If you read my last blog about Bubba, you already know my stance on dead animals as gifts (definitively AGAINST for those of you who haven’t been following along).
However, the other day Bub may have earned the right to bring me any old dead thing he wants…here’s what happened:
I walked out into the backyard and noticed an odd looking old man sitting on his bike right outside our fence, talking. For a second I thought he was talking to me.
He was responding to the voices in his head…but I didn’t realize that at first. Because I didn’t realize he was crazy at first…Until he came right up the fence and mumbled something about helping me sweep the yard.
And that was crazy since I wasn’t even sweeping the yard—largely because I don’t know what that means—and because he didn’t have a broom or any other sweeping implements.
So, I was a little weirded out…and when I get weirded out Bubba gets worked up. And when Bubba gets worked up, the Rottweiler half of his heritage kicks into high gear. Basically, he crossed the yard in 1.2 seconds and charged the guy like he was wearing Milk Bone underwear (Pronoun clarification: the second “he” in that sentence refers to the crazy guy, not Bubba. Bubba almost never wears underwear).
Sassy also sensed danger and added 0ther voice to the mayhem…then decided that, as a tiny Maltese, she could better serve me by slamming her body against the bird feeder and hysterically eating any of the seeds that fell.
Her theory clearly being that anyone who saw such a bizarre activity—I mean, what kind of dog eats food meant for birds?!!—would immediately realize that they were dealing with a creature heretofore unseen in this world.
But I digress…
“Sir,” I shouted over all the barking, “you should probably step away from the fence.”
Which I thought was a fairly clear instruction…but I don’t speak crazy very well because, apparently, in crazy language my statement translates into “Pay no attention to the large, snarling dog. He is only joking with you and has no interest in tearing your throat out and would, in fact, love it if you came inside.”
Because he took a step closer to the gate and actually put his hand on the latch.
(Side note: Let me take a second to answer the question that I’m fairly sure my mother and close friends are screaming as they get to this point in the story. Yes, in retrospect, I do realize that this would have been the ideal time to go inside my house, lock my door, and call the police if the man actually came into the yard. But I couldn’t because of the dogs…there was no way I was getting Bubba inside while there was a stranger in the vicinity and getting Sassy out of the garden when she is on a seed-eating mission is a HERCULEAN task. I couldn’t leave them behind…and yes, in answer to the obvious second question, I understand that most people think dogs can fend for themselves…but remember Sassy is tiny Maltese with a bad knee. She couldn’t fend her way out of a wet paper bag.)
So I stayed outside and tried to take charge of the situation. “Seriously, sir,” I shouted. “This is NOT a friendly dog.
He paused with his hand on the gate and briefly consulted with his invisible friends.
“This dog will KILL you!” I warned them all. And smiled in order to communicate that I was equally as crazy as he was…just crazy enough to CHEERFULLY let Bubba rip his throat out.
He seemed to get that.
Because he shuffled back over to his bike, spent another minute or two in conversation with NO ONE AT ALL, and pedaled away.
It’s interesting to note that when my husband, Opie, got home that night I told him about Bubba’s heroics and he brushed the whole thing off…apparently he recognized my description as a generally harmless neighborhood crazy man who’s lived in the area for years.
Which wasn’t comforting for two reasons:
- Because “generally harmless” and “harmless” aren’t the same thing.
- The presence of such a person seems like information that should have been shared at some point in the FIVE YEARS SINCE I MOVED IN…and now I can’t help but wonder how many other potentially volatile people Opie is aware of and has forgotten to mention.
However, in spite of all that, I’m sleeping securely in the knowledge that generally harmless or even generally harmful crazies are intimidated by an enraged Rottweiler (though, sadly, not by a Maltese who really just wants to eat some bird seed) so, if Bub decides he’d like to bring me a dead mole or two this week, I’m not going to freak out like I did last month.
Or at least, not as much.