In dogged pursuit of RG the Cat Guy
This week, after years of hounding, the entire staff at RG the Cat Guy turns to a topic that for years it has avoided — if, for no other reason, to prevent the inevitable onslaught of barking and growling that such opinions as these are sure to ignite.
Eeeesh, just typing the four letters in that configuration required consuming two massive iced teas and four bags of potato chips. The suffering one must endure for the benefit of others.
It’s not as though I have a problem with dogs … or their people. After all, not every one I’ve encountered has tried to kill me. The dogs, that is.
Take, for instance, the plight of poor Poppy — the pup featured in Thursday’s paper who is being pampered in hospice care following a traumatic early life. It’s easy to empathize with a sweet soul such as that, even if some might be jealous that ice cream has not been excised from her diet.
Not naming names here, mind you.
Still, for every exception such as Poppy, there are dozens of other dogs who have caused nothing but trouble — even the sort at the heart of a long-standing marital contretemps, if you’ll pardon my French.
I mean, everyone knows the preferred choice is catsup.
It wasn’t some yappy little wiener dog that first attempted to prevent you from ever having to read this column, but a massive German shepherd who treed RG the Cat Boy as he was in the midst of what should have been a carefree walk home from school.
Ruined a good pant leg, that one did.
It wasn’t long after that when a similar-sized beast invaded our backyard, unleashed and unattended. I was also unattended, creating a Tonka empire in the dirt, but I was at least restrained — tethered by a length of rope to a clothesline pole.
(Seriously, by this stage in our relationship that really shouldn’t surprise you.)
Breaking free of my constraints, I did what any child who’d previously been traumatized by such a vile and villainous creature would do — I ran away.
I found myself running at the dog who — for reasons of its own — displayed no sense of fear and stood its ground before I began barking and growling in its general direction.
Out of the yard we ran, through a field, then down a hill and across the dirt parking lot behind Oar and Anchor Bar & Grill until my two legs could no longer keep pace with the varmint’s four and I crumbled, chest heaving, at the edge of what seemed, for a young’un such as myself, a sizable sand pit.
By that point, I had no idea where I was and only a vague sense of how to get back home — in those respects, much like I am today — and it took the efforts of a few police cruisers and the employees of a car dealership (it was their sand pit) to return me in one piece.
After that, they doubled the knots on the rope latching me to the clothesline pole.
By the time Mrs. RG the Cat Guy — she who prefers mustard and relish — entered the picture, I had come to a mutual understanding with dogs … one based upon mutual avoidance.
You see, what happened was, there was this German shepherd (quite unlikely the same one, though they could have been related) who decided there was no better place to sit at about 9 o’clock at night than in the middle of one of the moonlit, mobius-strip backroads of Cape Cod.
In retrospect, I should have taken the more direct route, but I was trying to save time. And I really shouldn’t have been driving a Chevy Chevette, but I was trying to save money.
Around the corner, hit the brakes, spun across the road, down an embankment, along a stone wall, into a tree. The dog survived, unscathed. I survived, relatively unscathed.
The car? “Scathed” wouldn’t do it justice. I’d blame the dog ... but, c’mon. It was a Chevette, so it was pretty much scathed from the start.
The only saving grace was, by that point, we had a clothes dryer.
The staff at RG the Cat Guy requests that no questions seeking to know whether a hot dog is a sandwich be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org