Old Charlie was a man who managed a ranch that joined us to the south and he was quite a character. For some time, all the ranchers in the area had been having trouble with a pack of wild dogs. The dogs would run together and if they found a new born calf or a lamb or kid goat they would kill it. They were not killing to eat, just to kill. Almost every day someone else would report another animal killed. The ranchers wanted to shoot them but there were some animal lovers that lived around there who put up a hue and cry against that. Suddenly, we did not hear of the dogs during the month of March. That was strange because it had been the talk of the community.
A short time later, I was back at Charlie’s to say hello. He lived in an old run down house in a little valley. When I pulled up in my pickup Charlie said, ” Come over, sit down, take a load off.”
I pulled up an old wood box beside Charlie who, as usual, had a big chew of tobacco that looked like a tennis ball in his cheek. He sat in front of his little house a lot, always with his trusty shotgun beside him. We talked about the weather, when it was going to rain again, the cattle market, and so on until I commented; “You know, Charlie, I haven’t seen anything of that pack of wild dogs for some time. I wonder if they have moved on to some other place.”
Charlie replies, “You ain’t gonna see them no more.” I thought about this for a bit and then I asked, “Why is that?” Charlie responded, “Them dogs came running through here a while back. Not one of those dogs was watchin’ where they was goin’. They ran plum into a bunch of stumps and killed theyselves.”
We sat there for a while until I said, “Well, I declare.”
Photo of feral dogs found here.