Coon Dog Granger sows wild oaks, reaps dreadful trip to town

Published 1:00 am Friday, March 3, 2017

I’m not sure I can explain it: We watch the “A Dog’s Purpose” movie, then it seems like the next 37 columns we write are about dogs. And this one isn’t even about Chico, Pee Wee, or our famous “Boston Terror” Charlie.

Today I’ll have you meet Granger. I will tell you that the events you are able to read are bonafide and true, mostly. There is one little name changed as I remember my dad Dut who owned a good many coon dogs in his time and would understand the ways of coon dogs far better than you and I, I am sure.

Now Granger is an old coon dog belonging to a friend of mine, Dut, who lives just the other side of the Alabama line, just down the Roanoke Road, not far from where my Uncle Raymond lived. Dut actually has two dogs: Elijah, which he seems to be quite fond of, and Granger.

You understand.

Dut says that if Granger and Elijah ever were to do anything real bad he’d have to whip Granger with a stick and make Elijah watch just so he would learn not to follow in the same foolhardy path.  But with all the deep water that Elijah has seen Granger in during his lifetime, I think his chances of following in that boy’s footsteps are fairly slim.

The more I think about Granger, the more I think the poor boy may just be misunderstood. If truth be known, he deserves much more respect than what my friend Dut puts on his plate. He’s one of those underdogs that you can’t help but admire. You’ll see.

Granger was only a couple of years old and still had all of his manhood when a fella down the road bought a high-priced, purebred Red Retriever. A few months later, he drove up to Savannah to get a dog of royal blood to breed her. But before the royal-blooded father-to-be could create the spark needed to earn his money, Granger jumped the fence, brought that sweet red dog a bouquet of roses, wined and dined her, and – by the time the evening of romance was done – made his stellar claim for fatherhood. It really is hard to put too much blame on Granger for that, but the neighbor didn’t see it that way.

He caught a glimpse of Granger as he was bolting from his back yard and went straight to Dut’s house, mad! When the two of them got to the back yard, Granger was lying in the dirt as always, just sipping tea and watching television as if nothing had happened, a “What’s wrong?” look plastered all over his pitiful face.

But that forged little look could not take the wine-and-dine excitement out of his sparkling eyes; so the next thing Elijah knows, he sees Dut grab Granger, throw him in the back of the truck, and head down the dirt driveway for a little afternoon “drive.”

All Elijah could do is feel sorry for Granger, especially when he got down on all four and begged and pleaded for mercy. But Dut wasn’t serving mercy on Granger’s plate that day.

A couple of hours later, Elijah could barely hold back a tear or two when poor Granger came home, his head down, and a sad little grimace stretched across his face. They just sat together in the dirt and looked at each other for a while. Some moments are too painful for words.

But, you know, it sure is hard to reform a body who has spent his life in crime. As soon as Granger got back on his feet pretty well, he plotted out another plan so he could continue prosperously in his wayward line of work. He must have figured that being in the doghouse figuratively didn’t mean he had to hang out there literally. And he didn’t.

As soon as the “soreness” wore off, he jumped that fence and headed straight over to “Savannah,” his new Retriever bride and the proud mother of his little half coon dog boy. But as it is with most fellas who step outside the law a bit, Granger could not hide his tracks from Dut. Dut came out of the house, saw Granger missing right off, asked Elijah where in the world he had gone off to. And all Elijah could do is shake his head and say,

“Boss, I tried tellin’ thet boy, but you know ‘im. He won’t listen.”

Granger jumped back over that fence to get home about the time the sun was going down, and I think Dut slung that screen door open with a bang as soon as the poor boy’s feet hit the ground. Dut barged straight over to Granger – whose head was down, because we know Granger can be the most penitent coon dog you’ve ever seen – and went to town on his behind with the daily news. I sure hope it wasn’t the LaGrange Daily News, and, especially, not the “Opinion” section where we meet every week.

While Dut was giving Granger the business with the paper, Elijah just watched, shaking his head. As we said, Dut does the whole thing more for Elijah’s sake than for Granger’s. Dut knows there’s no changing a coon dog like that.

Oh, Granger will change his wayward ways for a while, but he’ll be back over the fence again in a day or two, as soon as the soreness from that newspaper wears off.