Saturday, August 18, 2012
Blogger survives serious stupidity
So, there's this felonious neighbor with a nearly uncontrolled brindle pit bull on Red Rock Road. The dog chases cars, threatens walkers and cyclists: pretty much a bad dog.
Night before last, while dining at Harry's Roadhouse a cloudburst filled the Galisteo River to overfull. After dinner we watched as a videographer recorded the arroyos as torrents while they made a mess of the already ragged ranch road.
We took the higher Baja Waldo Road because two other neighbors were extracting an SUV that had failed the first ford on Red Rock. The last crossing looked gnarly so my date walked back to the ranch knowing about the bad dog while this blogger negotiated the sandbars that had formed on each side of the arroyo and where someone before me obviously had gotten stuck on the other side: the banks were very steep.
Flooring it, the AWD rig made it through the water but got stuck on the ranch side so I started for the pickup to pull it out. Cue the nasty neighbor with the bad dog loping out ahead of his truck. I heard a grunt from the cab and the weaponized animal lunged for me.
I shouted "NO" and it stopped as I slid by the rundown pickup briefly turning my back on the dog. I felt it at my calves so I wheeled around and shouted at it again while the neighbor did nothing but say, "are you going to leave that there?" gesturing to my rig.
"I going to get the pickup to pull it out," I said.
He mumbles, "I have a chain."
"Call that thing off!" I yelled, pointing at the dog.
"C'mon, Lily." The dog ignored him several times before it jumped into his truck.
He turned around and backed down to the front of my rig, got out of the cab put his elbow on the bedwall and said, "How much money you got? This is a cash deal."
I shouted, "Fuck you!" walked to the ranch house, got the pickup and a driver, then jerked my rig out of the sandbar in the dark.
Next morning, I strapped on my camp gun, a Browning .22 and began working the road with my host's Kubota: it has a front-end loader and a three-point blade.
The arroyo where I got stuck took about an hour (better, but still wet). The tractor took to a washout closer to the ranch when the pit bull appeared out of nowhere, teeth bared.
I put one in the chamber and fired a round into the air. The neighbor appeared then began taking pictures with his camera phone. After repairing the washout, I put the tractor into high gear, went past the neighbor and headed back to the ranch.
The dog chomped at the left front tire; so, after I fired off two more rounds into the air, it fled.
While I finishing filling the washouts at the top of my host's driveway the neighbor appeared to talk on his phone from a safe distance. About a half-hour later two Santa Fe County deputies appeared at the top of the driveway.
I turned off the tractor and asked, "you guys got a warrant?"
"Don't need one," one said.
Reflexively, my hand went for my pistol thinking I could throw it into the desert: they had their 9MMs on me, ordered me off the tractor, made me kneel, took the .22 and cuffed me. I began apologizing immediately having realized what an idiot I was.
They sat me on the front tire of the tractor and made me spill my guts. I recounted the previous night's story replete with my host's history with the dog. One deputy put me in the backseat of a cruiser and interrogated the neighbor (he had hidden the dog).
From the back seat of the cop car I watched as the tone clearly changed from my aggression to his felony record. One deputy came back to me, let me out, uncuffed me and put my pistol back into my holster while reserving its magazine and remaining bullets.
"Mr. Kurtz, we're not going to charge you, you may go back to work; but, we called Animal Control to cite your neighbor," the deputy said.
Having lost my will to continue working, I went back to the house for multiple bowls and to reflect on the events. In another half-hour the Animal Control guys appeared in the yard with the lead deputy.
While the deputy handed me the magazine and bullets the Animal Control guys scolded me for not reporting the dog a long time ago and for taking matters into my own hands.
Did I sleep last night after having come so close to being dead? No, I did not.
The road still needs lots of work.