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Old 01-04-2012, 10:48 PM
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houlahoops houlahoops is offline
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Default Mac's Story (stories!)

Mac* has been a fixture in my life for so long: I like the idea of having the opportunity to share him with others, and--more importantly--to remember my childhood friend. =)

--

Introduction

I was fourteen when Dad got Mac.

He was an awkward little thing: barrel-chested and perched on thin, muscular legs. The only trick he knew was "git," and only when you yelled it: stomping your feet and bellowing at a dog that won't keep his fool head out of the refrigerator.

--

A Possum in the Kitchen

I remember standing in the kitchen, all long legs and broad shoulders in my ripped flannel pajamas. It was late, and I had a spoon in the peanut butter jar, enjoying the pretend freedom that I could steal after everyone was in bed.

I let Mac outside, knowing that he was a breath away from raising holy Hell about something that was going on in the weeds just beyond the window. His nails scrabbled on the porch and he nearly slid off the side.

He hit the brush with a thump and a rustle, and I still had the spoon in my mouth when the shrieking started.

It wasn't unusual for Mac to find an animal out in the yard, but enough yelling would usually convince him that it wasn't worth pursuing. He was a sissy at heart, and even then I didn't believe that he could hold his own against whatever he'd cornered.

I hollered for him, loud enough that he could hear me for sure, and the screaming stopped. I hadn't known if the noise was Mac or his quarry, and so I stepped out, concerned for the welfare of the dog.

My dad's Catahoula blurred past me, giving me a customary shoulder-slam as he skittered into the kitchen at breakneck speed.

And dropped the possum.

The animal let out a furious shriek unlike anything I had ever heard, and launched itself onto the cabinet, where it stayed, spitting and swearing at us in its violent, angry language. Mac went wild. He bellowed at the top of his hound-dog voice, threatening that possum with death and worse.

The noise spurred me into action: it would surely wake Dad. I grabbed a much-disused broom and swung it in a wide arc, connecting with only the ceiling and the cabinet. The possum bunched itself up into a ball of grease and sinew, still spitting and screaming. Mac slammed into me, nearly knocking me down in his frenzy to get at the possum.

"GIT," I yelled at him, but even this didn't deter the dog, who was spinning in wide, terrified arcs across the kitchen.

My second swipe with the broom was lucky, and the possum dropped neatly into the trash can. I ripped the tablecloth from the counter and shoved it over top of the furious (but mostly unharmed) creature, before throwing the entire can into the yard and slamming the door behind me.

I turned around to survey the mess that the possum (and the dog) had made.

Dad was surveying it too, from the other end of the kitchen. He was bleary-eyed and angry-looking. I just about died. He took a long, deep breath and swept his gaze across the counter tops before he narrowed his eyes.

"Put up the peanut butter when you're done," he said.

Mac wandered over and licked my father's hand, placid now that the threat had been removed and the kitchen rightfully desecrated.

--

To be continued at a later date... =)

* name changed, because Dad loves his hunting dogs, but not so much this internet nonsense.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:26 AM
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Deer

When we got Mac, we already had a dog. My grandmother had bought my sister and I a pup, hoping that the sophistication of the breed (a Coton de Tulear) would rub off on her unruly granddaughters. It didn't, but we sure rubbed off on him.

Bug is ten now, and having surgery today as a matter of fact, but he still rules the proverbial roost--he takes on all comers, including Mac and the hundred pound blind German Shepherd named Mammoth that my mother brought home (and who later became my dog).

Mac was easily bullied, partly because we taught him very early that he was not to cause any bodily harm to Bug. That meant that we often entered a room to find Mac on his back, intimidated into submission by sixteen pounds of fur and gristle.

We walked Bug and Mac together at the beginning, hoping that the smaller, low-key dog would enforce some manners on our new pup. The only thing Mac learned from these walks was to despise deer.

One morning, Bug stayed home to guard the house (a.k.a. sleep on the bed, which was marginally warmer than outside). Mac was noticeably uncomfortable without Bug there. Who was going to tell him what to do? The new-found freedom must have been disorienting, because he spent the majority of the walk leaping suspiciously from bush to bush.

We eventually startled a pair of deer: two does that had been hanging around our property for the past few days.

At the sight of the large, curious creatures, every muscle in Mac's body went rigid. He slowly lowered himself into a sit and made a strange burbling noise deep in his throat. His expression was the same as when I told him to lie down: brow furrowed in deep, introspective concentration.

What do I do? What do I do?

After a long, slow, minute, the deer disappeared into the brush, and the light bulb went on in Mac's head.

Bark! Bark! I'm supposed to bark!

And he went tearing off into the weeds after the deer.

--

To be continued...
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:47 PM
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You've got a flair for the short drabble type story. I'm dying over here over the possum tale!
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:01 AM
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Thanks, Zoom! There's something about this dog that lends itself to short stories hehe.

Soap

I remember running down the basement steps. The concrete was cold on my bare feet, and I shifted irritably back and forth while I waited for the dryer to finish. I was in a particularly oppositional stage, and the very idea of doing laundry made me inexplicably angry. I would leave the chore until the very last minute, before stomping downstairs and inevitably doing a poor job of the clothes.

I set everything on the laundry table and sprinted back upstairs, closing the door behind me. I still hadn't fed the animals, and I knew that I wouldn't get away with passing it off to Dad.

The rest of the day was uneventful: it was summer, which meant sunburns and popsicles and lawnmower races. I kept away from the house, on the off chance that someone would dirty more clothes that would need washing.

It was only after I went to bed that I thought about looking for Mac.

I circled the property, whistling and calling. I even pulled out the peanut butter jar, but no Mac.

When I finally got around to checking the inside of the house, I found him in the basement of course.

"Mac!" I admonished him. "Git!"

The big dog was laying underneath the laundry table, and with a sigh he hauled himself up and waddled up the stairs. I looked after him, perplexed by his gait. I knew he'd gotten into something.

And there it was, under the laundry table: an empty cardboard container of Dial bar soap. Cucumber- and lavender-scented. Shreds of paper were littered about the site, and when I looked incredulously up the stairs, Mac was looking sheepishly down at me. He wagged his tail hopefully.

I still didn't believe it.

Oh no! My person has unwittingly locked me in the basement! Whatever shall I do?

a) Whine and bark until someone hears me
b) Lay quietly until someone comes to get me
c) Scratch at the door until someone notices that I'm gone
d) Eat an entire box of soap


It was a tense night. I was expecting intestinal fireworks, and since Mac always slept in my bed, I was understandably concerned. He woke me once: standing with his nose just inches from mine, but when I became aware enough to recoil in horror, he let out a little, soap-scented burp and went back to sleep.

--

To be continued...
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:27 AM
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smkie smkie is offline
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You are awesomeness and I have a big grin on my face.
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love comes in many directions with mary


Side by side on the sofa sat three annoyed dogs and one smug cat
and then in came a little white kitten,
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:06 AM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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Fabulous stories!! So dang funny.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:32 AM
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houlahoops houlahoops is offline
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Thanks, y'all! He's a character for sure!

Bedtime

The first night we had Mac, he slept in my room. It was only natural: my sister was allergic and I was obsessed with that dog, despite the royal howling he'd made when I gave him a bath that morning.

I set him up on a blanket by my head and shut off the light.

It took me forever to fall asleep, and I kept reaching over to run my hands over his soft, cool muzzle. At fourteen I still hadn't quite gotten over my natural attraction to animals, and Mac was no exception, although he was technically a game dog. Every movement elicited happy tail-wags, and only with reluctance did I finally shut my eyes.

The next morning, I sat up and immediately turned to the blanket, which was empty.

I cast about hopelessly for the dog, envisioning the havoc he could have wreaked in the house while I was blissfully asleep. He was used to being an outside dog, and he'd already been in the trash twice since coming to us.

"Mac!" I said softly into the pre-dawn light.

And suddenly my whole bed jerked. There was a terrifying pop and I yipped: tumbled backward into the blankets. I stayed there, curled in on myself for a few, slow breaths before I cautiously swung my feet over and onto the floor.

"Mac?" I asked.

A tongue snaked out from under the bed and wrapped around my ankles. I could see the lower part of Mac's muzzle, and the dog made a sheepish warbling noise. His tail thumped against the baseboards and he wormed his way out from underneath, careful not to hit his head this time.

--

To be continued...
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:46 AM
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You could easily have a career writing! Wonderful story-telling, all the better being that they are true1
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:36 PM
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houlahoops houlahoops is offline
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Aw, thanks, Poodlesmom! I wish I could haha.

Escape

Mac is a big dog. As a result of this, he learned to solve problems by using his bulk: just lowering his big, square head and pushing until he comes out the other side, wagging like crazy. He's never been a jumper. It's a lot of work to get all that mass of the ground, and unless he has a darn good reason, Mac is content to patrol for evildoers from the porch.

For this reason, I was relatively happy to let him roam as he might in our fenced yard during the day. It was better than having him in the house, where more often than not you would find him with his head caught in the garbage bin.

But one day, as soon as I leaned out the kitchen window--parted the curtains to holler for him to come inside--Mac took a big, heavy breath and clumsily crashed his way over our 5-foot fence. It wasn't a clean jump, and I could hear the clatter as his rear legs caught the mesh at the top.

His front legs compensated quickly, though, and he was immediately off into the woods: hot on the heels of two startled whitetails.

I cussed as loudly as I dared and flung the door open. I hit the ground at a dead run and flew after the dog: my dad was always on me about not leaving him alone in the yard.

For almost an hour I stumbled around in the woods yelling for Mac. I started off angry, but my frustration quickly dissolved into anxiety. He is usually open on trail, but I hadn't heard a peep since he'd taken off.

I was almost ready to turn around when I heard a muffled warbling from the edge of our property. It was Mac, for sure.

I followed the sound at a steady clip, scanning the ground for sign of deer or dog. I could see a few tracks, but it was dry out and I could only guess at the trail.

I would have walked right past him if he hadn't woofed at the sound of my footsteps. I stopped, perplexed at the noise.

"Wurf."

I turned in a slow circle.

Right by the fence line, I could see a very familiar spotted butt.

"Mac?" I said.

"Wurf," came the sheepish answer.

Apparently during his pursuit, Mac had found something much more interesting to chase. Groundhogs. Unfortunately for my dad's fifty pound Catahoula hog dog, his butt just does. Not. Fit. In a hole that small.

"Mac," I said again, this time an admonishment. I wrapped my arms around his middle and tugged.

With a little bit of elbow grease I finally pulled him out, but it took a hand on his scruff the whole way home to keep him diving into every groundhog hole we passed.

--

To be continued....
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:44 PM
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smkie smkie is offline
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Go Petie Go Go Who Go!

love comes in many directions with mary


Side by side on the sofa sat three annoyed dogs and one smug cat
and then in came a little white kitten,
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