Fueled up Fido
I have always loved animals ever since I was a kid. Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, mice, turtles, it made no difference. If it breathed, I owned it. On a cold winter day a stray dog came up in our back yard. He looked absolutely miserable. I could tell he was malnourished and seemed to have gotten in some water or mud at some point. I know he had to be freezing with all that water dripping off of his body. I ran inside to snag him some food and a towel to dry him off a bit in hopes of luring him into being my friend. He was a very friendly dog and let me dry him off without any resistance. After drying him, my father walked outside and had a disappointed look on his face. Fortunately for me, he could see how much I wanted to keep the dog, so he allowed it.
The stray dog resembled a German Shepherd, so I appropriately named him Rin Tin Tin. I know it sounds kinda corny, but keep in mind I was a 5 year old child. Rin Tin Tin and I would play fetch and run around in the yard together until we were out of breath. It was obvious that Rin Tin Tin had been a stray for most of his life because he wasn't trained to do anything but play. Unfortunately this is not a good quality for a dog to have because he never learned not to bring up trash in the yard. Being a kid, I really didn't see the downside of having a dog, because I never worried about property cosmetics or flea infestations, but boy did my father.
Over a 6 month period Rin Tin Tin had dragged up anything you could ever imagine, from old bicycle tires to baby diapers. We are still unsure of where the diapers came from, as there had not been an infant in the house for 4 years. Finally my father had grown tired of Rin-tin-tin dragging up these things and he aimed to do something about it.
It was on a nice spring day when I noticed my father carrying a gas can. I assumed that he was going to fill up the lawnmower, but it seemed a little late to start mowing the yard. I watched as he was walking further and further away from where the lawnmower was and it seemed that he was coming over to me and Rin Tin Tin. I can remember seeing a maniacal, evil grin on his face and quickly started to worry.
When he finally got up to where Rin Tin Tin and I were playing, he quickly snatched up Rin Tin Tin by his hind leg, with the gas can still clutched in his hand. He immediately started pouring the gas directly into Rin Tin Tin's nether regions. I was yelling "let go, let go," but he continued to douse the dog with gasoline. I could tell Rin-tin-tin wasn't enjoying this at all and I couldn't bare to watch anymore, so I shoved the gas can out of his hand, giving Rin-tin-tin a chance to get free of his grasp.
As soon as Rin Tin Tin got free he burst out running faster than either of us have ever seen him run before. He ran clear up to the top of the driveway and suddenly dropped to the ground. "Dad, what happened?" I said. My quick witted father replied, "Boy don't you worry the slightest bit. I only put a quart in him. He probably just ran out of gas."
This is just a joke that my late father told me when I was a child after I asked where a stray dog of ours had ran off to. To this day I don't know if he just made it up or got it off of someone, but he had me fooled right up to the very end.
-In loving memory of Mitchell Turner.