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In the Blood
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Cindi    Posted 11-05-2004 at 14:29:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
We see wild hogs all the time here. Sometimes they're just passing through. Sometimes they try to get in with the domestic hogs and get to the feed. Sometimes it's a wild boar trying to get to the sows. So, when Jake came flying around the corner of the house, all arms, legs and excited eyes, claiming he'd seen a wild hog out back, it came as no real surprise. I was wandering around the yard, picking up storm debris, lost in my own little world. Needless to say, his sudden appearance was a trifle unnerving.

"Where's Red Dog?! There's a wild hog back there!" He pointed in a generally northerly direction, which could have meant the back yard, or Georgia. Red Dog had heard his name and was already on his feet.

"Where's it at, Jake?"

"Back there!" This time it was little more than a vague hand wave. Before I knew it, boy and dog had hooked up and were gone. Three hours later, Jake returned. He was soaked from head to toe, and panting like a road lizard.

"I got a hog!" He announced.

I sighed. There was only one reason for him to seek me out and make this declaration... it was because he needed help, and I had just settled down to eat. I was right.

"Can I use your truck?" He asked, like it was the most natural question in the world, despite the fact that he doesn't have a driver's license..

I just stared at him.

"OK, well then, can you take me to go get her?"

"Where?" Somehow I knew that I would get better information this time.

"Peeple's Lane."

I choked on my dinner.

"Peeple's Lane! You walked all the way from there?"

"Yeah." Sheepish grin.

"Where's Red Dog?"

"I don't know. He walked part of the way back with me, and then he disappeared."

"Let me get this straight," I said, setting down my fork. "You chased some hog for three hours in the rain, now you want me to set aside my dinner and go get it, in the rain, and in the dark, and to top it off, you come home without my dog?"

Technically, the Red Dog started out as Jill's dog. Then he became Fred's dog and was eventually adopted by Jake as a catch dog, but the dog knows who loves him like a son, and makes no mistake...that person is me.

"He's all right! He'll come home when he's ready. Now, will you help me get my hog?"

"How do you know she's still there?"

"Because I tied her. She's not going anywhere, if you'll hurry up." He hinted.

The nerve.

"Fine!"

It's not a well-known fact, but Peeple's Lane connects N Hollandtown Road with Ed Wells Road. The reason it's not a well-known fact is because, a) parts of Peeple's Lane are little more than a cow path and b) there's a bit of a controversy regarding whether it's a private road or a throughway. I called the county two years ago to try and establish exactly which was true, but never did find out. As a result, I only drive down Peeple's Lane when it's a have-to situation. Knowing that your son caught a wild sow and tied her and left her on the side of the road, falls neatly into that category. I couldn't just leave her there.

It had been raining all afternoon, so the cow path had turned into a swamp. I just knew at every turn we were going to get stuck in the mud, turning an inconvenient trip into a nightmare expedition. It seemed we had gone miles and still hadn't found the hog.

"Jake! Where the he11 is this hog?"

"She's somewhere along the road, right by a fence, under a pine tree."

"Oh, I know right where that's at," I said sarcastically. "If we get stuck in the mud, you're gonna pay."

"We won't get suck, there was a UPS truck through here not an hour ago. If he didn't get stuck, we won't."

Suddenly there was a sea of grass in front of me.

"Where'd the dammed road go?" I demanded, hitting the brakes.

"It picks up again, just keep going!"

I had visions of ending up in a ditch or a pasture, my tires spinning and having to walk the whole way home in the rain. To top it off, Jill's/Fred's/Jake's/my dog was AWOL. In my mind, I already had Jake tried, convicted, and punished. Boy, was he going to pay.

"There she is!" I see the eye shine in the headlights!" Jake said suddenly, pointing. "See her?" he asked, and then... "but why's she sitting up? She shouldn't be sitting up. The way I had her tied, there's no way she could be sitting up."

"I don't see anything," I said.

"That doesn't surprise me." He muttered, and then pointed again. "You don't see those two eyes back there? They're looking right at us."

"Which side of the road?"

"The left."

"Where, I still don't..."

"Wait a minute, that's not the hog looking at us, that's Red Dog! He's still there! She's not sitting up, he is!"

Jake has only taken Red Dog hog hunting a few times, and each time they had been riding along with someone else. This time it had only been the two of them -- boy and dog, on a spontaneous trip prompted by a sighting that had led them overland through dark pastures and groves, and God knows where all in hot pursuit of the quarry. Together they had chased her, caught her and tied her, and now it appeared that after such a chase, Red Dog was not prepared to leave her unguarded, and had sat at her side waiting for her to be collected.

How did he know that Jake hadn't intended to simply leave her where she was? For all the dog knew, that was the end of the event. Chase and catch and go home. After all, as far as the dog was concerned, that's what Jake had done. How did Red Dog know to keep watch over that hog until Jake returned? It's anybody's guess, really. He's never been trained to do such a thing, in fact, he's never really had any training at all, beyond learning the right moment to duck when Jake swings his cap at him for misbehavior of some sort. I've always heard that certain dogs have instinctual behaviors, behaviors that are bred into them, and I think that Red Dog demonstrated that fact perfectly by not only catching this hog, but standing watch over her until she was retrieved.

I know that after this event, there will be no way to keep either one of them at home, and I will miss that dogs big red form stretched out on the porch, and his deep gravelly bark that alerts us when someone pulls into the yard. I'll miss him, because now that he and Jake have this successful hunt behind them...just the two of them, it's Katy bar the door. On the other hand, I also know that preventing it would be unfair, as it is clearly in his blood to hunt these hogs. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view...it's now firmly in Jake's blood, too.


Dave Smith    Posted 11-05-2004 at 16:53:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cindi, You can't leave us hanging, How did you get the sow into the truck? Did you get stuck, What did you do with the pig?
Dave <*)))><


Gunner    Posted 11-05-2004 at 16:28:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story! I may not be reading this right though and was a little concerned about Red Dog running around off leash and not trained to come?

If that's the case, I said the exact same thing your son did: He'll come home when he's ready -
Not a whole lot worse then scraping your best friend off a road cuz he wasn't taught to come



donna in w.v    Posted 11-05-2004 at 16:13:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
can alway count on a GREAT story from you. Your a great mom to leave dinner to drive thru the mud to get a pig.Please never stop writing ,your stories are mesmerizing!!!


Willard    Posted 11-05-2004 at 17:37:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I been lurking here for a couple weeks and Cindi'S storys impressed me so much I had to reply. I hope somebody is saving these gems, and will find her an agent. I can see TV shows, movies, or newspaper colums out of this kind of talent at telling stories. Cindi keep it up and look for a bigger future with your talent.


George in TX    Posted 11-05-2004 at 18:00:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do a Google search for "C. J. Mouser" or "C J Mouser" and you'll find enough to read to keep you busy for hours.

This talented lady has stories published all over the internet and rightly so. She's GOOD!

Cindi is a published author in many of the rural or farm publications and has even been on radio if I'm not mistaken.

Cindi help me out here please. I'd love to tout your many accomplishments but they're too numerous to name. Could you provide some kind of reference so your huge fan club can find all your writings in one, or many, places?


Mudcat49    Posted 11-05-2004 at 15:54:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story, But please urge Jake to be careful and red dog too. Those rascals cat cut up boy and dog with their tusk, even the sows have some mean tusks. I know I have the vet bills to prove it ( and the Dr Bills too when one cut me good one time!


George in TX    Posted 11-05-2004 at 15:46:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Another great story Cindi where you grabbed my by the throat and slung me right into the middle of the action. Please never quit writing these wonderful tales of real life experiences. Your stories are much better than any fiction I've ever read.


Alias    Posted 11-05-2004 at 15:02:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wonderful story Cindi. It perfectly captures the image of a never say quit youngster and his dog.
I quit trying to figure out what makes a dog possess such understanding of what to do. I'm just glad for it.........gfp


Willy-N    Posted 11-05-2004 at 14:58:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cindi your adventures sure sound like fun. I could get into loading up the old 4X4 and going on one with you guys! Bet you got a lot of Pork in the freezer with all those hogs running around if there good eating? Mark H.


toolman    Posted 11-05-2004 at 15:03:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
that young man and his dog would have a field day here running down bear.


Rickstir    Posted 11-05-2004 at 14:50:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
So what did they do with the hog?


SEAHAG    Posted 11-05-2004 at 14:50:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bless you Cindi, you brought a tear to my eye.


jeanette    Posted 11-05-2004 at 15:47:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
i would encourage him to pursue his hobby, he's at that age where they really need something they can call their own and be pround of it, kids need these things or they sometimes are in danger of turning to drugs or alcohol.


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