Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pauly Pittman and the Pit Bull (Part 3 of 3 Parts) blog post #641

 Image Courtesy of Vector Portal:


Today, we have the conclusion to the story of Pauly Pittman and the feral dog that’s been hanging around him. Hope you enjoy.




Monday morning, Pauly wrapped his sweater tighter around him as he waited for the yellow bus. Colder than it looked. Only a couple more weeks before school let out, and he could stop coming up to the road and waiting in the weather for it to show up. He glanced at his Mickey Mouse. Dadgummit, he’d arrived ten minutes too soon.

A big, black dog trotting down the road interrupted his musings. Didn’t look friendly. Tail wasn’t wagging. That and laid-back ears told him the beast wasn’t coming to greet a friend.

“Whoa!” he called.

To his surprise, the dog whoaed. For a second. Then it took deliberate—and threatening—steps toward Pauly.

He tried again. “Whoa!”

“The dog ignored him this time. His lips curled and a snarl came from somewhere deep inside him.

As the beast advanced, Pauly backed away, managing to keep space between him and the threatening animal… until he tripped and went down on his backside. Panic boiled up inside him and he heard himself holler something unintelligible as ferocious growling and snarling split the air. The dog! Two dogs?

Pauly lay half in the borrow ditch at the side of the road with his head on the low end, so he couldn’t see the road where the ruckus was coming from. By the time he managed to sit up, he saw the black dog racing away with another on his tail. The pit bull? He couldn’t tell.

Heart still pitter-pattering like crazy, he picked up his schoolbooks as the bus came over the hill and screeched to a halt. He scooted aboard and found a seat beside Billy. He couldn’t talk for a moment until his breathing calmed.

“You won’t believe what just happened,” he finally managed to get out.

“Try me.”

“A big black dog attacked me.”

“Don’t see bite marks on you.”

“That pit bull saved me.”

“That same pit bull from the other day.”

“Yeah. Well, I think so.” Pauly explained he’d ended up in the ditch looking up at his shoes, but he was pretty sure that’s what happened.

Billy was doubtful.


All during class, Pauly glanced out the window, halfway expecting to see the pit bull in the shade of the cottonwood, but the dog never showed. Had he gotten into a fight with the black dog and was hurt? His heart dropped into his stomach, and his mood followed. The school day took a long time passing.

When he said goodbye to Billy at the bus stop, Pauly watched carefully for the dog—both dogs, as a matter of fact. But all the way home, he saw nothing.

He was feeding the chickens when his father came roaring in from the fields on his tractor and headed for the kitchen door.

“Saw your pit bull,” he threw over his shoulder as he barreled through the door. A minute later, he came back out carrying his shotgun.

“Wh-what’re you gonna do?”

“Shed the neighborhood of a feral dog.”

“Wait!” Pauly yelled. His father didn’t, but Pauly ran beside him as the man started across the field on foot. “He saved me this morning. From another dog.”

His father listened as Pauly told him what had happened this morning. His reaction mirrored Billy’s.

“So you didn’t really see him?”

“Well… just a glimpse.”

“Can you swear it was the pit bull you saw?”

“Swear? I dunno, but I’m sure.”

His father started walking again. “Not good enough. And if it was the bull, chances are the black dog was rabid. If they tangled, he’d get bitten and catch rabies too. Be a mercy to spare him that kinda suffering.”

“You don’t know that!” Pauly protested.

“You don’t know he saved you either.”

Pauly stuck to his father’s heels as they crossed the field and entered the woods beyond.

“Onery critter,” his dad mumbled. “Come on, show yourself.”

After half an hour they broke through to a little glen and started across. Out of the corner of his eye, Pauly saw movement. He halted in his track as the pit bull came charging out of the tree line heading straight for them. No, for his father. The dog was attacking his father!

“Dad!” he shouted.

He was too late. The tan and gray form launched itself into the air and hurtled for Pauly’s dad.

His father saw the dog at the last minute and tried to swing his shotgun around, but the dog flung himself sideways and barreled into the man’s side, sending him crashing to the ground. The shotgun went flying.

As his father scrambled for the weapon, Pauly spotted something.

“Dad! Wait! Look!”

In possession of the shotgun again, his father hesitated. The dog stood twenty feet away, panting heavily.

And there in the grass, directly in what had been his father’s path, lay the coiled form of an agitated rattlesnake.

“He saved you, Dad. You’d a stepped on that rattler for sure.”

His father loosed an oath… but it was a soft curse. “You may be right.”

“Just like he saved me from the black dog.”

The subject of their discussion stood looking from man to boy as they spoke. His tail, stiff at first, began to wag a bit.

Pauly fell to his knees and held out his hands. “Come on, boy.”

“Now wait—”

His father’s protest died as the dog lowered his head and trotted to Pauly, giving his face a huge lick.

“Pauly, you get away from that animal. We don’t know if—”

The pit bull moved to the man and nudged his knee. Pauly figured things would turn out okay when his dad put hands to the dog, sort of petting him, but Pauly understood he was actually looking for bite marks. There didn’t seem to be any.

After giving the man his attention, the dog moved back to Pauly, who hugged him to his chest.

“All right,” his father said. “What are you gonna name him?”

“Streak,” Pauly said promptly. “He streaked to save me from a dog, and he streaked to save you from a rattler. So Streak’s a good name.”

“Then Streak it is. And speaking of rattlers….”

But the snake had more sense than to hang around and get blown away by a shotgun. It was gone.


So Pauly now has a new dog named Streak. It appears that pit bulls have gotten a raw deal. From all accounts, they are friendly, loyal animals. Sometimes might not abide other dogs, but are friendly to humans. Mind you, I’m only repeating what pit bull owners have told me and what I’ve read. I’ve never owned one, not have I sat for one back in the days when Betty and I dog sat. She passed fifteen years ago, and once the dogs we cared for faded away, I didn’t accept new animals. Sometimes I really miss them.

 I have no clue what’s coming up next week, but I’ll manage something.

 See you then.

Stay safe and stay strong until we meet again.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say it!

Take a look on Amazon at my BJ Vinson murder mystery series consisting of The Zozobra Incident, The Bisti Business, The City of Rocks, and four others.

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See you next Thursday


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