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Saturday, July 19, 2014
We moved into this rattle-trap pile of sticks in the Barrio almost 6 years ago, due to a bunch of craziness(untreated PTSD, among other things) from my stepdad.
The years-long guerilla assault by our lunatic neighbor had taken it's toll, and my body was busy falling apart, at last, and stepdad's Vietnam buddy was whispering into his ear about how my mom was nuts, there was no prowler, and that I, the goddamn hippie, was indeed the root of all of stepdad's problems.
Having 2 little kids, and being tired of such abuse, we evacuated to this place.
Drunk Uncle would be happy with our old RV, and our rent would be to fix the place up, pay off the back taxes, and keep up with the new.
That winter, the continuing chaos out at mom's was added to by her mom, my grandma, falling ill.
Grandma was still in Magfuckingnolia...some 300 miles away...so my mom went there to help out.
She felt that stepdad couldn't be trusted with care and feeding of chickens...so they came here...and lived in the muddy pit of a room, that would eventually become my Library(the one with the serpent).
I also evacuated my Geese, and the three white ducks that we had inherited from a cousin.
We built a hum-dinger of a chicken house, and fenced the place with 8 foot chicken wire, and segmented into pastures, for rotating the birds.(and keeping them out of other peoples' yards)
I planted a bunch of mammoth sunflowers...for birdseed, as well as for their aleleopathic qualities(most things won't germinate beneath them...walnut and mesquite have the same quality.).
The Birds got to work on this place and the Wild Lot next door(another Uncle's), and away we went with gardening and bird ranching and egg production....giving most of the produce away.
Two summers later, we all went to Galveston...mom rented a house, and my brother and his bunch and us all fished and frolicked at the beach.
My mother in law looked after the birds.
At this time, we had about 50 chicks...happily ensconced with 3-4 broody banty hens, in 3 Hutches I had built for stepdad's abortive rabbit raising fiasco.
Some had been purchased, and the rest were homegrown.
When we returned a week later, I went straight to the back to check on the Birds...and the Hutch doors were open...the Chicks were gone, and there were feathers all over the place.
In the very back of the garden, I found a large Mutt...like a hound/greyhound cross, black and white mottled...with a dead hen in his mouth.
I called for my bow, but by the time I had an arrow nocked, he was gone.
Never did find out who owned that dog...but I saw him many times in the ensuing months...running down the street...crapping in people's yards...but he never came to our place. I kept an arrow nocked and the bow at the ready during this whole period.
Dog Catcher, at the time was one of the incompetent ones...somebody's cousin who needed a job.
A friend and I sat out at the little table by the road(the Cafe, we call it) and watched as that Dog Catcher drove slowly down the street...with no fewer than 4 loose dogs...literally running circles around the dog catcher's truck.
It was very surreal.
I lost all but 12 of those chicks...never found the bodies...and a dozen or so hens and roosters.
Two summers later, and the same damned thing happened. Carnage...3 dogs, caught red mouthed, as it were. But I am not quick enough on my feet to retrieve my bow in time.
Then, this past January...20 degrees...boys are both home from school sick...and 8 am one of my neighbors comes to the door...I thought he wanted eggs...but he said, “there's a pack of dogs in your back lot eating chickens.”
I grabbed the bow, nocked and arrow and proceeded to the back...and there they were.
I got an arrow into one of them...in the foreleg...and they all three took off in different directions.
By this time that neighbor was back in his truck...and he followed these three chicken killing dogs down to the end of the street...to D's house...who maintained a sort of unofficial kennel for unwanted canines...to the chagrin of his closest neighbors and to the kids who rode their bikes past his house.
It was well known that his dogs were always loose. At this time he had around 8.
So I was hot...I grabbed a big plastic flower pot, filled it with a bunch of dead chickens, threw that into the back of my truck and hauled ass to D's house.
He was busy putting the injured dog into his truck for a trip to the vet.
I seethed out of my truck, and put the bucket of dead birds in the back of his, and said”tie them around their necks”...and began to leave.
He screamed at me for shooting his dog(!), and for being a terrible dog-hating monster(!)...I left...and the new dog catcher showed up as I was leaving, as well as the idiot deputy.
A little while later, and she(dog catcher) shows up at my door to take my statement...I gave her the bucket of bird bodies...and she said that the idiot deputy was considering filing charges against me for “discharging a firearm in city limits”...and that D had wanted to file charges for animal cruelty and assault(on his dogs)...but that she had talked them both out of these ill considered actions.
D still has way too many dogs down there...and still has piss-poor fences...his numerous animals still get set loose every night to terrorize the neighborhood, and get into garbage and whatnot...and that one competent dog catcher apparently did her job too well...and was fired.
There's hundreds of cats around here...flea bitten and skinny...into the garbage...
There's a skunk that keeps us all company in winter..and we even had a litter of baby opossums that got into my Library, after I had shot their mother...took a week or more to catch them all and relocate them(they're really pretty cute when they're little)
Yesterday, I'm laying here, in agony due to this weird ass weather(the so called polar vortex in July)...and the scanner comes on.
A 3 year old girl, across town, has been mauled by a “pack of dogs”.
She ends up ok...and the dog catcher, cops, ems, and fire department spend the rest of the evening chasing the last dog...a white pitbull..all over town.
It was like listening to one of those radio serials from the 1930's...This bright white largeish dog eluded them for hours.
In the creek...under a house...through the woods...behind the feedstore...they would corner it, then it would rush them and get away.
At one point during the chase, the report came in that the dog had stopped for a rest and refreshment at D's house.
I laughed aloud.
Then he moved on, and was finally shot with a tranquilizer dart, somewhere in the creek...but had slipped away...an hour later, they found him a half mile from where he had been tranked, under someone's shed.
The poor new dog catcher girl had to crawl under there with the catch-pole and drag that groggy pitbull out.
I have taken all but a few roosters back out to moms...things have calmed way down out there.
There are three banty roosters that are mine, but who would be a problem for the hens at moms...so they stayed.
The other roosters and the 2 hens...I don't know where they came from...they all just wandered over here and moved in, at one time or another...before the January dog incident, my hens were always in an uproar, and about half of them moved into the trees and into my shop...crapping everywhere...and wouldn't return to their house. Too many roosters.
There's no grass here...but lots of trumpet vine, catalpa, chinaberry , mulberry and sunflower...
So Drunk Uncle...the landlord, effectively...is given a little white billy goat.
He's staying with my mother in law...who has no fences.
He sees all the riotous growth over here, and...while we were in Galveston again, last week...drops that little goat off in our back yard.
We get home and find him crapping on the back porch and eating the fig tree.
The unwanted vegetation will continue to go uneaten...which I could have told him, if he had bothered to ask.
(as I am cripple, and thus unable to remove it by hand, I broke down and began applying agent orange(2-4-D) and other weapons of mass destruction...to my shame,lol)
what have I learned from all of this?
1.I still loath dogs...as I have since I was a pizza delivery guy.
2.Folks are pretty damned irresponsible when it come to keeping their canines in check...and just plain assholes when I defend my birds by shooting their dogs on my place.
3. dog catchers need to make more money...and nepotism, and other petty small town political bullshit should have nothing whatever to do with their hiring or firing.
4. the ordinances in this town are stupid...and the most draconian of them are focused on the wrong things. D...he of the numerous loose dogs...has had a thousand dollars or more in fines levied against him, that he refuses to pay...and the city can apparently do nothing at all...not even, it seems, take a few of those dogs away from him.
And 5. I hate living in town.