We had this dog once. We called him Billy. I picked him from the street when he was a scrawny puppy covered with bumps, sores, flies and filth. We are five in our family. Billy became the sixth.
Now, Billy was quite smart. He learnt a lot of tricks in record time. Sit down. Stand up. Shake me. Attack. He was ferocious too. Borderline wild. Strangers never left our home without a promise never to return. It seemed the weeks he spent without a mother or an owner had made him so. Once, furious at an intruder, he damned the restraints of its chain and pulled his cage as he went for whoever the fucker was. We woke up the next morning looking for Billy and the cage. Found it farther than a compound away.
But one day Billy left and never came back. For days we searched for him. Mother was worried. Father was anxious. My eldest brother went as far as offering money to whoever could find it. My elder brother asked about it. We later got to know he got killed. I was distraught and broken beyond three month’s worth of repair.
Approximately six months later, we got another dog. We called it Jessie. Jessie was female, fat, and completely black with brown, pleading eyes and a docile, almost pacifist demeanour. She loved to eat nothing but biscuits soaked in milk and do nothing else but curl up on foot mats, waiting for people to run their fingers across her fat stomach. Heck, one day my father came home to find the little sucker curled up on his pillow, apparently discontent with the foot mats she had been lying on. Telling you what happened next would span twice as much this article.
I loved that dog, even though I wished she was more like Billy and less of a dumbo. My mom and dad loved her. Elder brother was indifferent to her. But my eldest brother, he hated her as much as she was scared of him, the reason being she was too dumb and cowardly.
Something had to be done about her. We needed a guard dog. Not a retreating slob that imagined her purpose in life was eating, sleeping, wailing from the safety of her cage when intruders came and acting like the serious girlfriend to the most vicious canine in the vicinity.
Worried, I told my neighbour, a guy called Earnest: “Dis my dog na full cast oh! How we go run am?”
And he said to me, “We go mend am get sense nah!”
He told me his plan. Something along the lines of cutting her tail, frying it and giving her to eat. I looked at him in horror. Lord have mercy! That was the height of barbarism. True, I had broken bottles and fought bloody fights and done murky stuff, but I couldn’t imagine myself to inflict harm on my dog. Even if it was just a dog. Moreover, Jessie didn’t even have a tail long enough to cut off.
He told me yet another of his plans. “Put ogogoro for your mouth, spray am for e eye, then lock am one day straight. When e come out eh, na to rush every niggar oh!”
So I set out to get ogogoro even when I knew there was no correlation between ogogoro and a dog’s attitude.
I bought it, waited for everyone to leave, and then brought out Jessie. She never knew the calamity about to befall her. I slipped her collar on around her neck. She licked my hand. I hooked the chain to the collar and fastened it to her cage. She whined. She hated to be restrained. Today, I thought, Jessie go “rush every niggar”.
I turned the drink in my mouth and winced. I hate alcohol. Always have. I think they taste like a handful of blended gall. Oh, well! You just had to bear stuff to get things done. I was going to bear this.
I rolled it round and round my mouth. Jessie was staring, probably wondering what the hell that shit-stink was doing in my mouth.
I gripped her close. She wagged her waist because she lacked a tail to. The time had come. I drew a breath. And I sprayed. Directly into her eyes…
For what seemed the stretch of a minute or more, there was silence. Then she attacked, mauling, clawing and biting savagely right through my left palm. She wailed, tearing into the hole she had dug under her cage, trying to paw the stinging liquid off her eyes.
I wiped the blood and stitched my wound. At least her reaction was a sign of great things sure to come.
I waited the next day. Waited for signs of strength and ferocity. Nothing. The next day. Nothing. The next day. Nothing. She came out several levels dumber than ever. The little bitch kept looking for milk, biscuits, a foot mat to curl on and fingers to rub her belly. It was then I knew she was destined to be a lost cause.
I saw Earnest later that day. He asked me expectantly, “Ha far your dog nah? E don strong eye?”
I told him with as plainly as plain could get, with a palm spread across his face, “Your FADA there!”
I think we ended up fighting, with Jessie probably wondering why humans had to exert so much pressure when trying to mate.
Written by KIA