Numchucks: The Legend Ch. 13byMy Erotic Tail©
Houdini and the Invisible Fence
The winds of change blew us to Marshall, Texas. Loaded up a U-Haul and moved. There was about a half a dozen reasons why but the most important reason was Sandra's Grandmother had been given less than a year to live by her doctors. We had been making trips back and forth on weekends but that was getting less and less with the expensive gas prices rising.
So we moved to Martin trailer park out off the loop. The woods surrounded the medium size park. Offering some great nature walks through the woods. Our house was next to the creek so our front door faced the woods not the rows of mobile homes that were scattered about. This was where Numchucks began earning his name of "Houdini."
I first put him out by the creek where it was cooler, chained him to a big pecan tree and built an A-frame type dog house. The chain I used was rather heavy and I fastened it to his collar. But He soon showed his ability to pull out of his collar so we bought a choke chain which only slowed his escapes down but it didn't contain him. The dogs were allowed in the trailer park but weren't allowed to roam freely. Well, Chucks wasn't used to that so training him to stay in the yard was a constant chore.
I purchased some of the largest swivels that were offered at the hardware store. Attached them to Chucks choke chain, they would last about a week of Numchuck's twisting and twisting till they broke and he would be free again. Roaming and wondering the neighborhood. Now Chucks didn't have a mean bone in his body. But people see a big black dog wondering around and they get scared, understandably.
So I was constantly trying to find, contain, chain and or fence this free roaming canine. Which I was given some fencing from a man whom I did some work for. The seven foot high chain link fence was erected and a good size dog house was built. All three dogs were happy with this new addition. Well it didn't take Houdini long to figure out how to get on the dog house and jump over the fence and free once again.
So of course the dog house became a center piece in the fenced in area. That only got Numchucks to try out his digging abilities. That dog could even climb the fence like a man. One paw at a time pulling himself over the fence and running like the wind towards the woods. A routine he had been accustomed to all his life.
Sometimes the other two dogs would go with him. Georgie and Shinkers were more home bodied dogs. Unless Chucks took off they generally stayed around the house. But a they had become a tripod team. They bonded together as well as any pack of dogs and defended each other like family. Of course Georgie being the only one to really get aggressive. Shinkers liked everybody and Chucks was just a nomad.
I'm sure the little nature walks that Phillip, Sandra and I took through the East Texas thicket was some encouragement. Sandra would shoot through openings in the briar only big enough for a rabbit (or her) and the dogs. I would walk the cool creek area and of course Numchucks would be on the hunt for black berries.
I understand the animals need to roam and hunt. They live by a different rule book than man. They don't understand boundaries, property, ownership and responsibilities. They don't think about a tomorrow, only the here and now. They don't understand rules of the trailer park, I've tried to read them to the dogs several times but they just don't get it.
I had gotten injured at work. Was hospitalized and had surgery. I was out of the hospital one day. Had surgery three days prior was in my house coat and underwear on the front porch. Soaking up the Texas air, when this man and his wife pulled up to the end of the road. Right off my driveway. Got out and was telling me he was going to shoot my dog.
"Which dog?" I yelled back.
"That black lab." He replied. Numchucks was chained to the tree. That seem to hold Houdini longer than anything. I was barely able to walk with staples holding my incision closed. Chucks was laid under a pine tree closest to this man. This man was known in the trailer park as "The Rabbit man." Because he raised prize Rabbits out behind his trailer a couple roads over.
I stood up feeling the need to get a little closer and try to understand why this was being said. "I don't think your gonna do any such thing. Why do you want to shoot my dog?" I asked curiously. And honestly I believe some heated words were exchanged about now cause by the time I got to this man, my wife was coming out to see what all the yelling was about. I had limped over to the back of this mans truck, El Camino.
"Your dogs been killing my $450.00 prize rabbits." He was a bit upset. This man was older, mid fifties perhaps. I was in my mid thirties. He was five foot ten inches or so. I'm Five foot seven inches. He was Heavy, stout and energetic. I was holding my surgery, weak and barely tipped the scales over one hundred pounds. This man swung at me. Among all his yelling and becoming inflamed, he swung at me.
I was at this time a second Dan (degree black belt) in Tae Kwon Do. With ranks in tang soo do, akido and moo duk kwan. Later I became the owner of my own Do jo (later in this story) and believe I handle situations with the utmost tactfulness. To try and avoid confrontation and use martial arts as a last resort. Well, when a mans swinging at you, you know which way this confrontations heading.
He swung several times and I deflected and redirected him with his every move. Remember I can hardly walk much less dance the dance of anger. But truly my self defense tactics kept him at bay. He struggled with his own movements as I kept twisting him and using his weight to twirl him away. My son (Phillip) jumped on this man while he was constantly trying even harder to land a punch. Sandra came in and got Phillip and drug him from harms way.
I don't think anyone actually saw it, but Numchucks came up and I think that was the first time I had ever seen him lunge at anyone. It wasn't like an angry growling wolf but more like a dog that barks and jumps up on you. But the man took off and I grabbed Chucks which Sandra came and took him back to the yard. Where he had obviously broken the latch trying to help out.
The Rabbit man went to his car door and bent down and began searching behind his seat. His wife (Mrs. Rabbit man) yelled, "Oh my God he's getting the gun."
I forgot my surgery at this point. I reached in and pulled the man from his car. As he arose from its interior he wheeled a long butcher type knife. I believe the correct description would be a chicken cutting knife. About ten inches long and maybe two inches wide. Gripping it in his right hand and pulled back slightly then thrusted it forward.
I have heard it called many things, from turning on the switch to total Zen focus and what I like to call, "In the Zone." Where your total focus is on what's at hand. Especially when in combat with another. This is what we practice for all the years in the dojo. For the one time when you do get attacked to be able to survive using what had been taught and practiced for many years. It paid off this day for me.
The knife came straight for my tummy with great strength and speed. I was able to redirect his arm outward causing him to miss his target, me. My first attempt at subduing the knife was unsuccessful. But the second stabbing came quickly and I secured his arm enough that I took the knife from his hand by pulling the blade backwards hard and fast. He released the knife as I pulled it from his grasp it cut my arm slightly. The upper forearm got a cut about a half an inch long.
Rabbit man began backing up and his cowboy boots had been giving him trouble with his footing from the start. His balance was lost and he slipped and fell catching himself with his hands and regaining his footing. I looked at the knife and all I could think of was what my Instructor had taught us which was to toss the weapon out of "Play." So I tossed the knife as far as I could towards the woods for the moment. I certainly wasn't planning to stab an elderly man even if he was trying to kill me.
He went back to rummaging around his car again. I could only imagine he was still looking for his "Gun." I turned towards Sandra and asked her, "What should I do?" She was coming back from putting Numchucks and Phillip into the house. The deputy sheriffs came whipping into the trailer park and found us without any problems. I guess a crowd and a man in his night close is like waving a flag in the woods but needless to say I was glad to see them.
They got out of their cars. Two county officers in two vehicles. They walked up with their usual one officer takes one man and gets his story while the other officer gets the other's story. Well these two officers knew Rabbit man.
"Hey Jim," (Officer)
"Hey Joe," (Rabbit man)
"What's going on here?" (Officer)
"This man's dog ate two of my prize winning, 500 dollar hares." (Rabbit man) "I came to see what he was going to do about it and he attacked me."
These two friends, I meant officers, knew Rabbit man. Rabbit man worked for the city in the waterworks department. They shot the breeze like they had some catching up to do about who's who in the family. I tried to tell my side of the story but it was if I wasn't even speaking. I looked at Sandra and told her, "Get me someone out here that's not with the county sheriff's office. And she did.
A DPS (Department of Public Safety) Trooper came instantly. He took my story and got the sheriff's story and got Rabbit mans tale, then went out towards the woods where I told him I threw the knife.
"Where ya going," asked one of the county sheriff's officers to the DPS officer.
"Gonna' see if there really is a knife," The large African-American Texas Trooper replied.
"You don't believe that there really is a knife do you?" Asked the county officer.
"Don't know till I look," replied the Trooper. He probably didn't search for less than five minutes when he found the knife. And of course they began yelling that the knife could have been there from some other instance that I'm using now in my story. Which would have been a good argument except the blood on the knife from my forearm cut was still damp.
They had to arrest Rabbit man which really upset the county officers. The trooper solved the case of whose lying about their story and we all had to go down town and file complaints at the city police station. Not the sheriff's office which should have been my first clue that things don't always operate the way they should. Regardless, I got dressed and we made it to the police station limping along from my surgery.
We were taken to the investigating officer who took our report. And of course everything went well till we brought up the Knife. Which at this time was considered in their report to be a screw driver. Well, after a lengthy conversation with the Investigator. He finally went to the "property" room and returned with a ten inch screw driver. The numbers matched for the officers that logged in the item and there sat the weapon used, a screwdriver. I felt screwed.
I was just arriving at home from the police station after an eventful day. The whole thing came down to me finally pressing charges which I at first had said, " No, I don't want to put this old man in jail who's upset over loosing a couple rabbits. I understand." But when it come out all covered up and shuffled under the matt before I could get to the station, well I was wanting to expose the corruptness of the law enforcement at that time. (It has gotten better since) But there driving by flipping me the finger was Rabbit man. He got out of jail and back home after attempted murder as fast as it took me to go fill out a report.
Needless to say this triggered an all out attempt to keep Numchucks and the other dogs contained. Knowing that if they get loose one time, they'll be shot. Only I was sitting out on the porch one day and saw a dog wonder aimlessly into Rabbit mans back yard. A shot rang out in the whole area. The dog looked around as if not sure what the noise was and walked on off. I don't know if he missed or was trying scare tactics but I didn't want to find out what would happen if Chucks wondered his way.
The decision was made to get the "new" "state of the art" "guaranteed to work" all purpose "Invisible Fence." This gadget was a marvel. Lay a wire along the outer yard where you would want your dog's domain to be. Bury the wire in the ground shallow and "walla" instant invisible fence. The dogs wore collars that had little electrical shocks if they get close to the wire so they quickly learn where they can run freely and where they will be zapped if they get close. This was a great Idea for any dog or dog owner, except for Houdini.
Now at first I thought maybe Chucks wasn't getting enough exercise or not enough room to run freely in an open field because he began running in circles in the yard. Build up speed and used every available space that allowed without getting the shock. Then he would run full blast across the wire. Zapping him during the time his collar is close to the fence. But Numchucks found out it only hurts for a minute then off and running like a greyhound with its tail on fire. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.
"Phillip, go get Chucks. He's headed to Rabbit mans." Now Phillip was a teen and run like the wind. He became the retriever of the retriever on many of Houdini's (Numchucks) escapes. But for the most part we did all we could to contain Chucks and the other two dogs weren't dogs that strayed from home unless led by an adventurous "Lets go," black lab.
One day I was sitting on the porch and saw a black lab sniffing his way across the yard. I instantly hollered for "Numchucks." But Numchucks was in the house. This dog had all the markings of a true Labrador. Black and it did look like Chucks, as far as it was a retriever also. This dog went straight over to Rabbit man's back yard sniffed around and left. But I knew then why everything came about.
The only other thing that I can think of that happened with this man was once when Numchucks got loose I chased him over to Rabbit mans back yard where he started doing his little spin in a circle a few times and raise his tail while squatting.
"Numchucks, not now." Yep, left Rabbit man a happy heap then ran home. I don't know if that's what Numchucks thought of this man or it was a revenge present or just plain dumb luck. But I couldn't have expressed myself any better how I felt about this man, than Chucks did.