We tend to think that getting mauled to death by pitbulls could never happen to us. It’s a story for the 11 o’clock news or one you mention in passing while picking up your buttered roll and coffee from your local bodega.
“Hey d’ja here about that kid that got mauled to death by pitbulls?!”
“Yeah, that’s a damn shame! Could’ja add two more sugars?”
Well gentles, I’m here to tell you that I stared a maulin’ in it’s eyes…excuse me, eye (more in a sec)…and lived to tell the tail. I mean tale. I was doing my usual deal, dropping by the homes of the sick and shut-in to spread joy and drop off respiratory equipment when I pull into the shared driveway of two houses that looked to have just smashed down from Kansas. I check my surroundings because if my pristine ghetto upbringing taught me nothing it was to know whats up when I arrive on any set.
Upon checking the set, I see to my right a porch that looked to belong to a family of garden gnomes. This was cool as this was the gnome…patient I’d come to see. In front of me, I spied a large German Sheperd with a gleam of curiosity in his eye, but a high rising gate to his front. This gave me a fleeting sense of security so I attempted to open the door and exit my vehicle. My automobile’s sticky electric locks are the only reason I sit here writing with all ten fingers in tact.
It could have been a scene from one of those really bad “gangsta” films. This would have been the part where the wicked street boss finally got what was comin’ to him. There was a slo-mo pan to my left that revealed: The Den of Death. Three 7’5″ 90lb pitbulls* with jowls that drug the ground leaving frothy spittle in their wake were looking at my plump brown toasted caramel physique with wanton longing. Their powder white bodies twitched with anticipation of pouncing on me (either that or they’d been denied food for so long they were having some sort of neuro-muscular tics). One, whom I’ll choose to call “Righty” because his absent left eye (I think he and the others shared it for lunch), never let his disabled glare leave me. He was the reaper, incarnate.
I thought screaming to be unwise at this point being the hell dogs were standing in a doorway obstructed only by an uninstalled child safety gate (dern thing must have come a loose with the house landed!) and I didn’t want to rile them any further. I pondered driving away and never coming back, but then realized that I’d quit my other job (shit!). “Okay.” I thought, “I’ll call work and then runaway!” Just as I was making my frantic phone calls: one to my patient to let him know he’d have to hold his breath one more day, and another to my office to let them know about my impending escape; A miracle occurred.
A man, let’s call him “Bo”, appeared and gazed outside of the gaping door of the makeshift shack. Two of the hounds of hell retired to the inside of the abode, leaving Righty still fixated on my now rolled up tinted window. Bo stood behind Righty, gave a loving tap to his back as a mother would an infant, and Righty the blue eyed cyclops turned and entered the home. The door was shut, and my living nightmare was over.
How I wish I could say my dogged dilemma ended here. Alas Non. There were more patients to be seen, more dogs to be encountered. I was challenged by Chocolate the dachshund with balls of cast iron steel, and Dixie the…well I don’t know what the hell kinda dog she was but she was huge, made a hell of a lot of noise, and sniffed my ass.
By day’s end I was emotionally spent. I was dog tired after having worked my fingers to the bone. Then, the the final blow: The passing of Nate Dog! I was howling at this point. How much could one endure in one day. At last, I arrived home, a wasted heap where I was greeted (not really) by my cats with lackadaisical side eyes, yawns, and soft silent farts. Cats, you see, are just the way I like my animals (and men unfortunately); quiet, distant, and emotionally unavailable.
*I swear those dogs were that damn big I don’t care what you say!