It hasn’t been comfortable choosing to write this article for two reasons. First, I’ve written about dogs before, and second, I’m reluctant to admit that I am the girl who bit the dog!
Once again we’re in my tiny hometown in rural Kentucky. My parents owned the house and property where we lived. The land in front of the house was called the “front yard.” The land behind the house where the garden and pasture were located was not called a lawn, it was called our “lot.” There were wire fences in the lot, but no one had fences in their front yard, not even between houses.
The rope was just long enough to come to the edge of our yard
Now, let me introduce Maggie, the bulldog that lived next door. Maggie wore a crude collar to which her owners attached a rope and fastened it to a stake. This rope was just long enough for Maggie to come to the edge of our yard.
In my memory, Maggie was the ugliest black and white bulldog in the world. She was overweight, and some previous accident had left her blind in one eye. There was puffy bright pink membrane where that eye should have been.
Mother came over to see her precious child
I was four years old and an only child. My mother sat on the front steps to oversee my playing. She needed to go inside just for a moment to check on supper. Suddenly, Maggie, the ugly bulldog, began caterwauling so loudly it could be heard all over the town.
Mother rushed out the door, horrified to see her precious child, with her tiny teeth clamped tightly on Maggie’s loose skin. Mother ran toward me yelling, “Joyce, what in the world are you doing?” With my teeth still clinched on Maggie, I managed to say, “She bit me first!”
I have no memory of what happened next. Perhaps you have a suggestion.