We had gathered enough junk over the years, it was time to spring clean.
My brother in law had made arrangements to take a bunch of our crap to store in his brothers shop. He explained that we needed to stop and grab some help unloading the heavier things. We drove for what seemed like an eternity to nowhere. It was there, I met Vern and his small menagerie of pets. I was warned ahead of time that Vern was "a bit much."
We pulled up and there it was. A trailer in the middle of nowhere. On the porch was, dare I say, "decorated" with some haphazardly placed western décor—a rusted wagon wheel, an old butter churn and on the rail sat a beat up saddle with an empty beer bottle teetering in the wind. Oddly, there was a huge cast metal star hung on the trailer that had “Texas” branded into it, the only logical explanation was this guy was illiterate, since we resided in Kansas. Every visible mini blind was either bent or broken off. To the left of the front door was a generic coffee can overflowing with cigarette butts. I was overcome with fear, thinking that I may have to enter that trailer.
There was one tree in the front yard; tied to that tree was a huge Rottweiler obsessively barking and running in circles looking for some kind of shelter from the heat. And unexpectedly from around the corner came the most decrepit, pathetic dog I had ever seen. I think at one point in its life it had been a dachshund, but now it had morphed into some other creature. It was about the size of a two liter coke bottle with a rib cage the size of a large turkey breast and the torso of a small snake. it’s little body curved in the middle like a somewhere in the center giving it the appearance of “U” shape. It hopped along on three legs with its forth back leg jettisoned straight out behind it. It forced out a single bark that sounded like a aging seal with emphysema. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry.
The door swung open, hitting the trailer as Vern burst out the door. Without introducing himself, he yelled “DAMNIT” snapping his fingers.
“Oh, sorry. I was yellin’ at ma dog. That there’s Damnit. It’s funny when I yell Damnit and folks find out its ma dog. That lil’ piece of shit dog is Horseshoe.”
He lit a cigarette. “You know. That Dog Whisperer ain’t what he’s cracked up to be.”
Startled by the absurdity of this statement, I asked “I beg your pardon?”
He seemed irritated that I didn’t understand what he meant, he repeated herself with a condescending voice. “I SAID that Dog Whisperer ain’t what he’s cracked up to be, damnit.”
The Rottweiler cocked his head.
“Not you, Damnit. I meant…..well…fuckin’ dog. He does that all the time.”
“You say Damnit and he jumps.”
“Maybe it’s because you named…” My brother in law nudged me in the rib.
He went on to tell me that Damnit was constantly trying to hump Horseshoe for no apparent reason. The image horrified me. How could that little decrepit dog even stand a breeze, let alone a massive unruly dog?
“He says on that show that Daminit
is humpin’ Horseshoe cuz he was bein’ all dominate.” he took a big drag off his cigarette and blew. “It’s cuz the god damn dogs a fag, that’s why.”
I was in love.