Dogs find Ted a tasty treat

By Ted Blankenship | May 1, 2024

Back when I was about seven years old, I was kicking a big rubber ball around with LeRoy and Dickie, the boys next door. Their Doberman was chasing the ball with us and appeared to be in a nice enough mood.

The next time I kicked the ball, the dog bit me. I don’t speak dog, particularly German dog, so there were no words exchanged, but I could guess what the animal was thinking: “I feel like biting someone. I think I’ll go after the fat one. He can’t run very fast, and if I can knock him down, he’ll have a tough time getting up, and I can bite him again.”  

Blood gushed from the wound. The dog didn’t seem concerned. The boys’ mother patched me up, and I recovered, obviously.

I’ve tried to be careful not to antagonize any dogs after that, but it hasn’t always worked. I’ve written before about how my mother-in-law’s chihuahua, Skippy, once bit my hand as I reached under the Christmas tree during our annual trip to McCook, Texas.

“Well, it’s his Christmas tree, after all,” my mother-in-law said.

But that wasn’t the only time I’ve served as a canine chew toy in the Lone Star State.

 We had a history of car break-downs on those 920-mile trips to McCook, which is in the Rio Grande Valley, so I had everything checked on the car before we left Kansas. Nevertheless, the engine started heating up about 100 miles north of Dallas.

We added water from the cooler, but it wasn’t enough. We were approaching a Dallas railroad bridge when steam started escaping from under the hood. An 18-wheeler had jackknifed in front of us, blocking the road, and that’s when the radiator blew out what scalding water was left in it. 

We made it to a service station and got the engine cooled enough to make it to the next town. Then more steam blew out of the car’s hood and I knew I had to get water. On the edge of a small town, I saw a young woman working in a garden. An older lady was about 50 feet away watering some tomatoes. I ran toward her and the water hose and seemingly out of nowhere came a big dog. 

He bit me, apparently thinking I was going to harm the lady with the hose. The lady was sorry, and so was I. 

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