My wife gets home from her shift at the Hospital about 12:15am. I am always sound asleep. I never hear her because it is all routine. She lets the dog out into our fenced backyard and he prowls our property hunting for intruders and sniffing. He loves the ditch that diagonals the property and has worn a path along its bottom.
Last night I was awakened to blood curdling screams!
"Tuxedo" is not exactly a lap dog although at times he thinks he is. Weighing in at a 128 pounds he is a big fellow. He comes from a questionable background and is a proud mix of rottweiler, mastiff and pit bull. He can be the world's gentlest dog but I have seen him kill a nutria in less than two seconds. He has crushing jaws and can bite through a bone the size of a wrist with ease.
My yard is fenced and cross fenced, sort of a maze of ornamental iron creations, gates and various fence sections displaying the possibilities of style. The end of the ditch at the back of my property was a fencing challenge and it is not pretty. Water sometimes runs through this ditch almost like a flash flood causing debris to pile up against it and creating the perfect environment for wild blackberries. It is a thicket of wire and berry vines.
The raccoon and my dog were on the other side battling it out! The raccoon from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail was about four feet long. It was a screaming, yelling, frantic fight. The blood curdling yells that awoke me were from my wife. I knew something was very wrong.
I have mentioned before the neuropathy in my hands and feet and this is part of this story. The funny part.
I lept out of bed fully alert but not awake and put my moccasins on, what I use for slippers. I had the sense to grab my robe but the screaming was louder now and I ran down the stairs carrying the robe with me.
The neuropathy in my hands does not allow me to feel anything. Everything I touch feels as though I am putting my fingers in a light socket or stirring a bucket full of cut glass in my bare hands. Somewhere I dropped the robe and didn't even know it. My feet are never painful but are pretty numb. All this neuropathy was from the collateral damage from the chemo-therapy that cured me of cancer!
I sleep in my underware and arrived like that, without shoes or slippers or robe at the back of my property.
My wife is screaming at my dog on the other side of the fence battling it out with the raccoon and he is putting up a fight! Through the beam of the flashlight I see my dog has wounds on his face but his only reaction was to look at me as if to say, "look what I have found"!
I don't know yet how I did it, it is still dark outside and my dog is safetly in the house and the raccoon is dead, but somehow in my underware I managed to get through that tangle of wire and berry vines and by the time I did the battle was over, "Tuxedo" the proud winner.
I couldn't get back with the dog the way I crossed that fence so we walked around the block. My dog and me in my underware! He has battle scars now but I don't think they are serious. When it gets light I will check him out and we can tell each other stories, men to men, like guys do.
I was sort of amazed that no one called the police. I was rehearsing what I might say.
"Good Evening Officer", I would begin with that...