If you ever owned a dog, you've probably got a favorite story you like to tell, all dog owners seem to have such an affliction; here's mine.
Many years ago when we lived in southwest Connecticut our house was nestled on three acres in the woods. At the time, we had a large German shepherd named "Duke" who was a beautiful animal and a great watchdog. Nobody got into our house without Duke's consent, and I mean nobody. I'm not going to say he was an aggressive dog but he knew he was the cock of the roost in our neighborhood as other dogs kept their distance. This of course meant we didn't allow Duke to run free in the area even though it was wooded. Instead, my father hooked up a metal cable from the back of our house down the slope behind our property to a tree about 75 yards away. He then attached a chain to the cable, one end to slide along the cable and the other end to the dog. It was a secure connection yet afforded Duke considerable freedom down the back of our house into the woods.
The section of the cable that ended at the house stopped by our carport which offered Duke a dry area in the event of rain. We didn't leave the dog out constantly, but he did enjoy being outside particularly in such a scenic setting. In the carport we also stored shovels, rakes, garbage cans and our bicycles. At the time, I had a large J.C. Higgins bicycle which was a brand offered by Sears many years ago. It was an adult sized bike which I had trouble peddling as a small kid. My parents thought I would quickly "grow into it." Right. Ever try to operate a bicycle where your feet cannot reach the bottom of the peddles? This led to more than one crash before I finally "grew into it."
Anyway, one day I came home from school and parked my bicycle in the carport. My mother had put Duke on the wire before I got home and, as usual, the dog was glad to see me. I petted and scratched him before going into the house. I don't know how he did it but during the commotion, Duke somehow got his chain wrapped around the handle bars of the bike, not just once but twice. After awhile he naturally wanted to go down the stairs in the back and out into the woods. As he moved though, the chain wrapped more tightly around the bike. You've got to remember that Duke was a big dog and, as such, a tug on the chain wouldn't necessarily deter him. Consequently, the further he walked down the back, the bike began to move. So much so, the bike suddenly left the carport and went airborne down the chain. I can only imagine what that dog thought as he saw a large J.C. Higgins come rolling down the wire straight at him. Naturally, the dog ran off to elude the monster chasing him, but no matter how fast he ran the bicycle remained in hot pursuit. He finally made it to the end of the wire and hid behind the tree it was tied to. Only after the dog stopped did my bicycle come to a halt.
When I came back outside to the carport I could find neither my bicycle or dog. At first, I thought someone may have stolen them, but when I looked down the wire at the other end I saw my J.C. Higgins menacingly standing guard over a large German shepherd cowering behind a tree with its tail between its legs. It was quite a site; "some fearless animal" I thought. For a long time afterwards I noticed Duke kept his distance from the J.C. Higgins. He didn't trust it. Evidently this was a serious problem for Sears who discontinued the brand shortly thereafter.
Have you got a favorite dog story? Drop me a line and tell me about it.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at email@example.com
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