This is Ginger on the left. Ginger is a lovely Boxer who lives down the block from us with her spirited and much younger boyfriend, Banjo. Like a lot of younger boyfriends, he keeps Ginger young and working hard to stay on her game. Very positive. Now if you happen to be a female dog and you come around batting your big old innocent puppy dog eyes at Banjo, it's a safe bet that sooner or later, Ginger is gonna' pop open a can of Whip Ass.
It was six-thirty Sunday morning and beneath the clear summer weather and the early birdsong, I knew better. Most everyone in the neighborhood was still asleep or tending to their hangovers. Stella and I took our time walking down to their house and she was really happy when we turned into the driveway instead of cruising on like we normally do. The lot of us had walked together a few times. I let the dogs out and fed them. Ginger was fine for a few minutes and then Banjo joyfully wedged himself between the two females. Everything after that went in deafening slow motion. Ginger launched herself like a rocket at Stella and Stella tried to run. There was tumbling and a lot of smack talk but very little mouth to body contact. Thank God. Banjo went along for the ride. The second I pulled Ginger off of Stella, it was over and the three of us sat there in the driveway, grass-stained and bleeding (very minor, Ginger scuffed her face on the concrete).
I imagined sleepy people in the houses all around us, getting up and plodding off to their respective bathrooms muttering curse words about a dog fight that might have been a dream.