"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jul 26, 2016


There are more of them loose than you think. They hide behind normal clothing, but there’s no getting away from those sloped foreheads and wide-spaced eyes.

Think this only happens in Game of Thrones?  At the moment I’m living amidst a clan of them, celebrating their Single-Family-Tree Reunion. Christmas is this year’s theme, so I’m surrounded by Santas, stick Reindeer and white wreaths with colored balls.  All in all, I was handling this latest influx of genetic abnormalities rather well (including tykes on bikes and smoke from campfires day and night).

When I worked in Manhattan, Jonathan and I had to check out a vendor in Upstate NY.  That's when I heard tales of communities made up of descendants from a single ship (Pirates, arghhh…), and was advised to avoid those towns, but how do you know when you’ve arrived?  Are there signs which say, “Welcome, Inbreds”?  Related Couples Only?

Jonathan wouldn’t stop cracking Inbred jokes the entire drive up.  You know, “How many Inbreds does it take to screw in a light bulb?”  “None; they still don’t use electricity.”

Is it Politically Incorrect to crack an Inbred joke?  Who’s going to be the first to stand up and object?

So I’m minding my own beeswax when I see a large Chocolate Lab (from Tinsel Town next door) taking a morning stroll across my backyard, so to speak.  Gee, sure hope I don’t have to pick up his poo. .  (Dogs are supposed to be tied up in campgrounds.)

The dog disappeared into the woods behind my site.  I waited before taking BC for her walk, keeping one eye out for the loose dog but didn’t see it.  We were almost home when I heard shouts of  LOLA! and turned to see the lab bounding towards us, lunging at BC’s back and attempting to sink her jaws into it before I knew what was happening.

I’ve mentioned that BC was attacked by an Anatolian Shepherd a couple years ago (a truly frightening experience for us both), and so when this started I panicked and the only thing I could manage was raising my walking stick along with my voice.

“NO!!!” I screamed while BC was fighting back.  The dog stopped and the owners came a-running.  “GET THAT DOG TIED UP!” was all that came out.  No Turrets display this time, thankfully. Progress.

I shepherded BC home while my next door neighbors got “Lola” under control, and mumbled a few comments I hoped they overheard.   I’m not certain to whom Lola belonged, but not a single person came over to check on BC, me, say they were sorry or won’t happen again.  I don’t care how menacing I may have sounded; grow a couple of your own and own up to your responsibility.

Every time my heart pounds in my chest, I imagine my late husband’s pounding heart and subsequent, fatal attack, which happened while I was out. After this morning’s episode mine wouldn’t stop for over an hour and I thought, “How silly if I have a heart attack; over something like this?”

Coffee. shower, Strawberry Pop Tart; I eventually calmed myself and called the Rangers.  The fellow was either married or had enough experience to realize I mostly needed to vent. The bottom line is that rules, like laws, are the same for everyone, whether you’ve got a Pekinese or a Pit Bull; young, old or feeble.  If old dogs are like old people, some of them can fly off the handle at any moment for no reason.  Can't blame the dog; it’s owners like that which ruin it for the rest.

The Ranger asked if I’d spoken to the neighbors, but other than what I’ve quoted here, no.  I’m a widow (handy to mention while pleading my case, always), and if my husband was alive he’d probably go over and speak to them (nicely) but he’s not; I don’t feel like a confrontation; and there’s no one to watch my back other than YOU people.

At that he agreed.  I said not to bother with an official ruckus, because even though I was mad I didn’t want to spoil their reunion.  If the dog appears loose again I’ll call back, thanks. (Next time I saw Lola, she was leashed).  I considered dumping my tanks during their next family meal, but decided to grow up.  Darn.

Someone else just walked by and unclipped her dog.  On the way back the dog, now walking itself, stopped at my picnic area.  What is it this morning?  (BC is fixed.)  I opened the door, holding BC’s collar, and commented that she should hold her dog’s leash.

“Are you from Oregon?”  she asked like I’m from Mars.

 “You want to hold your dog?”  I repeated.  She took the leash and began an exceedingly long story of a pen-pal from long ago who lived in Oregon.  Have I heard of the Bumfords?

Oh, my, she really should wear bangs.

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