Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

My dog, Bullet



Back in 1958 when I was about five years old, we went to the shelter to find a replacement pet.

We ended up with a comical looking mutt with a head too big for his body, short legs, and big feet. At the time I hated this dog and pouted we didn’t get the collie that looked like Lassie. I brooded while this brown and white dog named Bullet tried to make friends.

He would run, jump up, knock me down, and lick me half to death while standing on top of me.

Soon after we went to Florida on vacation, I began to miss his attention. When we got home he climbed the fence from the neighbors where he stayed in our absence, ran over, knocked me down, and licked me first thing. I loved him from then on.

Shortly after, we moved to Saluda Gardens. We used what is now Riverbanks Botanical Gardens for our play ground and walked to BC # 4 school. Old Bullet loved to go with us to shoot trees with our M–1 carbines and Enfield 303’s and to swim and catch fish. Bullet’s hunting consisted of catching rabbits and cats. The rabbits he brought home were ripped apart on the front lawn. He ate some and rolled in some and left the cats where they fell.

While fishing at the old mill on the river he would take his paws and knock the fish out the water, grab them with his mouth and try and eat them. He sometime came to school, muscled his way in, and lay under me my brother’s desk to the delight of students and dismay of teachers.

Once he was missing, and after a long search he was found at the empty school waiting by my classroom door.

Bullet never got enough to eat so he would bring dog bowls home in hopes we would fill them for him. Once he dragged a giant bag of food home from Lord knows where. He loved showing out on Sunday mornings. Once pack of dogs came to the our property. Bullet ran, grabbed one by the neck, and shook him violently while my Dad chased and cussed him them the street. Bullet always went for the throat. My favorite was when we heard him barking and ignored him until the phone rang, and it was the entire West Columbia Police Department in the front yard asking us to call off our dog. Seems someone vandalized the neighborhood, and my brother and I were the last ones seen the night before.

Bullet was a great judge of character and treed at least one mischievous fellow. One of his favorite habits was lying in the middle of Ontario Drive and daring anyone to hit him. One day he got run over and jumped up hollering. He ran to the back yard where we checked him over and wiped off the grease. It was not long before he was back in the road daring someone to hit him.

He enjoyed pulling me up the street on my skateboard. We enjoyed each other until Thanksgiving 1970. That morning about 6:30 he woke my Dad to let him know it was time. Dad didn’t have the heart to tell us Bullet was dying of kidney failure, and the Vet had doped him up to give him a little more time. I think about the fun we had every thanksgiving, and when I ride through West Columbia, I see little mutts resembling him. After all, he was quite a ladies man.

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