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"Dog Week" continues at The Creekbank

There are no Catahoula Curs in Ireland!

In The Wayfaring Stranger,  Irish immigrant meets Jezebel:

Joe Moore was so focused on this close inspection that he never saw or heard the dog coming until it was too late.
He never figured out where it came from, so the dog achieved a total ambush. It was undoubtedly the fiercest looking dog he’d ever seen.

As it bounded at him in what seemed like slow motion, Joe stood frozen in shock. He would always remember the dog’s eyes as it made the last ten yards: they were a glassy, weird white that seemed to emit intense hate. The large dog drove its head into his chest. It didn’t bite him . . . at least not yet. It simply had bull-rushed him and knocked him down. He tumbled to the ground, trying to cover his neck and face, while feeling for his knife.

The dog stood over him with teeth bared, a loud guttural growl emitting from its curled lips. It probably weighed about fifty pounds, and every muscle was shaking with rage. He hurriedly tried to back away on his hands and knees, but the dog stayed over him letting him know it was in charge.

Joe couldn’t find his knife, and no stick was near.
As the growling dog snarled in his face, he took a desperate look at his at his attacker: The dog was a dark-brownish blue with black spots on its side and back. It had a white-striped chest and its legs, shaking with rage as it growled in Joes’ face, were strong and white-sock footed.

But most of all, those eyes had Joe’s attention. The eyes looked like glass eyes, the kind you saw in mounted animals and they gave the dog an evil look.

The state dog of Louisiana,  a Catahoula Cur. They make great hog and cattle dogs.
The state dog of Louisiana, a Catahoula Cur. They make great hog and cattle dogs.

The dog, still emitting a low growl in its chest, finally backed off a step or two, allowing Joe to get to his feet.
It was then he heard the shrill whistle. It was repeated again and a harsh female voice boomed out, “Jezebel—you come here!  What you done caught there?” The growling dog still held its ground, but was evidently distracted by the woman’s voice. The voice repeated louder, “Jezebel. Come here right now!”
Suddenly, the dog turned and trotted obediently toward the porch. This allowed Joe the opportunity to turn and observe his rescuer.

The woman was dressed in a blue dress covered with a white apron. She was a large woman without being fat. It was evident she was strong by the look of her arms and how she stood. Looking her over the best he could, he got his first glimpse of what he figured must be a Ten Mile Redbone:  The woman was dark-skinned with long black hair and her face had a hard look to it. He hadn’t seen many Indians but knew this woman had the look and presence of that race.

Even more than her appearance, he took note of how she cradled a shotgun in her left arm. Slowly, she removed it from the crook of her arm and leaned it up against the porch railing. Taking another glance, Joe saw the woman was smoking a corncob pipe. The blue smoke filtered up above her head into the rafters of the porch.

She stared at Joe, but never said a word. He started toward the porch, but she stopped him. ”Stay right where you’re at, buddy. I’ll decide where you go from here. Do what I say, or I’ll turn old Jezebel loose again or worse—shoot you full of buckshot.”     This is Joe’s introduction to Miz Girlie Perkins.

***

For instance, she explained about Jezebel to him, “Son, that dog is a Catahoula Cur. It’s a mix of a Spanish war dog and a breed the Indians kept. It’s the only type of dog with them glass eyes. Jezebel is called a ‘leopard spot.’ See how she has those dark stripes over her grayish-brown coat. Dogs with her ‘markings’ make the best dogs for hog hunting and protecting a place. She gave you a fine greeting, didn’t she?”

Joe grimaced as Jezebel, seemingly knowing she was being discussed, growled low at him.

Author’s Note:   As a boy, we owned a fierce hog dog named “Jezebel.”  It was  a good name for her.  She was something to watch in the woods on the hunt.

Tomorrow:   “Bo”  Mayo’s  dog in A Good Place

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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