My Dog, Pistols

Some friends in the neighborhood and I had a clubhouse in the attic of a barn on my grandfather’s farm. However, shortly after we started it we had to disband it, because my father discovered some pornographic magazines we had hidden there. He went there to retrieving my pet dog, Pistols, which I was also hidden there.

You see, I returned home from school one day and was told that Pistols had broken free from her chain and attacked my grandmother, Ma. My father said he was going to take the dog to the pound. I pleaded with him that she was a good dog and not prone to violence, so she shouldn’t be taken to the pound because of one rare occurrence. He didn’t want to hear a word about it. His mind was already made up. So, I ran and got pistols and carried her up to my clubhouse. For three days, I brought water and food to Pistols.

On the fourth day after I had hid pistols in the barn attic, I returned home from school to discover that she was no longer there. I went home and my father told me that he had taken Pistols to The Pound. That is a place were stray dogs were taken and put to death. My father told me that my uncle Vernon had heard Pistols barking from inside the attic, while he was inside of the barn below her. “She was nearly blind!” My father said, referring to Pistols state at the time he found her, “So, I got her and took her to the pound!” Although it was quite dark inside of the clubhouse, I felt there there was enough light for my dog to see. After all, my friends and I looked at porno while we up there.

I pleaded with my father to go and get Pistols, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He told me that he was angry because of the “other things” he found up in the clubhouse. I knew he was referring to the porno mags and felt ashamed. He told me that, because Pistols was a hunting dog (black labrador), The Pound would keep her for a month before putting her down. He said that hunting dogs were valuable and someone would probably adopt her within that timeframe. Whether that was the truth or not, it did little to help my sadness. I still had my doubts that Pistols really attacked Ma, or if she just perceived it as such. I never knew that dog to react violently. Furthermore, if she had indeed attacked Ma, it was only because she was trying to protect our home and most assuredly wouldn’t have hurt Ma. Pistols just wasn’t a violent dog at all.

Several years before this, my father had a hunting dog named Henry. My father told me that Henry had ran off during a bird hunting trip and never returned. Because of what happened with Pistols, I had my doubts about the veracity of that story. I have always tended to believe that my father shot Henry. I don’t remember him ever being very fond of dogs, or any other animal for that matter. On the contrary, my father was a hunter. He did it purely out of enjoyment, not necessity. He tried to instill that desire within me, taking me out on hunting trips often. Thankfully, it didn’t take. I had a period where I tortured some small puppies and killed some cats, but I am ashamed of having done that. Perhaps I was doing it because I wanted to be a hunter like my father.

I still miss Pistols. She was as good a dog as a young boy could have wanted. I took care of her well, too. She always had food and water, and I played with her often. What my father did was wrong. I hope that I will not do such a bad thing to my sons and strive to be more understanding of their feelings than my father was to mine.

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