Dog Teaches Bobby a Lesson
In the Seminary house, Thor was our family dog, a Norwegian Elkhound – a breed known for its moose hunting skills, as well as its defender and protector capabilities. Our Thor was no exception. When my youngest brother was a baby, sleeping in his crib, Thor could be found under it. His bedroom had two doors. One door was next to the backdoor that led to the backyard, detached garage and a long driveway where visiting family parked. The other door led to the small hallway where there was the only full bathroom in a house of six.
One weekend Grandma and Grandpa came down from Grafton for a visit. As Gramps came through the backdoor, he needed to immediately head for the bathroom. He opened the door to my brothers’ room (this being a short cut), began walking through and before he could get across the room, Thor intercepted Gramps. Yup, a family member, well known by Thor, had invaded a room under his watch while he was protecting his tiniest family member. I think gramps arrived the restroom unsoiled.
Bobby, a sort of kind of friend – not like Danny, Doug, Steve, Randy or Mark – always walked past our home on his way home from school. Before we fenced in the backyard, Thor was sometimes chained to a support beam that ran from the outside patio floor to the overhang roof which shaded the patio. It was a very secure post and the chain more than ample. From time to time Bobby, for some unknown reason, would tease Thor, causing him to aggressively bark as he would drag his chain to the extent of his reach. He would run towards the sidewalk, stand and bark at Bobby, while still finding himself some 20 feet from his tormentor. As I type this I can’t recall how long Bobby had teased our dog, again why, nor how I, my brother or mom addressed the matter with Bobby or his family. But I can vividly recall how it came to a permanent end.
One day, I was some fifty feet behind Bobby and witnessed the following: as he walked past our home, Thor was sitting next to the post, chained and watching Bobby. As he began teasing Thor and walked some 10 feet onto our yard, Thor stood up and took off. As he reached the end of his chain, it broke. Norwegian Elkhounds are known for their loyalty, attachment to family and their ability to clamp their teeth to prey with tremendous force. Bobby’s butt experienced the clamping part first hand.
Later in the evening Bobby and his father, manager of a local grocery store, stopped over to talk with my father. The four of us gathered in the garage. His father was mad as all get out. As he described in detail what had happened, he closed his rant asking Booby to drop his drawers to show us the large, somewhat blood stained gauze that covered the stitches he received while visiting the emergency room. As Bobby pulled up his shorts and trousers my dad asked me to tell Bobby’s dad my version – the correct one. After concluding the account of what had happened, Bobby’s dad looked his son in the eyes and asked him who was telling the truth. Standing silent for some, seemed like minutes, 10 seconds and beginning to shake, Bobby finally admitted that he had lied. Hearing that his son had lied Bobby received a gift from his dad, a big open handed swat right on the spot he had just showed us! Oh man what a yell he let loose. Bobby’s dad shook my dad’s hand and apologized for his son’s behavior and closed the conversation with the announcement that from now on his son would be using another street to walk home from school.
Bobby and I never hung out after that night in our garage.
Cops never got involved.
Attorneys never hired.
Gramps quit taking short cuts.
Thor loved his fenced backyard.
Dad cried the day he had to put Thor down some 12 years later.