April 12, 2024
3 mins read

I don’t know why that dog attacked me. You’d have to ask the dog. The perpetrator—a six foot,
125-pound Anatolian Shepherd—belonged to the landlady of the 2-story house in Boston, where
my friend Don resided back in ’07. They lived directly above him. I was in town that weekend to
attend the wedding of a mutual friend of ours. I remember hearing his deep, ominous “woofing”
resonating through the walls the first night I was there.

Neither Don nor I suspected that beast was roaming, untethered, behind the house when we
stepped outside the next morning—until he whipped around the corner and confronted us at the
front gate. I remained calm, kept my hands to my sides and gave him time to check me out. I did
nothing to provoke him. Figured if I spoke nicely to him, he’d warm up to me. (I was careful to
avoid politics or religion) He seemed genuinely friendly. He didn’t snarl or bear his teeth; he just
kept wagging his tail. Flattered me into thinking he was my pal. So I started telling him a doggie
joke. Before I could finish, that rascal jumped in and delivered the punch line. BAM! Talk about
comic timing! Dog had me in stitches…literally!

He lunged for my face, then my groin, then my leg, then my face again. I tried biting him back,
but that bad ass was too fast for me. I gave him a good hard kick, but he had plenty of fight left
in him and kept coming at me. He’d have done me in for sure, if Don hadn’t somehow pulled him
off when he did. In addition to rearranging my mug, my attacker inflicted some less visible
damage below the “Equator,” if you get my meaning. Took a chunk out of the “Amazon,” but
spared “Tierra del Fuego.” Hooo-weee, was that ever close! One lucky chomp and I’d be peeing
out my jugular!

Good man, that Don! Kept his head and acted quickly; never once let me see how shaken he was
on the inside. He grabbed a roll of paper towels and had me hold it against my face to absorb the
blood and hold the lacerated flesh together while he rushed me to the ER. Stuck by me the whole

Seems that I was THE first person the dog had ever violated. Not the sort of honor I was hoping
to achieve in my lifetime. Perhaps I should feel flattered that this brute found me so irresistible,
he couldn’t keep his paws off me. I would rather he had appreciated me for my mind and seen
what a sweet, sensitive person I was. We could have sat down like civilized folks and settled our
differences diplomatically, maybe shared a bone, chased some cats, raid a dumpster, made pee-
pee together. Such a shame we started off on the wrong paw!

He was certainly a comely creature, as far as creatures go—a real dog’s dog! You know, the
strong silent type: all bite and no bark, never shows his true feelings, has only one thing on his mind. Wants it all, wants it now. Goes straight for the meat on the first date, drops his prey like a
used bone once he’s had his fill, and doesn’t even respect him in the morning. I wouldn’t treat a
dog the way he treated me! I can picture him now, strutting his fur throughout the neighborhood,
bragging to his friends about his latest conquest, spreading lies about me. “You shoulda seen the
tail I had yesterday! Man, what a dog!”

Anyone who didn’t know me might think I was a cheap, tail-teasing floozy who made a play for
every Mutt, Dick and Rover I met. Well, I’ll have you know that Ted Gargiulo is NOT “just
another pretty face!” After what that oversexed muchacho did to me, I’m not even pretty
anymore. Doesn’t mean I’m going to stop loving dogs simply because one ill-mannered ruff-ian
mistook my face for a pork chop. Most four-legged entities of the canine persuasion are perfect
gentlemen. Others, I’m afraid, are just…ANIMALS!

My assailant’s name, I later learned, was Rory. Some friends at work wanted to know if he’d
been neutered. Seriously??? What the hell difference would that have made? Was there some
danger of my getting pregnant? Fact is, I was too busy keeping myself from being neutered to
notice Rory’s…um, “credentials.” I’m surprised no one asked about his Social Security number.
The ER staff at Caritas Carney succeeded in stabilizing me, but they weren’t equipped to perform
the extensive surgery my injuries required. So they packed me into an ambulance and sent me on
to Massachusetts General. The procedure lasted four hours. The first one to see the “new me”
when I recovered was Don. He smiled a lot; didn’t flinch, not on the outside. I asked him if he
thought I was too hideous to be seen at the wedding. He assured me I wasn’t. The doctors kept
me overnight. They wanted me to stay longer, but I told them no. I’d flown all the way from the
West Coast to see a special friend tie the knot In Strurbridge that evening, and I wasn’t about to
let some dumb animal sabotage my plans.

Believe me, the last thing I felt like doing, once we reached Sturbridge, was celebrating. I almost
wished I could kick back in my hotel room and forget the wedding. Then again, seeing how I’d
gotten this far in the journey (albeit by the skin of my face), I knew that crapping out was NOT
an option. There was time enough to lick my wounds after I returned home. Right now, the main
event was drawing nigh, and I had two hours to “put on the dog” and make an entrance. I MAY

To be continued next month…

Ted has been a regular contributor to FT since 2010. His pieces have also appeared in The San Jose Mercury News, The Monterey County Herald, Wilde Times, The Gamut and The Fringe. Born in New York City, the former stage actor and retired postal worker lives with his wife in Seaside, California. So far, he has authored two volumes of fiction and a collection of essays, which are available on Amazon. Copies of his works have been flying off the shelf! Unfortunately, they all landed on the floor and had to be picked up.

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