Dog Sub-Culture

A letter (and confession) from Brad, in Maine

Years ago I lived on the little mesa in Bolinas with my doberman named Gracie. Beautiful Champion Williams’s Amazing Grace, the dog that could perform 135 tricks! Everyday Gracie and I would walk down the hill onto Brighton, take a left up the beach, and walk around to Wharf Road. Gracie would heel by my side, and strut her stuff through Bolinas everyday.

Well, one day Gracie came into heat and I didn’t know it. A little poodle started following us. So we jogged up the beach towards Wharf and we couldn’t lose it. We got on Wharf Road and a couple more dogs joined our procession. By the time we got to Scowley’s our entourage was like 10 dogs and I was getting concerned, so I skipped breakfast and decided to just go home.

So we passed that little deli… Remember that Bassett Hound who had the short front legs and his ears dragged the ground? He joined the parade. We got to the garage, and all the free-box Co-op dogs joined the parade, Tank had a big mongrel that really wanted Gracie. And we passed the church and the little catholic church dog noticed all the young boy dogs and started following, too.

Oh God, we approached the post office and there were like 5 more dogs there, by now I feel like the pied piper leading all the rats to the water, I’m serious – there were like 40 dogs and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want them following me home. And then I saw the tennis courts.

Remember Annie Lamott used to give lessons there and play there all the time. The courts were surrounded by a chain link fence 14 feet high. So we go through the gate and ushered all the dogs in there and close the gate. The dogs were behaving really well, tails wagging, and we got them all in the fence and closed the gate.

We crossed the tennis courts and exited out the other gate, closing it and locking all the dogs in the tennis court, like all 40 of them, and ran like hell!! We started running up Little Mesa Road and got to this switchback overlooking the tennis court when the biggest dogfight you have ever heard of broke out! I swear to God, every dog in there turned into a maniac! I was horrified! I saw three dogs climbing the chainlink fence, and the last thing I saw was a dog made it to the top of the fence and tried to jump over, and it got its’ leg caught, and the poor thing is hanging 14 feet in the air by its’ back leg spurting blood!!! Which really inspired the other dogs to fight all the more enthusiastically. So we ran home and hid!!!

The next day Annie Lamott put posters all over town “Big Reward For Information Leading to the Arrest and Conviction of Whoever Put the Dogs on the Tennis Court!”

That would be me, Annie

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