Friday, June 25, 2010

Chuckie and Luckie Tangle

When Chuckie, my big black Rottweiler was alive, I had two other dogs—Lucky, a chocolate Lab and Velvet, a shepherd mix. Chuckie had his own pen while Lucky and Velvet had the run of the fenced backyard. To say that Chuckie and Lucky, both unfixed males, despised each other would be a gross understatement.

Velvet liked both Lucky and Chuckie. She was only half grown at the time and could easily squeeze through the fence and get into Chuckie’s pen. She spent half her time there, much to Lucky’s displeasure, and the other half in the backyard, much to Chuckie’s dislike.

Lucky was a very large Labrador retriever. He weighed well over a hundred-ten pounds, his paws the size of small saucers. Chuckie was no slouch himself, easily topping the scales at one-twenty with not an ounce of fat on his sturdy frame.

Marilyn and I got a call from Tulsa friends Mick and Gin as Thanksgiving neared. After an argument with her mother, Gin had decided to spend the holiday in Oklahoma City. They showed up Thanksgiving Day with a frozen turkey and a box of Stovetop Stuffing. Marilyn just shook her head.

“I cooked until late last night,” she said. “The turkey and dressing is already cooked, along with five pies.”

We put Gin’s turkey in our freezer and proceeded to start sampling the whiskey and eggnog.

Mick and Gin’s two kids, Will and Ashley, accompanied them. They both are now attending Oklahoma State University but were still in high school at the time. I shortly excused myself to go to the little writer’s room, my trip interrupted long before planned. Marilyn banged on the door and yelled at me.

“Hurry, Chuckie and Lucky are killing each other.”

I put down the crossword I was working on and hurried out the door, quickly learning everyone had exited the kitchen, watching the two big dogs battling on the ground.

Both of the old boys were all but exhausted when I grabbed Chuckie’s collar and pulled him off of Lucky. It didn’t take much effort.

“That’s it. Break it up, you two,” I said, leading Chuckie back to his pen.

He entered with no resistance, apparently happy about my intervention. Lucky got off the ground, wagging his tail. His neck was wet from Chuckie’s slobber, but neither had a single cut, or drop of blood on them.

I smiled as we returned to the kitchen, Gin still wringing her hands.

“They were killing each other,” she said.

Will, it seems, had opened the gate to Chuckie’s pen. When the big Rottweiler quickly exited and attacked Lucky, the Willster went running into the house.

After Marilyn’s Thanksgiving feast, Gin rounded up her crew and headed for the door.

“Why don’t you stay awhile?” Marilyn asked.

“Gotta get back,” she said. “Things to do.”

Marilyn tried to give them their frozen turkey and Stovetop Stuffing back but Gin was having none of it. She wouldn’t even let Mick and the kids take a couple of her famous homemade pies.

Chuckie and Lucky were fine. They never liked each other, but they never fought again after that Thanksgiving Day. I am positive they were both happy that I broke it up as they were both tired and ready to take a nap.

This memory wasn’t firmly fixed in my mind, but I remembered it with blazing recall the other day, grinning when I looked in Marilyn’s storage closet and saw the unopened box of Gin’s Stovetop Stuffing.


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