Monday, April 23, 2012


I don't even recognize myself anymore.

The whole redneck thing was surprise enough.  (And it's getting worse.  Anytime we pull in the driveway now, knowing that Cuckoo needs to go to the bathroom, I just pull his pants down right there in the grass and have him pee.  We don't even take the time to find a tree.)

This morning's activities just plain shock me.

Today I tackled a 95 pound dog.

An odd start to a day for most people, I'm sure.  For me, it was unthinkable.
When I was five years old or so, our family got our first puppy.  It was the cutest bundle of fur you ever did see.  His name was Zack.  (Every dog my dad has owned has been named Zack.  It was supposed to be my name, but it just didn't fit when I turned out to be a girl.)  Unfortunately, the puppy wasn't as fond of us as we were of him.  He bit three of us before my parents finally found a new home for him.  I was the lucky one.  He only put a gash in my hand.  He also got my sister's ear and my brother's eyebrow.

That experience made me nervous about dogs, but the dogs that lived across the street from us when we were growing up made me terrified.  They were two vicious dogs that were tied up outside the garage.  Anytime someone walked by the house, they would stretch their chains as far as they could and snarl, growl, and bark at the person.  As a first grader, instead of going to the bus stop just on the other side of them, I chose to walk the almost mile to get to the next stop.  A couple of times, these dogs got loose, and they tore across the street after us.  My mom once fought them off with a broom while we scurried into the garage.  Another time, my dad was coming home from his job as a policeman when the dogs got loose.  He actually fired his gun to keep them from attacking. 

So with those two lovely first encounters with dogs, I was terrified for life.  I would be able to handle myself at someone's house if a dog was there, but if I met a strange dog on the street, I'd lose it.  Stand completely still, tears streaming down my face, praying the dog wouldn't come near me.  Awful.  This actually happened only 8 years ago.

When we bought this house, we decided that we had to have a dog.  A big dog to keep coyotes at bay.  We researched the types of dogs that would be good for us, but we didn't know that our circumstances would change.  We didn't know that we would be embracing this farm life and need a dog to protect the animals.  We simply looked for a dog that would be good to our kids and all the visitors to our home.  We found Roy through the Humane Society.  He was found walking along the river and was living at a foster home.  He was an outside dog and very friendly.  The foster owner had only good things to say about him.  So, we got the dog.  I was scared to death, but we did it anyway.  For the kids.

And this morning I tackled that 95 pound dog.  Perfect shoulder to the midsection tackle.  Got him in a headlock.  And held him for a minute or so.  All on my own.

Why, you ask, would I actually need to tackle a dog?

Because the pigs are here!

And Roy lost his ever-lovin' mind.

As Hubby and the farmer were unloading the pigs, a terrible squeeling racket was made.  I ws just arriving on the scene, camera in hand, to get some pictures of the new additions to the farm.  Roy was barking his full head off.  He seems to be getting bolder in his old age, because out of nowhere he took off and ran into the barn. 

I followed, saw him getting right up into the pig's face, barking and snarling.  I didn't wait to see what he would do next.  I dashed around Hubby, who had a squeeler in his grasp, hurdled the two scared pigs already in the barn, and took that dog out.  And I did it with a camera wrapped around my neck.  Saved the day, if not my knees. 

Looks like I am no longer afraid of dogs.  Who knew?

After it was all over, I was totally kicking myself for not handing the camera off to one of the kids before I jumped into the fracas.  It would have been an awesome picture. 

When Hubby recounted the incident, he said that all he saw was a blur, followed by another, taller blur.  The next thing he knew, he had to save the dog from my death-grip.

Roy is safely tied up, and has been howling most of the time.  While I was out feeding and watering the pigs, I let Roy off his leash to see what he'd do.  He was digging and searching for any possible opening into that pen.  Even tried to pull a little tree out of the ground.  Basically, we have got ourselves a situation. 

For now, he's tied up again.  And he'll have to stay that way unless we are outside with him. We need to make sure that pen is sealed up tight.  Then he'll be getting a shave and a new shock collar, which should solve everything.  (Cross your fingers.  We don't have a Plan B.)

No way I'm letting him get into the pen with those pigs.

A friend came over today and had fun visiting with the pigs.  These hogs certainly aren't shy!

Yikes.  Anyone seen Charlotte's Web recently?  We have.  This looks way too much like Wilbur breaking into song. 

We won't be naming these hogs like we did the first year we raised hogs.  They were named Pork Chop, Applesauce, and Leftovers.  We wanted to make sure the kids knew that these pigs were going to eventually be eaten.  It worked, except for Giant thinking that applesauce came from a pig.  (That's when I realized that the kids have never seen The Brady Bunch.  A shame, really.)

Ten years ago, I never would have guessed that I would own a dog, let alone be brave enough to tackle one in a pig-crazed mind-loss.

I have always said that adventures and learning new things are wonderful.  I just hope that the next thing I have to learn doesn't come with bruises and a mouth full of dog hair.

Have a lovely day!


  1. I have to say I laughed pretty hard while reading this. What a day! I also have to say that even though he was naughty, Roy is really cute! :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Suzie. And Roy is pretty cute. A pain in my hind end, but cute.

  3. Roy is HUGE! Lol! I can only imagine the scene! :) We used a shock collar on my giant shepherd to reinforce his listening skills. It really does work well. And thankfully, you really only have to use it once or twice before they are asking you how high to jump. :) Good luck!

    For our pup, I'm finding that a water gun works wonders to teach her not to chase the kitties. Not sure Roy would respond to a water gun, though. Hee! Hee!

    And just so you know, I've been visiting. But we've been on the run and it's hard to leave comments from a smart phone. I have children/students I still pray for from my classroom days. That little guy no doubt remembers you and the love you gave him. Children that age are SO impressionable. Thankyou for making a difference!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. ugh. For some reason my book of a comment posted twice. So I deleted one. And now it looks like someone had an attitude or something. Lol! Why can't it just delete it quietly so no one had to know I somehow goofed up? Sorry, friend!

  6. Oh my wprd, you crack me up. Roy used to have a shock collar, and it worked great. Unfortunately, Hershey lost hers somewhere about two years ago, and it's never been found. We put Roy's on her, since she was young and would venture away from our property. Now, she wouldn't even think about leaving Roy's side. So we put it back on him. he got shocked one time when heading to the barn, and now he won't go within 50 feet of it. yeah!
    As for a water gun, it would work if we were outside 24 hours a day with her. Now, we're just waiting for him to get so old he can't run anymore. Then we'll finally be able to have some cats!
    Wow, did I just write another post in my own post?

  7. I really enjoyed this post. It was very entertaining. That pig definitely looks like Wilbur! I am not scared of dogs, to the point of standing still. Instincts so far just tell me to pretend I'm not scared. I was riding my bike recently and I went in an drive way that had a big loop. I thought it would be fine even though - yeah it was probably private property. I had done it several times before but this time two big doberman pincher looking dogs came sprinting across the yard. I kept my bike pace. Not ignoring them but I definitely didn't know what I was going to do. They went passed the grass so I knew there was no invisible fence thing. When I was out of their loop they slowed to a stop and barked at me from there. I couldn't believe it. I just knew I was going home with bike marks in my @$$. Whew. Needless to say, I pretend like I've been served with a restraining and I keep my distance from their property. ~TALU

  8. I would have peed my pants, for sure and for certain, if I was in that situation. Really, there is nothing you can do except keep going and pray that they don't take a chunk out of your leg. I've got the shivers just thinking about you on that bike.

  9. Haha, what a story! Our dog is about 85 lbs and I have a hard time controlling her!

    Cute pigs! TALU

  10. I bet this is a problem Cesar Milan hasn't filmed yet! What a funny story... you surely qualify now for some kind of dog-football team?

    Roy looks like an Australian Shepherd. He can probably learn that the pigs are to be defended, not defended against. :-) Pet the pigs. Pet Roy. Pet the pigs. Pet Roy. He'll catch on eventually. Or else, buy you some wrestling shoes.

    1. Oops...forgot to tell you I'm stopping by from TALU.

    2. I can't imagine that this is something he would want on his show :)

      Shepherd has been suggested, as has Burmese Mountain Dog.

      I think I'm going to have to invest in the shoes. At this point, he's killed so many animals (raccoons, opossums, cats, chickens) that have wandered into our yard that I think training him to do otherwise at this point would be nearly impossible.

      If we ever get another dog, we will most certainly do it differently!

  11. You go girl! lol - and yes you should have totally tossed your camera so someone could get those action shots. I can't get inside your dogs head, but do you think he just wants to see what pigs are all about instead of eat them? You may be able to condition him to them so he will end up a protector instead of threat.

    1. I'm so annoyed with myself that no one was able to get photos.
      As for Roy, he wants to eat them. He wants to eat everything that comes into the yard. The year a coyote killed a pig, it of course couldn't take the pig with it. Before we discovered the carcass, Roy had already eaten some of it. He knows that pork is delicious. We will most certainly do things differently with any other dog we get.

  12. Whoa look at you! Tackling a dog!? I don't think I've even done that yet, and I never had a pervasive fear of them.

    It is a shame no one else had the camera, because the picture that could have been taken would have been awesome. Wonder why the pigs got him so riled up. Maybe that is a natural reaction. I'm trying to think when my mother and ex-stepfather got two hogs how our dogs reacted. I know one we always kept chained up (the St. Bernard) even before then, but the other was always a free roamer.

    Next time pass off the camera or get someone recording some video! ;-)

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

    1. I can't imagine that many people have.

      Such a big missed photo opportunity! Dear Roy will go after (and try to kill) anything that steps foot in our yard. Thanks to coyotes, he has had the taste of pig, too, so I was quite worried he would try to kill the pigs.

      I would, except there won't be a next time. :)


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