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Doing The Right Thing
by The Finn
There’s some sort of creeping death that’s been floating around Finn House for a little while now and I think it’s starting to take a toll on me. So today, we’ll keep it short and sweet. I was reminded, in a not so subtle manner today, that sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you have been and for how long. Sometimes you’ll do the right thing and still get nailed for it. Case in point…
Jonny D. called me on his tenth birthday. His party wasn’t for another two days, but his father had gotten him a dog as a present and he was so damn excited he couldn’t wait to tell me. “He’s freaking huge,” he exclaimed. I asked my mother if I could go over to his place after school the next day so we could walk the dog and play with him.
After school the next day, we ran back to his dad’s place and threw our backpacks on the porch. “He’s kinda clumsy and likes to jump a lot,” Jonny warned, “and he drools a lot.” He opened the front door and this thing, all spit and floppy feet, came bounding out the door, knocking Jonny ass over teakettle. It then turned to me and jumped up, his paws slamming into me chest with a solid thud. “Petey, get down,” Jonny told him and Petey did. Petey was the first and only Bullmastiff I’ve ever met. And he was a good sized dog. Knocking Jonny over didn’t require much effort, but to knock my fat pre-pubescent ass over would take him another few months.
Petey was a good dog. As the months and then years flew by, he got larger and larger. After about a year, he was long enough to put his front paws on Jonny’s dad’s shoulders and lick his face, and Jonny’s old man was over six feet tall. His paws were easily bigger than mine and he drooled like an old man on Thorazine. It would constantly cascade down his jowls and pool around him. On the couch, on the floor, everywhere. But deep down, he was still that sweet lovable puppy. He was loyal and dumb and very protective of Jonny and his brother. He was a great dog.
When Petey was about two years old, Jonny’s dad built him a giant pen in the back yard. It had a high fence and gave him plenty of room to run during the day when Jonny’s dad was out. It also saved Jonny’s dad the expense of having to replace the couch for the third time as Petey had a bit of a chewing problem. The pen even had a Petey sized dog house in it, perfect for rainy days. He loved it out there, but when Jonny’d come home, he’d be ready to get out and play. The fence was tall, and it was no secret that Petey was also a bit of a jumper, and every time he’d hear our voices he wait until he could see us and hop the fence. All three of us would run around for a bit before taking him in for food.
During that summer, a group of kids would roam the neighborhood. And one day, they got it into them to pick on Petey. Jonny and I had been over at my place hanging out and drawing comics. He had been telling me about the new issue of Deathlock that he’d picked up and we decided to head over to his place to get it. When we got there, we’d heard the group of kids in the back, yelling at Petey and taunting him. We came around the side of the house and saw that a couple of them were poking at him with sticks and throwing rocks at him. Petey had a couple of decent cuts and was barking at the kids. We chased them off and cleaned Petey up.
The group of kids came back around a few more times during the summer but Jonny and I usually got rid of them before they could hurt Petey again. Just after school started, Jonny called me one night in tears. Apparently the kids had been back that day and they’d managed to beat Petey pretty good. He’d finally decided that he’s had enough and hopped the fence. He bit two of the kids and mauled a third. And Jonny’s dad had to have him put down.
Petey did what he thought was right and got put down for it. He was defending himself and his home and it got him killed. And I can only hope I go down half as honorably.