Rebel was long and round, like a rolled-up old-fashioned car camping sleeping bag. He was a standard black dachshund with tan face and features. Rebel was older and stately.
Then there was K.C., a mean and muscly beagle. K.C. was named after Ken and Chris, his young owners while he was cute and puppy-ish. Then they got busy with high school and college, and left him home for Mom and younger siblings to care for. Their first apartment after they married didn’t allow pets, so he became ours.
K.C. sometimes got out of the gate when all the little kids were going in and out. We had to chase him down the street to get him back in the yard. Neighbors jumped out of the way and went inside when they saw us coming. He was known to bite if people got too near. When he learned to jump over the fence, we started keeping him down by tying a log to his collar. He’d regularly have to run around the yard with the log bouncing after him across the grass and dirt. (It is just as ludicrous as it sounds. Imagine that. It’s like a cartoon dog with a rope tied onto its collar pulling a bouncing log behind him. Yep. Someone should have called animal control to come and investigate.) He stopped jumping over the fence that way, and as he got stronger, the log had to get bigger. He had huge muscles across his shoulders. He was mean, but he was ours and we were proud to run and retrieve him.
K.C. and Rebel were both male adult dogs, never neutered back in those days. They fought like my siblings and I fought, only much worse. They were mean–biting and snapping at each other.
That day I went out to play, Rebel lay in the cold sand box, trying to ignore the potato bugs that bit his belly.
I came up behind him and petted him. He reached back and snapped his big teeth right onto my hand. His canine left a round puncture wound, the diameter of a pencil. I was young, but I knew he bit me because he thought I was K.C.
“It’s okay, boy, I understand. I know you didn’t mean to bite me,” I told him, after I first went into the house crying and seeking first aid and sympathy.
Erika Griffin had some great posts in response to this prompt: “One time I was with my dog (or other pet) and…” Here’s one of hers and another and another. So sweet. She got a lot of mileage from that simple prompt, so I wanted to come back and write something too. I do have lots of dog stories I could write too.
P.S. K.C. didn’t stay with us much longer. We came home once, after a weekend away, and my older sister told us K.C. got out and didn’t come back. They couldn’t find him. Later we learned they had really taken him to a stud service because we had no control over that dog.