Just got back in from taking the dogs out for the last time tonight. I like the little old weenie dogs, but sometimes my mind wanders back over the years to the first dog I ever owned…or who owned me…old Bullet:
One Saturday when I was about four years old, Daddy brought home a cardboard box with something in it, stirring around and scratching, and making whining noises. Ol’ Bullet had arrived!
Ol’ Bullet was my first dog, a half-German Shepherd, half Collie mixed breed which my Dad had gotten from the Kellets. The Kellets were farm owners who supplied us with “whole” milk and fresh eggs. “Whole” milk being defined as that milk coming directly from the cow’s teat into a shiny metal bucket, and from the bucket into a thoroughly washed and cleaned glass milk jug, without being pasteurized. Fresh eggs were those which had only that morning been up the hen’s rear end. At that time some people, including my folks, still thought these kinds of farm fresh goods were better for young growing bones. You could also work out a trade with the Kellets. (Try going to Walmart and asking to trade something for a jug of milk. I don’t think they would even know what to say.) Although I think there may have been some kind of law against selling it that way, the government didn’t have a big enough bureaucracy back then to check everything like that out. Back then, I don’t think the IRS even had a dozen people working for them. At least it didn’t seem like it.
I think all those fresh things are making a comeback nowadays, although there is some controversy about the milk….I have a cute little girl who brings me a dozen pretty brown eggs a week!
Me and Bullet took to each other like green to grass. Every time I hit the door, Bullet was faithfully waiting. He quickly learned the parameters of our yard, and it became his territory. He instinctively knew from our attitudes toward people who belonged at our house, and who didn’t. If you didn’t belong there, Bullet would give you one warning in the form of a low growl, and bared teeth. If you didn’t heed this warning, you had better be faster than a speeding bullet! Needless to say, we didn’t have to worry about anything being stolen from our yard or our house with Bullet around.
We had only had Bullet for a little over a year. I think it was one of the best years of my life. One day when I went outside to play with him, Bullet was acting strange. He could barely move, and he crawled over to where I sat on the back steps, and put his head on my leg. “C’mon Bullet, let’s go boy,” I encouraged.
But Bullet could barely raise his head. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Finally he got so sick he couldn’t move at all, and Daddy rushed him to the only veterinarian in the county. The Vet told Daddy somebody had fed Bullet rat poison in with some food he had eaten. He would have to be put to sleep to keep him from suffering. I can still remember how I felt when I got the news. I couldn’t breathe, nor could I utter a word. It was as if some giant, choking hand was stuck deep in my chest squeezing my heart like a vise. Finally when that little heart couldn’t take it anymore, it broke in half, and the tears started spilling out of my eyes, like water over Niagara Falls. Why did Ol’ Bullet have to die? Who would do such a thing?
We never found out who poisoned Ol’ Bullet. I am certain of one thing, however, and it is this: neither God nor Providence like people who would poison a little boy’s pet! He might forgive them, but somewhere down the road, somehow, they will have to pay for what they did. I still believe that.