Friday, January 13, 2006

A 'Doggy Dog' World

There was one particular summer day, where all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I was tired. I was working for a telecommunications company in their call center. I used to take calls from nasty customers who wanted to know why they had a three cent mark up in their tax section on their phone bill. I would tell them to take it up with their congress. Little biddies that would call up yelling , because everything is so damn complicated.
“It’s not like the old days when all you had to do was dial an operator and get a live person.” And then give me the “big hang up” on her old rotary phone.

Our boss always offered “E time”. This meant, “excused time”. If it wasn’t busy, they would let a number of people go home—but without pay. This day, I didn’t care if it was without pay, I needed my bed. Other employees wanted to take advantage of the great weather. Not me. It was 3pm, and I was ready to take a long needed nap.

Madelene was still working, and I had three hours to myself to just sleep. I made sure all my phones were off. As I cranked up the a/c in my room, I tossed myself under a big comforter and went into a peaceful slumber.


I stood up from my bed. What the? I didn’t know what that noise was. It sounded like weird fireworks or an old pick up truck backfiring.


What the #*%^? I fell to the floor—hoping to miss any stray bullets. It’s not as if I lived in the ghetto here. Who would be firing gunshots right outside the house?

“Charlie!!! No!!!” I hear my mother call out. This couldn’t be good. My heart rate went up like a rocket. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I made my way down the stairs slowly. My knees were shaking uncontrollably as I walked down each step. I held on to the railing as if my life depended on it. I went down to where my parents live. As I walked into the living room of my parent’s section, I saw my mother walking inside holding her hands together tightly.

“Ma! What happened?” She just nodded at me as if to say ‘nothing’. She couldn’t talk. She was too shaken up.

“Is dad okay?”
“Well what happened?”
“The neighbor’s Rottweiler chased after me while I was getting out of my car. I came inside crying, because I was so scared. He almost followed me into the house. Then your fatha’ came out and shot at the ground near the dog, but it spit up pellets and pebbles. The dog was hurt.”

The neighbor’s are Italian as well. They have four boys, and my father has four girls. We always got along with them. They’re very wealthy and have a courtyard full of large houses---all owned by them. The boys are all married and have families of their own.

The doorbell rings. I sneak over to eavesdrop. It was my neighbor—the father of the four sons.

“Did you shoot my dog?”
“Wha? He ran afta’ ma’ wife!
“Did you shoot my dog?
“I shot at da’ floor to scare him away, but da’ pebbles flew up at him.”
“You shot my f*cking dog you son of a b*tch?”
“Ya’ lucky he didn’t bite ma’ wife, or I woulduv’ ripped da’ dawg’s heart out ya' bastard! I’ll kill him if he eva’ puts foot on ma’ property again! Gofforbid’ he bites one a’ my dauwtas!!!—I’ll keel ya’---ya rat bastard!”

My jaw dropped to the ground. I then heard other men talking and screaming. The four sons were at the door too. I heard them come inside. I heard a lot of banging and rumbling. They were fighting in the other room. I didn’t want to go in. I ran upstairs and called 911. I was worried that my father would have a heart attack. He just got over a heart attack a year prior to this. He’s 300+ lbs and has serious health issues.

“911 what’s your emergency?”
“M-m-m-my father is being attacked in our home!”
I said, shaking and trembling from fear.
“Where do you live?”
“2124 Fake Street.”
I said, as I heard screaming and yelling from the other room. I seriously thought they were killing my father. Five men against one big guy? Hard call.

Then there was the sound of a slamming door and silence for a few minutes, until I heard my father yell out, “Son ova’b*tch!” I sighed with relief, knowing that my father was still with us.

“Get ova’here!” My father called out to us, as we hid behind the door that separated us from the battle of the Italian war. There wasn’t a scratch on my father. He sat in his big chair as if he was relaxing after a nice walk outside. He wasn’t even out of breath. This guy is fearless and unstoppable.

“I broke dat’faggot’s arm while pushin' all five’ov’dem outa’ here.” He said all proud, as though he had just won a wrestling competition. There were traces of blood by the doorway, left by one of the sons. Keep in mind, the sons are all in their thirties and very well built. My father took on all five of these guys--the father and his four ‘strong’ sons. Makes me laugh. Of all the outrageous fighting stories that my dad told me--which I never believed--he sure convinced me that day. Sixty-five years old and still strong like bull! The police finally got there twenty minutes later. It’s not their fault. We live on a donkey trail that’s like a maze. That never sat well with me while I had my anxiety attacks—thinking it was a heart attack. How would I be saved? They would be late, and I’d lay there dead, with a 911 operator yelling in my ear, "Are you still there? Hello? Hello?" It’s definitely not a comforting thought.

The police took statements from everyone and they ended up going to court. The dog was okay. He had little pebbles in his skin of his front leg. He had to wear a bandage for a little while until it healed.

My father got charged with firing a gun within certain limits of a residential neighborhood. Ironically enough, a few feet from my yard, and you could go hunting. We have tons of Appalachian trails and woodsy areas all around us. It was understandable that firearms cannot be used that close, but in this case, it was more of self-defense on my father’s part.

We usually had to watch ourselves while we were outside by the pool, or relaxing on the patio, because of all these threatening dogs that roamed around. My neighbor’s think, “Oh well, this is the country, let the dogs run free—it’s good for them.” Good for them---but what about us? I couldn’t even go outside my house without fearing for my life. It’s not fair.

The neighbors didn’t even get charged with a ‘no leash law’. They said in order for them to be charged with something, the dog has to bite you three times. Oh lovely. So the third bite, and I’m bleeding all over God’s creation---then I can charge them! Great. You have to love the way the system works.

My father paid the vet bill, and the neighbors never got charged for anything---even if they did charge into the house to attack my father. They currently still live near us—but I have a feeling they are living in fear. My father said he wants to put a sign outside the property…

“Forget about the attack dog---beware of the owner!”

In your honest opinion, do you think that this case was handled properly? Do you think my father was wrong? Do you think it was right for the neighbors to barge into our home and ‘try’ to attack my father? Or do you plead the fifth?


Leesa said...

My uncle lived next to “2124 Fake Street.” So it was your Dad that shot his dog.

Seriously, it sounds like perhaps nothing should have happened. I am an animal lover, but if any dog/cat/llama attacks a human, I don't think it is wrong to shoot or beat with a bat or whatever, as long as you are protecting a person from harm. Here in Georgia, we have some pretty mean llamas!

On a more serious note, there have been some children hurt seriously from certain dog attacks. I know, dog owners will say that pit bulls are warm, fuzzy animals, but sometimes they attack their owners kids. Hmmmmmmm. Not sure I would want that kind of dog around if there were children in the area.

~Deb said...

Well, I have two nieces and a nephew that come over and play outside all the time. My father has to sit outside with them and carry a stick. Now when my little niece walks outside with my father, she says, "Poppy--you got your stick with you?" And she's only three years old. I like animals too, but when the owners can't control them, and they end up hurting someone--possibly killing a person--then it's a matter of the dog vs. a human life.

Shannon said...

I don't think your father was wrong at all...people go before animals and if that was my child or any of my loved ones I would do the same. Ok maybe not but I don't fault him.. I would do ANYTHING for my kids so I can't judge.

I think your Father got robbed!! But atleast he kicked some azz!! I am proud of him, now tell him to relax, no stress, and no fighting anymore.. !! =)

Laura Elizabeth said...

My brother had a Rottie. That dog scared the shit out of me. It once ate (no, I'm not kidding, ATE) the poodle of our parents' next-door neighbors. The poodle crossed over to my parents yard once too often and Zena (the rottie) went batshit and killed, then ate, the dog.

Amazingly, the neighbors were cool about it. Devastated, but they didn't call the police, get the dog put down or sue my parents.

My sister has a Rottie now. This dog is as gentle as a buttercup. He's afraid of everything and cowers when kittens chase him. I'm afraid of what people will do to him, because he's very scary looking. Would he chase a human being? Never. Would Zena? In a heartbeat - and she'd try to attack too.

My point is, it varies from dog to dog, owner to owner, but you can never be too careful.

Did you Father do the right thing? Yes. The neighbors went overboard and they were out of line. They know what kind of dog they have - they should have been apologizing to your Mom, not giving your parents shit.

~Deb said...

Shannon: My father definitely broke that guy’s arm and injured a few of them—but they couldn’t sue him due to the fact that they were ‘inside the house’. Tell him to relax? Oh—he loves excitement—that’s the problem and that’s the reason for my many psychiatry visits! Believe me!

Laura: You’re right. It does depend on the owner. I had a friend who owned a Rottie, and she was the most loving dog I ever met. I wasn’t scared of her at all—she was a big bear to me. Other people sometimes raise their dogs differently, making them more violent. My neighbors never apologized. They thought they were ‘right’. He just got fired up because my father shot at the dog---but didn’t aim at him. He wanted to scare the dog away—not hurt it. Thanks for stopping in and giving me your input!

velvet said...

I think your Dad was right to defend himself and his family. I'm shocked that the men were not charged with assault. They must have "family" in the justice system.

We also live in an area where the homes have no fences and one or two dogs running loose have created a lot of dogs running wild. Many of these dogs are not "fixed", so they have the potential to be more aggressive. I was chased up our driveway by 5 of them once and barely made it into the door. They travel in packs, so no doubt they get a mob mentality.

Needless to say I don't let my cats outside and I wouldn't hesitate to pound one with the club to my car or a cactus if it gets too close.

I am an animal lover, so this is very frustrating. In the spring my GF gets a little nervous because she knows I bait the new puppies + kittens and then bring them to the humane society. Last year I saved 1 female pup and a moma cat and her litter of 2. I costs $20 per animal to turn them in, but it is worth it. That hardley covers the cost of a week of care for one animal at the HS.

Migraine Boy said...

They could have easily gotten blasted themselves running into someone's house. I think your Father let them off easy, but you've got to admit that this must be workin' Hell on their egos. Five guys get their asses handed to them by one 65 year old guy.

Your Dad sounds Old School! My Father is 67 and I'm still not sure I could handle him.

Anonymous said...

Nobody should have a right to shoot a dog in any circumstance! It’s cruelty to animals. You didn’t state that your mom got hurt, so why shoot at the dog? I think your father was wrong for shooting at it even if he didn’t aim at it. The dog was hurt and your mother wasn’t. She got away and there was no harm done.

DSMars said...

Those 5 guys should ALL have been arrested for aggrivated assault and home invasion charges. Leash laws vary from city to city and if you're not within city limits, you're at the mercy of the laws of the county. Around here, there are no county leash laws. If a dog bites a human once, it generally gets put down, though. Even in the cities, enforcement of leash laws and protection of the people doesn't happen until there is an incident.

I don't believe in being cruel to animals or other people for that matter, but I'm a vengeful bastard and will reciprocate a hurtin'.

DSMars said...

On a similar note. Many people say they can't stand to see a dog on a chain or in a pen. I can't stand to see you're dog in my headlights on the highway or as a gorey mess splattered on the road. If people really care about their animals like they say they do, then they should restrict their movement. I hit 2 hunting dogs on the highway one year. The first one tore up the splash guard under my car, and the second one destroyed the headlight/turn signal and front quarter panel on my car. I'm sure the dogs died from their injuries. There is no excuse for letting dogs roam free like that.

Amz said...

I lived in the country with my 4 dogs. I lived on 7 acres but you can bet I kept them in a fenced yard unless I was out with them. I can't tell you how much I love animals but their owners are retards more than 1/2 the time. I had to shoot the neighbor's border collie with a .22 several ex wanted to kill it but I just couldn't...but that stupid dog kept coming over and killing ALL of our ducks on our pond. After getting hit with a .22 a few times it stopped coming over :)

Now I have my 4 dogs in suburbia. I keep them in the back yard or on a leash. If my dogs accidentally ever got out I fear they'd be run over more than that they'd bite someone. Of course I'm in Texas, but if someone's dog came in my yard and I shot or clubbed it to death it would be fair ;) In fact if I shoot and kill a trespasser, as long as they die 100% still on my property it is legal ;) he ehe hee...gotta love Texas!

Thx for leaving a comment on my blog! I appreciate anyone that takes the time to read my long rants.

~Deb said...

It’s a shame that people let their huge dogs run free. It’s even sad to see a little dog loose, because I have seen dogs get killed by a car.

As far as the neighbor’s barging into our house to attack my father, yes---my father could have acted out in self-defense and did something awful, but he didn’t. He didn’t have anything handy at the time…(ha) He would have though.

For the anonymous person---okay, yeah, it’s a big toss up. Let my mother live? Or let the dog live? Hmm. Let me get back to you on that one. My father only meant to scare away the dog, not harm him. But the fact that the pellets ricocheted back at the dog was another thing. The dog was bandaged up—not shot at.

I agree with you Dsmars, I do think these guys should have been arrested. They have been annoyances in many other areas as well—they’re known for their violent nature.

kathi said...

I think that you're so fortunate to have come from such a family. I smile and laugh every time I read one of your family stories.
No one loves animals more than me, but if one attacked my kids or even someone I didn't know, best believe I'd hurt that animal, the same as I would if it were a human attacking an innocent. If the incident had passed and they were safe inside? No, I'd call the police or the animal control and file complaints, but I wouldn't shoot at it. Of course, the only thing I'd have to shoot with would be a sling shot...

~Deb said...

Amz: It's like those real country people where the guy comes out from the porch with a large shot gun and says,

"HEY YOU! GiT oFF mA' property!"

Gotta love those states!!!

Anyway, loved your blog amz! I thought it was very funny and entertaining! Thanks for stopping by.

Kath: You're from TX. Got yer shot gun ready??? Wait--a sling shot, right? (hehe) I vote for human life before animals.

Amz said...

Anytime I have a new blog to read for myself :)

I think Kathi hit the nail on the head....if someone is getting attacked it doesn't matter what is doing it. the attacker needs to be set back in time ;)

Crassius Maximus said...

Hell Yeah!!!! Your Dad is a F#$%ing
genius!!!! I don't know him and I F#$%ing love the dude!!! It's like, "Hey, Yo, paisan, control your F#$%ing dog or I will!!" Your neighbors will watch themselves (and their mutts) around the big man from now on!!! Yeah, Yeah, yeah!!!

Crassius Maximus said...

Or as we say in Texas: WOOOOO!!!!

Crassius Maximus said...

If you can't tell, I liked the post.

Monica said...

Your dad rocks...and they should have paid you all for the "stress" your parents had to endure....but that would be the "right" thing to do, so therefore wrong.

~Deb said...

Amz: Glad I found ya! Yeah- that’s why I’m so scared to walk around my neighborhood. I get exercise at a gym because I don’t want to run into some vicious animal. It definitely put fear in me.

Crassius: You’re too funny. You know- he’s the reason I’m gay! He took all my boyfriends away from me. Every time I would bring a guy home—they would all flock to my father and sit for hours talking to him. They were obsessed with him. I finally went for women, and my dad couldn’t touch that—my mutha’woulduv’keeled him!!! I’m glad you liked the post. More dysfunctional family stories on its way! I’m even thinking about having my mother be a guest blogger on here to tell her story. She’s a “closet writer”. That should be a fun post.

Monica: Thanks…he is a funny guy. The stress on THEM? What about the stress on me? He almost killed five men in the house! (ha) Yikes! No, but you’re right. The stress of the dogs, and the stress of five men barging in to kick a 65 yr old’s @ss? That’s nuts.

Where the hell are my meds????

green said...

I don't think the neighbors had a right to enter your house. Your dad was acting in defense of his wife - totally justifiable. Anyone would - should do the same if roles were reversed.

Perhaps it could have been handled better on al sides but who knows? Sometimes the initial reaction is correct.

Monica said...

I would LOVE to read your mom's story....does she have as strong a "voice" as you do?

Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

Reminde me to tell you about "Uncle Tonge" one of these days. We definitely come from the same stock.

Tom Serafini, Actor to the Stars! said...

Yeah, I know it doesn't have an e at the end. I don't do editing...

Pseudo-intellectual lunatic said...

i love your blog layout and style

Miss 1999 said...

I think it's horrible that your neighbors entered your house!!! Justice was definitely not served correctly!

KyuBall said...

I would have shot the dog. Here's what too many people take for granted, a dog is not a person, it's an animal. Even the cute little Taco Bell dog.

For you animal activists, let me put this spin on it. What if that were one of the sons attacking Deb's mom?

Say it with me: "Justifiable Homicide."

Animal cruelty is leashing the dog to a fence and stoning it to death. Shooting an attacking dog is defense of life.

barman said...

I love animals in a lot of ways more than people. I hate to say it but if a dog attacks my family or friends and is a real threat ... given a handy gun I think I would have killed the animal. Sure you would get in a little trouble, sure the neighbors would hate you but it is their responsability to keep their pet in control. Now if this was after the fact and no one was being threatened and your Dad shot at the dog, that is a different story.

Of course the neigbor should have been charged with something and, given enough complaints, the dog should have been taken away or possibly put down. I hate to see the animal pay for the stupid human but...

Now as to the entering the house, I think the neighbors were totally in the wrong. I do not know the charge but I think they should have been charged with something. That is unacceptable.

Damn, Dad is such a tough guy. Mental note, don't provoke Debs Dad.

yrautca said...

Well what I think is that you have a great blog going here and your writing style is pretty absorbing. Moreover you use the graphics pretty well. You ever thought of writing short stories? You seem to have lived a life full of experiences that would readily lend themsleves to plots for short stories. Think abou't it.

I didnt know Rottweilers were allowed in neighborhoods.

Deadly Female said...

I grew up with hunting dogs around me. Many of these dogs seemed placid and docile enough when lying on the hearth rug but I ws taught to never let my guard down - no matter how placid, how docile, how big or how small (and a couple of these dogs were only small terriers) dogs always have the potential to cause serious physical harm - to a human, to another animal.

I value animal life and animal rights but I value human life more. I've have a friend whose child bears the facial scars of an attack by a 'domesticated' family dog.

Never, ever underestimate an animal.

Walking Contradiction said...

Your father was 100% RIGHT, he should have shot the neighbors also, if they are storming in his (your) house, he has a right to self- defense, even deadly, if he thinks it is warrated. He could have got one of them in the leg, that would have took care of that, but who needs a gun when he can take care of 5 of them break a guy's arm, he is like a super hero or something. I say, let him put the sign up, the "beware of ownwer", it fits!!!

Walking Contradiction said...

Next time shoot the dog, then the owner!!

~Deb said...

Thanks for the nice compliments---as far as my layout and blog- I have blogger critics on another site I go on that tell me it's hard on the eyes. I get a lot of critiques, but I am so bad with html and that sort of stuff.

Short stories? Short 'true' stories, definitely. As long as my father's around, I'll keep pumping them out.

My 'fatha' is going to love you guys! I would love for him to blog a story of his own (may be too graphic and disturbing) but he can't even dial the right number on his cell phone--he's kinda technically challenged.

Thanks for your point of views! I appreciate them a lot!

Wenchy said...

Sounds like you could be living in Africa. There goes my thoughts on America being all gun free.

That's a joke people.

mal said...

anyone who owns a rottweiler should expect trouble. A gun may have been a bit extreme, but those dogs are dangerous. Your neighbors did not get half of what they deserved.

Ken said...

Shoot the dog. Why wait to get wounded 3 times by either animal or human before responding?

Besides, he could have been mortally wounded before the 2nd bite.

Its easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission

blackops said...

Your father did what anyone (well most anyonee)would do to protect his family, it was a knee jerk reaction but probably the most logical one. It sends a message. Your pops acted in a nice way as far as Im concerned, the family next door got off easy.