table legs, chairs, upholstery, clothes, shoes, books, and electrical leads – I’m certain they are related to goats! lol 🙂

At the time of ownership I was between jobs and had the hours to spend walking him miles and miles in a futile attempt to induce a little fatigue, but all to no avail, he would literally run non-stop 24/7 if given the chance. Anyway, we were also the new owners of a smoky-grey Burmese kitten that we had acquired from the London Docklands and named Alfie after the character portrayed by Michael Caine in the film of the same name. He was adorable, and the two inseparable from the start. What we hadn’t bargained for was the kitten spending time grooming the dog, natural though it may be, but as it turned out, certainly an unanticipated oversight on our part.

One evening Alfie came wobbling over like a drunkard to where I was sat on the floor and quite literally collapsed in my lap, severely fatigued, excessively dehydrated, and altogether close to death. Up until that moment he’d not displayed any sign of ill health nor given us cause for concern, we had been so careful in taking care of him. Following a brief moment of sheer panic, we cradled Alfie in a shoebox, grabbed the car-keys and headed immediately to the vets, hoping that the rush-hour traffic would not delay us unnecessarily. Upon arrival Alfie was given priority due to his condition and taken at once for examination and treatment.

What seemed like a long time passed before the vet reappeared and announced he was still a little uncertain of the root cause behind Alfie’s collapse but advised possible renal failure due to his presenting symptoms. He suggested persistence with exploratory tests if we were prepared to have him stay overnight. Well of course we had no option other than to accept his request, grateful indeed to have the little fella looked after, and equally as grateful for having had the foresight to acquire pet-insurance when Alfie first came to us (The vet’s bill would run to just short of 3.5k sterling). That was the first night of what turned out to be a long 7 days, during which time Alfie was subjected to a variety of tests and treatments in the hope of avoiding surgery due to his tender young age…treatments that included x-rays, two or three blood transfusions and a whole host of tracing agents, diuretic pills and potions, and round-the-clock attendance by wonderfully committed staff. When each of these seemed to fail to provide satisfactory answers, the vet had no option other than open him up and take a look inside.

At the end of a long week, the vet telephoned and asked if we would like to come down and collect Alfie. He said Alfie had responded superbly to his surgery, was a little sore in places but ready to go home. He concluded his call by saying he, the vet, had something interesting to show us. We arrived some 50 minutes later, thrilled to be having our little furball back in the fold. Alfie was perky, smiling as cats do, and altogether back to within a spitting distance of his former self. After completing the formalities and necessary paperwork, the vet presented us with a sealed jar, about the size of a regular jam-jar, within which was stuffed a coiled mass of matted hair some 15 inches in length and a good inch or so wide that he’d removed from Alfie’s stomach earlier in the week. Indeed, the coiled mass of dog hair had been unwittingly ingested as a result of Alfie’s loving attention, and had after a period impacted in his intestines and ultimately caused his renal failure.

Suffice to say, we upped our grooming game following Alfie’s return home and remained as vigilant as possible in keeping the pair apart when fun and play became licks and washes. Of course this was not always possible, but Alfie learnt quickly and grew even quicker and thankfully, finally gave up the need to be so closely attentive to the dog. He went on to enjoy a very happy life. Oh, and just for the record, we decided to dispose of the jam-jar and matted hair after numerous explanations and presentations to family and friends…it didn’t age so well once out in the air! Ewww! As for the dog-hair knitted sweaters…we had two made for posterities sake, unaffordable to us, both were gifts from family, and although neither were ever worn, I distinctly remember them being wonderfully soft and comfortingly warm just like the dog who grew the fur.

Thanks for listening 🙂

Namaste

DN – 11/09/2015

Note from Linda at Nutsrok.  I got this incredible comment from dewinnefol.wordpress.com in response to my post https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/tale-of-the-hair-of-the-dog-sweater/  It is way too good to keep to myself.  I am posting it with his permission.  Enjoy it and check out his blog.

Tale of the Hair of the Dog Sweater

Mother and BuzzyimageMy son John lives to torment my mother.  Buzzy, our American Eskimo Dog sheds incessantly, making up vacuum every day to stay ahead of him.  One day my husband Bud noticed a big paper bag on the mantle stuff full of Buzzy’s combings, hair pulled from his brush, and hair swept from the floor.  Amazed, Bud asked, “What in the world is this bag of dog hair doing up here?”

Mother chimed in, “Oh, that’s Buzzy’s hair I saved up for your sweater.”

This was the first Bud had heard of his dog hair sweater.  He thought maybe Mother had finally come unhinged.  “What dog hair sweater?”

“The one you’re going to get the woman at work to make for you out of Buzzy’s hair.”  Mother thought Bud was losing it.   “John told me to be careful to gather up all the hair I could find every time I came over so that woman you work with can spin it and make it into a sweater for you.  How long do you think it will take to get enough?”

Poor Bud had to break her heart.  “John’s been pulling your leg, again.  There ain’t gonna be no dog hair sweater.”

imageMy son, looking his best.

image

Photo of hair I brushed out of Buzzy this morning, pictured next to pint jar.

Framed!

image

I spent most of the summer away from home this year.  My friend Ann, the charming lady in the background above was my gracious host.  One morning, she asked me if I’d like to pay a visit to her favorite resale shop.   She’d found some bargains and had to go back with the cash to pay for them  It was a great sale; everything was five dollars.  In fact, earlier that day, she had gotten a pair of Gucci Loafers and the gorgeous leather bag you see me clutching above.  Jackson, her little dog was snuggled in the bag for the duration.  I should have known from the worried look on his face that Ann might be plotting to rid herself of her summer-long guest.  The store was packed.  Women were trying on clothes in the aisles.  One customer’s skirt was sold while she was busy trying on another in the aisle.  As Ann rifled the racks hoping for one last bargain, I held Jackson and her purse, moving to stand in a breeze near the front door.  The shop owner, recognizing the beautiful bag Ann had bought there just that morning, called out to warn her I was stealing her bag.  Not realizing who she was talking to, I stood there like a dope, looking around for the purse thief.  In a minute or two, Ann realized what was going on and saved me from arrest.  It’s a good thing I had Jackson concealed on my person, or she might have just let them haul me off.

Hey, That’s My Mole !

imageimage

Bubba, the second in our series of four American Eskimo Dogs, now respectfully referrered to as the late Uncle Bubba, was a great and fearsome dog.  We’d been plagued by moles in our yard, which we’d been unsuccessfully battling.  Bubba was extremely interested in the beasts, as any fine hunting dog would have been, but had never actually spotted one.  He’d continually dirtied up his beautiful white coat in attempting to dig out the wily Star-Nosed Mole, courageously enduring bath after bath.  Unbelievably, his heroism eventually paid off!  Finally digging one out, he presented his prize gallantly!  Each of us bragged over his trophy in turn, praising him highly!

He kept his trophy handy all afternoon, bringing it forward from time to time when his ego needed a little boost.  Sadly, for Bubba, a passing crow also admired his catch, swooped down, and snatched it from him.  Devastated, Bubba loped behind him, barking in fury.  “Hey, come back here! That’s my mole.”