When Tiger the monster came to live with my parents they had a little dog named Freckles. No one was sure of his lineage but he was shaped like a wiener dog, but had the spots of a Dalmatian and must have had some terrier in him somewhere.
Shortly after Freckles started living with my parents Mom discovered how stubborn he was. When he went outside he never wanted to come back in the house.
One day Mom needed to leave shortly after she put him out in the yard and called him to come in. He would run toward the back porch like he was coming in but would stop about 10 feet from the steps and look at her, then turn and run.
The third time he stopped close to the porch Mom yelled at him, “If you don’t get in here I am going to beat you with the broom!” The broom was sitting by the back door on the porch and I am sure that is why she thought of that.
He stood in his defiant manner and looked at her thinking she wasn’t serious. When he didn’t move to come to the house she picked up the broom to wave it at him threateningly. She had no intention of carrying out the threat, but the broom slipped out of her hand.
The next thing Freckles saw was the broom sailing through the air straight toward his head. As the broom came toward him he turned to run. Before he could move the bristles of the broom brushed across his back.
His next move, after yelping like he had been hit by a bus, was to make a sharp left turn and run toward the house and race up the stairs onto the back porch. He raced past Mom and into the house like a fire had been lit under him.
After that day when you said, “I am going to get the broom!” he was on the move immediately to do what you asked or stop doing whatever it was that you didn’t want him to do.
The living room in my parent’s house had 2 picture windows, one on the east side and one on the west side. The one on the west was covered by a large fern, but the other one looked out onto the side yard and down the highway.
Freckles would sit on a round footstool at noon and then at 6:00 and watch for my Dad to come home. We swore he could tell time because he was always there when those times arrived. The second my Dad drove in the drive in his beat up old pickup Freckles would fly off the stool and run to the back door to meet him as he came in the house.
Even 6 months after my Dad had passed away, Freckles was still manning his post at noon and 6:00pm to wait for him. He would wait at least 15 minutes before he gave up.
When Tiger the monster cat started sharpening his claws on the couch, Mom would yell at him, “Tiger stop that!” She would yell at him every time he put his paws on the side of the couch. Freckles was a spectator to this little drama and after awhile he decided dealing with Tiger was his job. He started taking the matter into his own paws.
Freckles never left Tiger alone in the living room; he kept a very close eye on him the whole time. When Tiger walked toward the couch Freckles ears jumped to attention and he would lay in anticipation of the cat’s next move.
At the moment Tiger arrived at the couch Freckles would jump to his feet in readiness to pounce on the recalcitrant cat. The instant Tiger’s first paw left the floor in preparation to scratch the couch Freckles was on the move.
By the time both paws were on the couch Freckles was on the scene to deal with Tiger in his own manner. The second he was behind the cat he would duck his head and put his nose between Tiger’s back legs. Then while he had the element of surprise he would keep pushing forward to get under the cats lower belly. At this point Tiger’s front paws would hit the floor as he swung to his left to flee.
When the cat’s front paws hit the floor and he was turned sideways to the couch Freckles would raise his head up lifting Tiger’s back feet off the floor. Then Freckles would start to push him around the floor like a wheelbarrow. The cat didn’t have a choice but to keep his front paws moving or get bulldozed by the dog.
When Freckles was pushing Tiger around he could not see where they were going, all he could see was the floor and Tiger’s large thighs in front of his face, so Tiger the monster must have been in charge of the direction they were moving.
After a few circles around the living room with the cats behind in the air, Freckles would get tired and he would stop pushing and back out from under the cat’s belly, and walk away proud of himself. I am surprised that Tiger didn’t take him to task every time he let him down and walked away, because the cat was more than twice Freckles weight, but he just accepted Freckles as the dominate animal in the house.
These two had an unusual friendship for two animals that were supposed to be enemies. The fact that the cat could have dominated the dog made it even more surprising that he would tolerate the wheelbarrow three or four times a day. He could have stopped peddling his front legs, dropped to the floor and rolled over and the game would have been over.
If Tiger had rolled onto his back he could have swatted or bit Freckles as he ran over the top of him, but he just put up with it………. or maybe he enjoyed it. Tiger may have pretended to scratch just to get the game going so he could be Freckles wheelbarrow. To contact Sandy: [email protected]