WARNING: This material may be offensive to those who love and care about animals. Remember, all of the content and stories are real. All of the stories were out of 'self-defense'. If any of this offends you, I advise you to click out of this blog.
Growing up in a rural town in upstate New York, my parents raised nine Great Danes and had a few cats here and there. Fifty-two acres and a big house was sufficient enough to bring in Noah’s Ark. The oldest Great Dane was bluish-black. She was beautiful. Her name was Rachel. I have no idea why they chose ‘human names’ for their dogs, but they just did.
When I was born, they were worried that Rachel would get jealous and possibly hurt me. They set my crib up in their bedroom and made sure the dog was nowhere near me. God forbid something should happen to their little newborn.
Well, one morning, Rachel walked into the room. I was playing with my toys on the floor. Rachel went ahead and lifted me by my shirt and brought me to her bed—where she slept. She wouldn’t let anyone go near me. She literally thought 'I was her baby'. (So yeah, basically I was raised by wolves)
Anyone who would come up to her while she was guarding me would get a warning growl with teeth showing and all. Finally, my mother got me out of there, but Rachel always snuck back in and slept next to my crib. She wouldn’t let me out of her sight.
The doorbell rang, and it was a priest that my parents were friends with. The priest went to go say hi to me, or make funny faces to try and get me to laugh—as a lot of people do to little toddlers, and Rachel went after the poor guy and bit him! Rachel was threatened. From that point on, my mother let me roam around with Rachel outside, because she knew nothing…I mean nothing…would never happen to me while in Rachel’s presence.
Let’s fast forward about ten years later. All our dogs passed away, and we were without animals at this point. All our neighbors’ dogs would come over and play with us; and of course shit all over our lawn, but that was okay. We enjoyed them. Years went by, and our neighbors were getting dogs that were really mean; dogs that were a danger to the neighborhood. My father went to the neighbor’s house for coffee, and their beautiful white Alaskan Husky flew through screen window to attack my father. My dad was okay, but the dog wasn’t…let’s just say that much.
New neighbors moved in shortly after that, and they had a Dalmatian who was never leashed. He was a big dog too. The dog would constantly run after you—barking viciously. We were prisoners of our own home.
“Madone! I can’t even sit outside widout’ dese’ f*cking dogs tryin’ to eat me alive! Gofforbid’ one of dese’ dogs bits my dawtas---I’ll keel em’. I’ll keel em’! You watch!”
I never did see that Dalmatian again.
Ah, a beautiful day in the neighborhood—and we were enjoying a great barbeque at home with the family. The patio we have is connected to the lawn, which is pretty big. We always played volleyball or badminton on it. A great lawn for dogs really. (Or was it?)
My neighbor’s German Shepard comes strolling up because he smells all the good food. We didn’t mind, he looked pretty harmless. The dog stood at the tip of the patio staring at my father. Then the dog started to show his teeth, and the growl that came after it was fierce. He went to attack, and my father attacked back! There they were, both rolling down the lawn trying to kill one another.
“You mutha! I’ll keel you! God damn it!” I hear, from the breaks of the fight. Then I heard a loud yelp, and the dog went fleeing to his owners.
Dad won a trophy ear.
My father used to own a fish market down in South Street Seaport in Manhattan. He would deliver fish to those who ordered it—and especially at restaurants upstate. As he was unloading his van, a Doberman Pincher came up to him growling.
“Not anutha’ one! You gotta be kiddin’ me!” He says, as he grabs a huge 30 lb fishing hook from the back of the van.
“Go home!” He yelled. But the dog just stood there in a ‘pounce’ stance. “Go home!” He said again; louder, so he wouldn’t have to knock this poor dog’s head off. The dog went to attack, and my father used his mighty fishing hook to save his own life.
Dad gave his customer free fish that day---out of his condolences...
As well as being in the fish business, my dad also owns an excavating company. He was working for this lady who needed work done to her property. As my father was coming off of his bulldozer, a Pitbull was charging after him. The only thing my father could do to save his life was to grab an ax nearby. It’s ironic that all of these tools were in reach when he’s about to get mauled by a vicious animal. Straight through his chest—the dog was literally split in half. Nobody said a word. They just walked away, and dad continued to finish up the job he was there for.
Let’s take you into the year of 2002. 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, (my girlfriend) 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! 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 Nunya 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!”
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