I was sitting in a good friends backyard drinking wine, and sharing laughs and little stories of my life. Things that I experienced and found funny that once happened to me. I always enjoyed telling a good story or a joke over the years, and even got an “A”, on a presentation in college because of it. I use laughter and body gestures, and tone, and inflection in my voice. A few days later while doing dishes, it dawned on me where I got this love for storytelling, it was from a story my mother told at a family get together with friends and family close by. I am hoping that I can tell the story correctly, it isn’t my story but hers and dad’s but I think my father can help me with the things I might have left out.
My mother took a long drag on her cigarette, and put her coffee down on the table and started to laugh, as if she was remembering this story, like it just happened a few days ago. She smiled and began, I sat with my hands under my chin, while I watched my mother become animated, as she began her tale.
Well, as a family we loved to go camping, we loved to experience the woods, at campgrounds where you couldn’t see only hear the other campers though the trees. The park had rules that your dogs were to stay on leashed for the safety of the other campers. We had a dog “PYRO?” , who wasn’t happy with his chained experience during this particular trip. Everything was going great until this other family pulled up just as we were getting settled into our site. They too, had a dog and for some reason they didn’t see why having their dog on a leash was a good idea, so this free roaming dog loved to take pleasure in antagonizing our dog, Pyro.
As most dogs are they are protective of their families, and their homes. As this campsite was where his family was spending time now so as a dog it was worth protecting. Pyro took his job seriously, scaring away anything that posed a threat to his family. Chipmunks and small animals included. So when this free roaming dog came by his domain, he would chase that dog off with growls and fierce barking. For as long as his stupid leash would let him, this evil thing would always pull him back. And keep him from teaching this awful dog a lesson of who owned this family. So after a few times, of being yanked and held back by this leash Pyro was a dog on a mission, and we didn’t understand why he was acting strange the next day until later that day. ‘Mom picked up her cigarette and took a long drag, it felt like an eternity cause we all were hanging on her every word.’
It started in the morning, we let Pyro out of the truck, and chained him to the tree so we can get breakfast started. He walked to the edge, of the campsite and marked the ground. walked back and repeated this for several hours throughout the day. Same thing, walking as far as he scratch the ground and walking back to the tree. It was odd, but it seemed too keep him busy so I never thought anything of it.
As night fell, and we built a fire, and settled in for a night of singing and laughing another summer night under the stars, with the family. When along came this dog that has been, harassing Pyro daily for the past few days. Pyro was resting peacefully by my side taking in the fire, just like us. When his nose went into the air, and ears focused on the stray dog on his property. He leapt to his feet and ran barking and growling at this trespasser. Only to be stopped by his awful leash as usual. The stray dog, seems to enjoying knowing that our dog, was not able to do anything while he sat looking at him, looking smug at the obvious displeasure of Pyro, trying to get his grip on this stupid dog. I got up from my chair and walked towards the dog, to shoo him away. Mom smiled, and took a sip of her tea, and played with the lip of the glass, and smiled like she had a big secret to share. Her pause was long enough for us to see this dog jumping and straining trying to get this dog. Mom motioned to neck as she pretended to the straining at an imaginary leash. We all leaned closer to hear her secret.
When this stray dog, came closer to Pyro, as if to taunt him, by getting closer to him as he was barking and looking as menacing as possible to this intruder. The dog inched closer, looking oddly smug, knowing that our dog was unable to get him. Barking at him, and taunting him more and more as got closer and closer to Pyro, with confidence that nothing was going to happen. It was so precious to hear the stray dog’s yelp and surprise when Pyro was suddenly on top of him, with frantic yelps and running for cover. Mom let out a huge laugh, and struggled to continue. It was amazing to look at our dog, and think it planned this, you see Pyro was measuring where his leash let him go and where it could not. He planned this … who said dogs where stupid? We all sat back and howled with laughter… I love the way mom told stories, and I always will. This is one of my favourites that of many that I think of when the moment strikes me.
Thanks Mom. I hope my stories are as wonderful as yours.
Amended – June 17, 2015 – Dad, did come up with new memories from this story, after reading it and gave me a few things to add to the story, originally I had the name as Opik, not Pyro. Dad told me that it took place in Algonquin Park, in the East River Settlement. He also added that the Pyro sat on this leash in order to hide it. He also added that the neighbours came by to complain to about him, and they told them they were not responsible for anything because their dog was on a leash. Good going Mom and Dad.
He also mentioned how much I loved this dog, and used to sleep with all the time, I don’t remember that but it is nice to hear that I loved the dog as much as he loved us.