Pancho, One Mean Junkyard Dog

I like most dogs, even one that's a mean, car chasing, junkyard dog. But, years ago there was a dog that hated me with a passion… and probably with good reason. "Pancho" was part Spitz mixed with, I don’t know what. The cur was small, ferocious and loud.

Ownership of the mongrel was claimed by my next door neighbors’ kid. My neighbor, “Red”, was a retired Marine who operated a home-based automobile repair shop down the road a piece from me. We became fast friends soon after I moved into the country side community since I had also served in the Marines. Pancho’s official job was guarding his property which resembled an auto salvage yard more than a garage.

However, apparently Pancho didn’t know the property lines because he was always in my yard and that’s when our relationship began to sour. It seems Pancho found my trash cans more interesting than the ones at his home. He was constantly turning mine over and strewing garbage across my lawn. Red and I discussed the problem, but couldn’t find a suitable solution. Chaining the dog up was out of the question since that would render him useless as a guard dog.

A SOUR RELATIONSHIP

Furthermore, the trash can problem was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to this little trouble maker. I owned about a hundred free-range egg laying hens I raised on the side. They provided eggs I sold to friends to supplement my income. I could live with the trash can problem. But, when my chickens began systematically disappearing, it wasn’t hard to figure out who the culprit was although I had no concrete evidence.

In addition to these problems he was a nuisance in other areas as well. My watch dog was a female, mixed dachshund that always seemed to be in heat. That meant the “Don Juan” of the junk yard set, was constantly around trying to romance my little “Ginger”. During the times Ginger was susceptible to Pancho's dubious charms, I penned her up. But that didn’t dissuade the pint-sized Romeo from burrowing under the fence.

Finally, things came to a head and I purchased a “Daisy” BB gun. I already owned a .22 rifle, but I didn’t want to seriously harm or kill the mischievous mutt…although I had already shot several other chicken thieving dogs and predators. Neighbors in the community got the message and took appropriate measures. My problems with them ceased. But Pancho belonged to my neighbors’ little boy and I didn’t want to hurt him, thus the reason for a BB gun. It wasn’t long before I had to use it.

THE CHICKEN THIEF

On Pancho's’ next visit I caught him in the act of absconding with a chicken dangling from his mouth. The cocky undersized canine stopped in his tracks and stared at me with what I could swear was a sarcastic sneer. Then he trotted off as if it was his right to steal my chicken. The sneer was swiftly replaced by one of surprise as a well placed BB popped him on his rear end. The chicken was immediately dropped and forgotten as he dashed off yelping in pain.

At this juncture one would assume any half-way intelligent dog would get the point. But then again it never appeared Pancho had any claim to being the sharpest knife in the drawer. From that point on it was war between that dog and me. The BB gun hadn’t solved my problem. It just made him a little more cautious and instilled an intense dislike of me in him. I had to find another answer.

I studied the problem and discovered my other neighbors didn’t have any problems with Pancho. Then it dawned on me they all had BIG watch dogs in their yards. I began scouring the local papers to find a large dog for sale to safeguard my chickens. I found one immediately…an intimidating Rottweiler named “Spike”. However, Spike was more of a chicken then the ones I owned. The roosters and chickens bullied him with impunity. But,Pancho wasn’t very bright and steered clear of my yard whenever he detected Spike around.

Up to this point, Red and his son didn’t know I had popped Pancho with a BB. But, the kid eventually found a BB I had imbedded in his rear end, although the kid didn’t know it was a BB. He told his dad the dog had a “Golden Tick” on his butt. Red looked at it then explained what it actually was.

SPILLING THE BEANS

Therefore, I had to tell them what their dog had been doing. They understood, but Pancho didn’t. Red knew now why his dog went into fits of rage whenever I came over to visit or have repairs done on my vehicle. The animal would savagely attack the tires on my car whenever I drove up, once actually taking a chunk of rubber out of one. He would also snarl, growl and bark menacingly while circling me trying to find an avenue of attack. I had to reach for a rock to get him to back off. Eventually Pancho would tire and wander off in other pursuits. He would occasionally return to see what we were doing.

Once, when Red and I had removed a tire off my car to do a brake repair, Pancho returned and saw the tire on the ground. I watched as he nonchalantly sauntered forward, lifted a back leg and urinated on it, all the while glaring into my eyes. I suppose it was his way of communicating his opinion of me.

I never shot Pancho again but he never forgave me as long as he lived, which wasn’t much longer. He never tired of ferociously attacking my car whenever I drove past. His last attack seemed to be slightly miscalculated and he ended up sliding under my oncoming wheels. It killed him instantly and was witnessed by Red and his son.

We buried him next to the garage, his favorite guard post. I also sold Spike.

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