Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bingo

Bingo was first published in 2001 in an anthology titled Faithful Guardians, which was edited by a wonderful lady, who has since left us, Phyllis Hobe.It is a true story.

Bingo was my brother's mixed German Shepard dog. Generally speaking, he was sort of a pain in the neck. He was a barker. He barked at everything -- neighbors, cars, cats, the wind or anything else that caught his attention. No one knew what to do about him. None of the remedies we tried stopped him from barking. He had been an abused puppy when my brother rescued him, so having him put down for barking just didn't seem right.

He wasn't a very good watchdog. He was like the little boy who cried wolf, or perhaps the little wolf that barked boy. At any rate, we soon learned that his barking was not a cause for concern and no one paid any attention it. Neither did I as I sat at the kitchen table reading a book one hot summer day in 1969. Bingo started to bark; I tried hard to block it out -- until I heard the back door open. As I looked up, two middle-aged men entered the laundry room, which lead into the kitchen.

"OK, stop right there." I said in the most commanding voice I could muster.

They laughed and told me not to be alarmed. According to them, they were acquaintances of my father and had come by to pick up the old shed laying disassembled in the back yard. My father hadn't said anything about this to me and neither man had a receipt. Being a teenager who enthusiastically embraced the feminist movement, I quickly lost sight of the dangerous potential of my situation. Instead of being fearful because I was alone with these two strangers in the house, I became very annoyed and indignant at their condescending attitude toward me. I told them to come back when my father was home. They insisted that they needed to take the shed, which was "rightfully" theirs since they had paid for it. Referring to me as a "little girl" and telling me not to get "all hysterical," they continued to attempt to bully me into allowing them to take the shed.

My growing anger revealed itself as I glared at the two and they found that very amusing. There was no way I was going to just let them walk away with the shed. However, I wanted them and their silly grins gone. I told them they could have the shed if one of them gave me his license so that I could copy his name and address. The mouthier one of the two handed over his license, laughing at me in the process. I copied the information.

As they were leaving the kitchen, the mouthier one turned to me and said, "You gonna do something about that stupid dog of yours out there? He's in the way."

He was correct about Bingo being in the way. He was tied to his doghouse, which was only a few feet from the shed. I didn't want him to get hurt. I knew he wouldn't harm them. He was all bark and no bite. I held his collar as the men approached the shed. It wasn't an easy task. Bingo continued to bark, growl, and lunge at the men. It took all my strength to hold onto him.

Suddenly, the men began to jump around and scream, as they slapped at themselves and the air. When they had picked up the last part of the shed, they had disturbed a nest of wasps. Wasps were everywhere. Before I could act on my fast growing sense of panic, I felt Bingo's body press against the side of my leg. He had stopped barking, growling, and lunging. He stood quietly, keeping his body firmly pressed against my leg. I reacted instinctively and followed his lead. Neither of us moved a muscle. The wasps were everywhere, buzzing around us. The men continued jumping, slapping at the wasps, and screaming. After a few minutes, the wasps disappeared.

Each of the men had been stung several times. As they were leaving one of them said to me, "How come you and your stupid dog didn't get stung?"

I smiled for the first time since the arrival of the two men and said, "I guess my stupid dog is the smartest one here!" He looked at me as if I had two heads. He didn't get it. I don't think he even understood that I was being sarcastic when I referred to Bingo as "my stupid dog." It didn't matter because I knew Bingo had saved the day. His keen instincts saved him from the wasps, and his big heart saved me.

16 comments:

Mary said...

Tina,

A lovely story. Bingo was sure smarter than the men who came to get the shed. I'm glad you have such fond memories of him.

I sure miss Phyllis. She was a great editor. Congratulations on having this story published in "Faithful Guardians."

Blessings and hugs,
Mary

Renie Burghardt said...

Tina,

I remember reading this story in Faithful Guardians, as I have the book as well. Good story. Bingo was a smart dog!

Phyllis was a wonderful editor to work with. I remember her fondly.

Have a great week.

Hugs,

Renie

Mike Golch said...

Tina,I had a mixed shepherd that we rescued as well,she was a puppy that was thrown from a car as it was passing out house.We took her in and she was the sweetest thing in the world.I donot think she had a mean done in her body.Cookie was a great dog to have she loved to go rideing in the car.she loved to run and play.she even mothered an abandoned kittenas her own baby.it was so much fun watching he gently fliping the cat over and cleaning the tiny thing.

Tina Coruth said...

Mary,

Thank you. It was a strange experience for me to see the transformation in Bingo - the way calmed down and just leaned against my leg. It calmed me. He sure was smart - smarter than all the people!

Phylis sure was a great editor and a very nice person.

Hugs,
Tina

Tina Coruth said...

Renie,

Thank you! Bingo sure was smart. Yes, I remember your stories about Blackie and the doe. I just reread them. They are very inspirational and touching.

Phyllis sure was a great editor. The stories are always a joy to read and reread. I will never forget her kindness and gentle spirit.

Hugs,
Tina

Tina Coruth said...

Mike,

What a wonderful story about Cookie. I can't understand how anyone can through a dog out of a car or, as in Renie's story, abandon it on a sandbar in the middle of a lake, or any of the other inhumane abandonments I've heard about.

Cookie was lucky that she was abandoned by your house. From the joy she brought you, I guess you were both lucky! Thank you for sharing your story. :-)

Tina

Mary said...

Tina,

I'm glad you enjoyed the photo essay on the sugar bush trip. We did have fun. I was glad to have something to share with everyone.

I rememeber when we were at the Suite that we both did an article on the sugar bush. Glad you could come along for the cyber tour.

Blessings,
Mary

storyteller said...

I loved this story and appreciate you sharing it today. Dogs are such wonderful companions and teachers … and methinks their only fault is they don’t live long enough.
Hugs and blessings,

deborah wilson said...

Great story, Tina. Goes to show that in many ways, animals are much more intelligent than humans. They seem to know immediately if a person is of bad character and/or wants to harm its master/family.

storyteller said...

Hi - I'm stopping by again to let you know I left something for you at Small Reflections a little while ago to enjoy and share with others. Hope you're having a wonderful week ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Hunkston said...

I love to play online bingo and have been playing ever since I started university, I have been lucky a few times and had a few wins which have financed my personal life!! Its weird though when I recommend it to mates they don’t seem interested in playing, I think some people still see bingo as an old ladies hobby.

Tina Coruth said...

Thank you, Storyteller! You are so right - dogs don't live long enough. I will be dropping by soon since I have missed out on about two weeks with my blogging friends. I'm eager to get caught up!! :-) Hugs, Tina

Thank you, Deborah! Yes, dogs are smart and seem to have very good instincts about people. Sometimes, I think they have better instincts than we humans have! :-)

Congratulations, hunkston. I wish you continued good luck.

Grandy said...

What a nice story, Tina. You've certainly been playing catch up on your comments lately, haven't you? Thanks so much for stopping by my site. I hope you are well!!

Mouse e Teclado said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Teclado e Mouse, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://mouse-e-teclado.blogspot.com. A hug.

Tina Coruth said...

Hi Grandy,

Yes, I've finally gotten to get caught up on reading all my favorite blogs. I'm fine. Thank you again for those wonderful awards!! :-)

Hugs,
Tina

Tina Coruth said...

Hi Mouse e Teclado,

Thank you for visiting! I appreciate your kind words and for adding me to your blog roll. :-)

I am on my way to visit your blog!

Tina