Click to Subscribe
Of Dogs and Men
Is Zoe, the Collie one of the Last American Men?
© 2016 James LaFond
My mother and aunt have inherited my newly married sister’s young adult Collie—perhaps the most beautiful dog I have seen in person. She is a long, lean 80 pounds, with sleek brushed coat, like the lead singer of some 1980s canine hair band.
She looks quite the prissy show dog and has been coddled like a baby—in fact these old women call her Baby!
I am not a dog fan, having been attacked by numerous dogs from Age Eight and up, and eventually kicking a pit bull out into traffic during one of my close calls as a feral adult paleface. I would have no problem killing and eating a dog that threatened me. I have used dogs as sparring partners. Chico, Duz’s idiot boxer-pitbull mix, used to play fight with me when he wasn’t eating pigeons, rabbits and cats. This sixty-pound ball of muscle would run at me and do a flying head-butt or body check directly at my face to which I would counter with a wing block or a shoulder fade…what a psychotic dog. This guy would run at Duz when he had the hose and leap at head height with mouth open and ride the water stream gushing into his mouth, like an imbibing waterslide.
Now living with my mother and aunt for a day and a half a week I have had plenty of time to observe Zoe.
She demands to spar with me once every visit and grows surly if I do not.
Every morning she quietly demands to go outside just before sunrise and patrols the house perimeter.
When I let her in and get to writing, she snorts at me like I’m being lazy and then demonstrates her own morning version of a fascist military parade, sprinting the length of the seventy-foot house six times, barking as she passes the table where I sit in the central kitchen.
Before sundown she insists on being set outside to patrol.
Once I let her in at dark, and then take a seat and crack open a beer, she gives me a look that I swear Mister Frank [my boxing coach] gave me the last time he saw that I no longer walked around within ten pounds of my fight weight. She seems to say with her accusatory glance, “What the hell, Captain, you know the enemy are gearing up and heading out on patrol and you’re off to the officer’s club?”
As Mom and Madeline face the TV, I sit facing the front of the house with my book and beer and just wink at her with a toast, to which she snorts in seeming disdain as she places herself in the entrance from the enclosed back porch and faces the darkened grove of pines beyond her yard, her ears up on her raised head until the ladies are in bed. Then she lays across the doorway while I turn off the light and sprawl on the couch.
It amazes me that this domesticated bitch of two years, with no training other than wrestling and boxing and stick fighting with me on occasion, has assigned herself more responsibility to look over and protect the people around her than most American men would imagine doing for their women and children. Knowing that Zoe’s kind were bred to guard and herd sheep, I wonder if today’s human, as viewed through her canine eyes, resembles more the men she was bred to serve or the sheep she was intended to herd?
War Drums: Forty Miles from The Big House
‘My Mother’s House is Too Isolated’
the man cave
‘Your Mexicans, Sir’

B     Aug 31, 2016

We had a Collie when I was a toddler.

The dog took it upon himself to herd me around the house, making sure I didn't get into trouble. The parents could leave for a couple of hours and come back-the dog had it covered.

Dogs are an essential part of your inner security perimeter-smarter than humans in many important ways.
Ishmael     Aug 31, 2016

My older brother had a border collie, Boots howled and mourned when he died.
  Add a new comment below: