A Poem about the French - if you can't laugh at the French, don't read this.

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Pit Bull Informational Pages
by Diane Jessup 

ODDS & ENDS


MY FOLKS - SIMPLY THE BEST

Believe me when I say they don't make 'em like that anymore.

"True" is the best word to describe them both. Honest, true, loving and intelligent... they stayed married over 55 years... That's "TRUE".

They'd walk back in a store to return a quarter too much change. That's "TRUE".

They have ALWAYS been there for me... That's "TRUE"!

Thanks mom and dad.


A Day In The Life:

 

"The Fighting Cock In The Bathroom"

This was back when I was traveling a lot, giving workshops for police and animal control agencies. I was asked to speak at the Wyoming Animal Control Officer's Association annual meeting and as I was POST certified to teach dog and cock fighting investigation, I was asked to set up some mock scenes for their investigators. I don't remember the exact town in Wyoming - I went to that state a lot and frankly the towns kinda blend together. They do all have one thing in common; they aren't easy to get to. First you have to fly to my least favorite city (Denver) and then catch a small, noisy, ill-kept looking plane which will wing you to your destination pretty much without regard for blizzards, lightning or Flying Dutchmen.

The trip started with me standing in line at the Seattle airport, six thirty in the morning. There I stood in the check-in line, Dread the pit bull's leash in my left hand and a 200 crate in my right hand. Curious passengers wondered what was in the little crate, and would bend down to peer in, then pull back, a puzzled or shocked look on their face. They didn't want to say anything, I guess, for fear of sounding stupid. Other people in line seemed to notice this, and I could hear the murmur of curious speculation about what was in the crate. In a few moments there was no question just what that crate contained. Agincourt, my confiscated champion fighting cock, let loose with a series of "Good Morning America" crows that caused the whole line to break up in laughter. You can forget being inconspicuous at a moment like that. It was kinda neat, though, the way that one little rooster made so many anxious travelers smile that morning.

Agincourt was part of my "evidence" used when setting up mock investigation sites, and a great old bird. Confiscated during a raid on a local cock fighter, he was covered in wicked looking long scars, showing the initiated that he had survived his time in the pits where he had fought in the long knife. We found Agincourt in a special breeding pen up close to the house, so it was obvious he had merit as a fighting bird and had been retired to stud. Agincourt lived with me (along with 40 other cocks) during the year they were held as evidence, and at the end of the trial he stayed on, helping me with my dog and cock fighting investigation classes.

We boarded what they were calling a plane. It was the "Geo Metro" of the plane world, with Dread and Agincourt sitting behind me in the "baggage" area, which was a curtained off area in the tail. Both Dread and I hated to fly. Big time. I sat staring out the window at the dangerously vibrating wing, trying not to notice the very black burn marks behind the engine. That was when the migraine struck.

For those of you who don't get migraines, let me just say this: when one hits, you really, honestly, don't care if the world ends. Matter of fact, it would more likely than not be a mercy if it did indeed end. You can't think. The pain is frightening in its intensity. You simply think it can't get worse - and then it does. You can't tolerate light or sound or movement. Eventually the pain causes you to wretch. Now this was back before I wised up and started carrying pain killers. Knowing I was doomed didn't help - it just made me more tense. On my best of days I would generally get air sick. This plane trip was in midwinter and incredibly violent. I thought I was going to die. I think I actually was willing the plane into the side of a mountain.

When the plane finally stopped I swallowed hard several times and contemplated getting to the hotel without the embarresment of throwing up in public. Sometimes you have to do the impossibe though, so I staggered out to collect Dread and Agincourt and meet my ride. I was greeted by two hearty Wyoming animal control officers. It was snowing and intensely cold.

"This way," the burly guy said, leading the way to a huge, old, diesel Suburban type vehicle. Might I add that I am deathly allergic to diesel fumes? Three seconds behind a diesel vehicle makes me ill. I hate diesel vehicles and the inconsiderate sods who drive them. In I climbed, teeth gritted, and Dread popped up next to me. He lay with his head in my lap. I clutched his neck. I don't think he felt much better than I did after that flight.

"Sorry about the cold ride," the man said cheerfully from the front, "the heater's broken".

"That's OK." Eyes closed, I was rocking gently, just concentrating on not wretching. "By any chance, do you have anything back here I can throw up in if it gets to that?" As I remember, something was produced. At least, I remember thinking, this will be quick and the roads in this state are straight. Well, it wasn't quick. Turns out we were 22 miles from our destination. I swallowed hard again. Then, the driver lit up a cigarette. I moved the "puke bucket" into the ready position.

When you are as sick as I was, you simply close your eyes, and pray that all the sound and motion will stop before you die. You can't talk, you can't think. It just hurts too much. I can't imagine what those poor folks thought of their guest speaker. I couldn't even grunt out replies to simple questions. We got to the hotel. They went in and checked me in. We drove to the door of the room.

"Don't mean to be rude - must lie down," I managed. They were very kind. The man set my bags and crates inside, the woman asked if there was anything she could do to help - I waved them away.

With migraines, the big thing is relaxing, lying in the still and dark. If you're going to live, that's what will save you. I was frozen, so I knew lying in the warm bathtub was what I needed to do. First, however, I had to set up the animals. Dread was fine with a bowl of water and a hop up onto the bed. Agincourt, when he travels with me, was generally tied to the TV or dresser with a paper spread under him, but I was too sick to do this. While I ran my bath I staggered about, deciding to just place Agincourt on the tile bathroom floor and give him a bowl of food and water. Looking for some kind - any kind - of pain killer I ransacked my "ditty bag", placing all the personal items on the counter. I dimmed the bathroom lights, climbed into the warm tub and put a hot washcloth over my face. I took a deep breath and let it out. If I could lie like this in the quiet and dark for an hour, I MIGHT survive.

I winced at the sound of Agie flapping up on the counter. That was not unusual, chickens like to roost high. There was one last moment of peace and then WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! BANG! CRASH! WHACK! Agincourt had seen himself in the mirror and, with his little fighting cock pea-brain, had realized he was faced off with another fighting cock. A fight to the death had just commenced.

Now, the strike of a good sized game cock is amazingly powerful - it can break another cock's wing. You can't imagine the sound it made and I'm surprised the mirror didn't break. Items on the counter were being flung everywhere. The sudden noise scared the B-Jesus out of me, and I sat up quickly, causing my brain to slosh about in agony. About this time poor Dread, not knowing what was really going on, decided that I was being killed by the ax-murderer who had been hiding in the bathroom all along. Usually the quietist of dogs while traveling, he was lunging against the bathroom door, actually screaming in his rage at whatever was attacking me in there.

You know, even I had to laugh at that point. I lay in the dark in that tub and shook my head through the mind numbing pain. Just sat there with that cock whacking the mirror, that pit bull jumping against the door yelling bloody murder, and me sitting in a bathtub some where in snowy Wyoming wondering if anyone else - anywhere in the whole world - was having this particular problem at that moment.

 

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