Sunday, May 01, 2005

Wild Dogs

Wild Dogs

Thrill of the Formulaic Story

I was recently told a "hunting" story. Plenty of people have these. Even if you've only gone hunting once, you probably have a tale. Usually these fall into three storytelling veins:

"It was the biggest [insert name of doomed mammal] anyone had ever seen."
"We were out for [insert ridiculous number of hours] and I didn't see anything!!!"
And finally, the most amusing stories are themed:
"We were so drunk, [insert name of doomed party member] got shot."

Pickles Wanders the Woodlands

But this story was different. The storyteller had gone turkey hunting, and was up in a tree, when suddenly a pack of wild dogs emerged from the brush, and passed beneath him. So I said, "Wild dogs? Like, wolves?" And he replied, "No — you know, dogs."

Now, I like dogs. I even had a dog for two days. If I see someone walking their dog, I'll say hello. So it never occurred to me that when people talked about wild dogs, they were talking about Ol' Rex; Barky Joe; or Spangles.

Mr. Storyteller continued, "Yeah - dogs that people get rid of, or dogs that are born in the wild, form packs instinctively — and then hunt like coyotes or wolves would."

Kevin Cornell, "Invetigates"

So I went home, and looked up a few things on the internet to learn more. It seems that not only do dogs really do this, but they're more dangerous than packs of wolves or coyotes, because they don't fear people. Even the little dogs get in on the action. A pack will set a decoy dog that looks friendly, and then lure in an unsuspecting person. Then, BLAMMO! It's a Lhasa Apso attack!

And this phenomenon isn't just limited to the woods; most of the abandoned dogs originate in urban areas, and form packs there. So in reality, after Lady and the Tramp finished that big plate of spaghetti, chances are they followed it up with a big heaping platter of Guiseppe the Cook.

Fear! Fire! Foes! Fluffy!

So, my list of phobias expands yet again. Granted, this one is pretty low on the totem-pole of crippling self-delusion. I don't plan on hunting any time soon, and I already steer clear of dilapidated city buildings. Unless wild dog packs start frequenting bookstores and pizza parlors, I'm in the clear.

But just to be safe, I'm going to keep a sharper eye on the Waffleses... they seem pretty interested in my new bacon pants.

Comments on this Article

There are currently 23 comments.

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John Nick

Great illustration, K.!

It's enough to make me forgive you for the Lhasa link, which I thought would be to a news story about Lhasa gangs terrorizing a helpless Adobe InDesign lab at the Art Institute of Philadelphia.

'Spangles' is an excellent dog name.

Not as good as WAFFLES, though.

Rob Weychert

Great post, Kevin. Educational and funny; I think this qualifies as "infotainment." The illustration is definitely recognizable as one of yours, but is still somehow a stylistic departure (maybe it's the clouds). Nice "Office" reference, too. :)


Darnit, I was just about to question your 'invetigate' pun.

Nice artwork, by the way. I can't think of a comment for your story.


It's true - I spent a lot of time as a child trying to avoid the packs of dogs which patrolled the grotty streets I grew up in


i don't get the pun. :(


Rob - The stylistic departure is that I didn't draw boobies, or a naked man...
Julie - Where did you grow up?
Zeik - I just referenced a bit of TV, that's all...


In doesn't just happen with dogs. Goldfish that people get rid of will often form murderous schools.


Stephen - you just rarely get to see them before they are eaten by the vicious pack o' albino 'gators...


Thanks for the heads-up, Mr. Steve... no more bathing in backyard Koi ponds for ME!


Yeah, Kois are the senseis of the fish!


I once have been attacked by a pack of ferocious naked molerats....I didn't know those beasts could jump from such big distances.......anyway, i didn't sleep for a week or so....

The Philanthropist

The "wild" dogs out on the Indian reservation here (AZ) hunt coneys. I saw a mangy mutt the other day trotting along the road with a big fat dead one in his mouth.


Tony - Didn't sleep for fear of the molerats returning? Or for fear of their nakedness?

The Philanthropist - Coney being a rabbit?


I think a combination of both, kevin. not to forget their horrible smell....
I am suffering a complicated trauma.


True story: I grew up in NC. Which in it of itself is amazing I know, but it gets better. Several times during my childhood the north side of Raleigh would have packs of wild dogs that would spring up. This one pack showed up in my backyard when my brother and I were playing one day. My dad, who was tending to the small vegetable garden he had told us to get inside the house and to take our dog with us. He followed and went into his room and came up with two silver revolvers. I knew he had those guns, but hadn't seen them very often (locked away). He walked outside onto the back porch. We watched from the window as he fired a round into the air to scare them off. Now most of these wild dogs are just regular neighborhood dogs. Pets that people keep outside. But the head of the pack was a mean sunnavabitch. He was missing an eye and had scares all over his body. This is the street dog that got all the regular pet dogs to run with the pack. Well when my dad fired the shot all the house dogs ran off a short distance, but the devil dog pack leader stood his ground. He growled then started charging my dad. Quickly with the gun in his right hand my dad shot him in the rump. This spun the dog around and knocked him to the ground, but he immediately got up and started charging again! With the gun in his left my dad shot him in the shoulder. Again this knocked the dog to the ground, and again he got back up, but this time he just turned around and limped off into the woods. The rest of the dogs stood there for a moment, then all left in different directions. Probably just went back home to become normal pets again. I've always thought of my dad as Clint Eastwood after that.


Whoa! That's a pretty incredible story...

Did you guys live in a rural area? How close were your neighbors?

The Philanthropist

BearSkinRug - Rabbits, floppy-eared devils, the fluffy plague... (Tomay-to, tomah-to)


You've got some strong opinions on Rabbits!

Would it scare you to know there's a family of them living under my deck?

John Whittet

Screw goldfish, the really dangerous packs are those pesky web developers / graphics designers / artisty types that roam the land who will design logos and annual reports for you... whether YOU LIKE IT OR NOT! *faint*


I lived on 96 acres of land my grandfather owned that was surrounded by a sea of sub-divided neighborhoods. It was sort of an oasis. Sadly the taxes got to be too high with all the growth in the area and it had to be sold. So it wasn't rural at all. Almost all of the dogs in these packs were normal family dogs. What people don't understand is that dogs are highly social animals, even more so then humans. Keeping your dog locked outside away from the family all the time messes with their heads. Even though they are well fed and healthy, these dogs are victims of a kind of abuse (although the owners would never see it that way). So when the chance comes to become part of a tightly nit social order like a pack, these neglected family dogs fall in line pretty quick. If you have a dog outside staring at you through the window you should go out and play with him right now! Yeah, get your lazy ass away from the screen for 15 minutes and let him know he is still part of the family. :D


That's true man, poor dogs. Gipsy's know how to treath their dogs!

Your Brother

Dude, Is that a real fact?

I have sailor who want to know if he need to stop carrying bacon in his pants.


This is the first time you've really posted!!!!

That's awesome!

Is what a real fact?

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