Three Dog Circus

You do not have to look long or hard to find something hilarious in everyday life . Here’s my recent experience with one such encounter. I hope my words will do justice to this Three Dog Circus.

On a recent beautiful spring day I decided to take my two little dogs for a walk around our neighborhood. The problem is our street is the only one with a sidewalk. All the adjoining streets are actually county roads that became streets in the 70s when little brick ranches sprang up on both sides like dandelions. So every walk with my four legged buddies, always ends up in the middle of the road, that is until a vehicle needs to pass, then we skirt the edges, walking through our neighbor’s lawns. We were doing just that as we neared a certain house on our well traveled route, where I knew to expect a barking dog or two attached to the end of their leashes tied to an anchor skewered into the front yard.  So we crossed to the other side of the road, so as not to be too near the excited animal/s as we passed.

But this day, instead of one or two dogs on leashes, there were three dogs, all tethered to one long leash that ended in a three way split with each dog having only a foot or two of his own personal leash.   Now all things being equal, this situation was not.  Dog number one was a medium sized terrier mix, muscular and crazy.  Dog number two, a slightly smaller beagle, was yowling the way only a beagle can.  And the last dog on this triad of crazy was a yapping Chihuahua.  Our approach sent all five dogs –  my two joined in –  into a frenzy of barking and yanking on their constraints.  But this was not enough for the trio in the yard. The terrier began a mad sweeping run, arching across the yard to the limits of his leash, dragging the other two with him.  As soon as he maxed out his line, he did an about-face and raced the other way, jerking the beagle, who happily joined him, racing as fast as his little beagle legs could pump, making his way to the opposite side of the yard in close proximity to the lead dog.  Now the only one who had no control or say in this mad race was the Chihuahua.  With the first lap, the Chihuahua was jerked off his feet when the other two dogs changed direction.  He was then drug across the lawn to the other side.  Just as he seemed to figure out that he had to keep up with the big boys, he was swept off his feet again when the Beagle and Terrier did their abrupt turnaround.  After the second lap, the Chihuahua got the rhythm and was able to get his feet working about halfway to the other side.   I stopped and watched the circus of dogs, wildly running back and forth, each time the Chihuahua being swept off his feet and carried along by the momentum before he gained traction again.  My dogs were barking like two little maniacs and I was just standing there laughing my ass off.

The three dog circus continued, back and forth, arching across the lawn, straining on their collars, choking and spitting and barking and yapping, trying to get to me and my dogs, only to change direction each time they were stopped by the taught rope.  And with each stop and turn, the Chihuahua was jerked off his feet and sent flying along behind.   It reminded me of Crack the Whip, a game we used to play on the school playground.  The game’s purpose was to make a human whip that could be cracked.  The rope of children would run like mad, being pulled along by the strongest meanest kid on the playground, snaking all around, gearing up for the big crack.  When the movement was fast enough the leader would jerk the whole chain in the opposite direction in order to make the human whip crack, which would send  the puniest kid, who was always on the end, off his/her feet, flying into the air.  The game usually ended when one or more of the smaller kids on the end of the whip ran to a nun crying and bloody after he/she got cracked into the earth.

So I stood there watching this repeated Dog Whip.  unable to contain my laughter.  I looked around, hoping I could get someone else to join me in watching the show, but no one was about. I suppose I should have felt a little compassion for the Chihuahua being whipped around, but I just couldn’t stop laughing. I decided to leave before my watching this spectacle crossed the line into being sadistic.  So finally we (me and my two half crazed mutts) turned around and went home.   After I got back, I thought, “Damn! Why didn’t I film it with my cell phone?”  I am part of that generation who does not automatically go for my cell phone to film anything that seems remotely interesting.  (Hope I’m never a witness to a crime.  There will be no video evidence that’s for sure.)  So I thought, maybe I’ll film it next time.  But a week later when I drove by the house, I noticed the little white flags marking the parameter of the Three Dog Yard.  The invisible fence was now going to be the new master of these mutts and there would be no more Three Dog Circus acts to entertain me when I walked my dogs.


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