I had a little party over the weekend with civilised people, good conversation, good company and good food.
How could anything go wrong?
Well, you clearly don’t know my dog, Satan.
You see, when the first of my guests arrived, and began to unload their crates of beer cases of the finest vintage wine, naturally, I went out to greet them, with my dog by my side as always. That’s dogs for you — they imprint.
Now, as it happens, I had noticed the other dog hanging around outside my house all day. When I went to the Market in the morning, he was there and when I got back from town with bags of ice, he was still there, so maybe I should have had my antennae twitching, but I was in chilled party mode. What are you gonna do? I thought no more of it until I went out to greet my guests and help them with their cases of priceless wine straight from their own chateau.
That was when the other dog made a lunge at mine, followed by my dog clamping his fangs onto the other guy’s throat.
Hey, it’s dogs. They do that sort of shit, right? Most of the time they look cute and everyone oohs and aaws about them , until something triggers the atavistic killer in them, the ancient wolf from whom they descend, and suddenly the facade slips.
These guys weren’t interested in a lot of sound and fury followed by a face-saving withdrawal on both sides. Satan might well have been smarting from the experience last week where he was beaten up by a cat, but whatever the reason, these hounds were interested only in taking lumps out of each other.
My guests were horrified but I tried to shrug it off.
Dogs, y’know? That’s how they roll, I said as the dogs rolled around trying to rip each other’s throats out. I aimed a calming kick at them but the other dog just bit me on the shoe and went back to disembowelling Satan while Satan continued trying to behead him. I tried one more futile kick before they ran off, still locked together with fangs and disappeared into the distance.
Somebody once told me you should hold a fighting dog by the hind legs and lift him up. Right. What a great idea. Grab an enraged animal with your hands while he’s still programmed to kill. Somehow, Einstein, I don’t think so.
What are ya gonna do? I looked at my guests apologetically. Beer?
We were about half an hour into the beer when a small monster staggered in. A horrible thing, soaked head to toe in blood and saliva, covered in lacerations and limping badly.
Look, said one of the guests. It’s fucking Cujo.
Satan was looking sheepish and cowered away when I approached. You know that dog body-language that says, Sorry Dad. I really fucked up and you can kill me now cos you’re the Boss.
More people began to arrive.
Jesus, what happened the dog?
How do you mean?
He’s covered in fucking blood. Christ, that’s disgusting.
I don’t know what happened. Ask the fucking dog. Here: have some delicious grub, sit down, say hello to these fine people and enjoy yourself. And that’s what we did, as the house filled up with good, decent and witty people who spent the rest of the night entertaining each other with no pressure whatever on me apart from the obligation to keep the delicious grub coming, but since I’d cunningly done all that work in the previous week, ’twas no hardship.
And so to bed.
That was Saturday.
Yesterday, the dog was in bits, unable to chew food, unable to climb stairs, hobbling, with four or five very nasty facial cuts. I decided it might be a good idea to visit the vet, and this morning Satan was still looking a little seedy. Still climbing the stairs with difficulty. Still having trouble chewing.
Right. I’ll just do those few things I need to get out of the way and then we’ll see the vet. But when I got back, Satan was bounding around the place, tail up, bright-eyed, with no sign of distress at all. Is it a miracle? No. I put it down to the healing powers of the delicious chicken korma leftovers I fed him this morning. And the beer slops.
My dog is one tough bastard, but he was in a seriously rough condition after that little contretemps. I hate to think what the other guy looks like.