Sparky was my Dad’s nickname.  When I first chose my dog, he was just a pup.  His mom was Soma, an American pit.  She was my Son Chris’s dog.  The sire was my son Julius’s dog, a Labrador/Mastiff mix.

I noticed when the pups were feeding up that although Sparky was the smallest pup, that he ate first and wouldn’t allow any other pup to eat until he got his fill.  I figured that he was gonna be a “mean son of a you know what.”  I named him after the toughest son of a gun I knew.  My Dad.

Let me tell you what I know.  Sparky is a handful.

I have to keep him on a chain, inside a six foot high fenced in yard.  The chain is to keep him from jumping the fence.  I also keep him in a pen, which he can break out of, any time he durn well pleases.

I can’t take him out in public much, he just isn’t social able.  I did take him out in the woods once to let him run loose, just to feel what it’s like to run free.  The whole time we were following animal paths, ducking branches and jumping ditches, Sparky stayed right on my tail.  He never got more than 5 feet away from me at any time.  Scared you might wonder?  Sure he was probably scared alright, scared that I was gonna haul him off in the woods and dump his aggravating butt.

This story isn’t about all of that, well let me get started so you can find out for yourself.

I use to drive a raggedy ole Chevy truck.  Now I drive a raggedy ole Ford but that’s beside the point.  Sparky loves to go for truck rides.  Most of the time he rides in the back, so that he can bark at everyone and feel the wind in his face.  Sometimes I put him up front so that I can park the truck in a populated area.  He likes it either way.

The old truck I was driving had a slow air leak in a couple of tires.  I stopped at the Chevron near the house to get some “free” air.  Sparky was riding up front with me.  When I got out to put air in the tires I told him “to guard the truck boy.”  Them’s the magic words, “Guard” whatever and he’s on the clock.  That’s his job and he loves to work.

It was a cold winter morning and I left the truck running so the heater could warm up the cab.  I walked around to the rear of the truck, aired up the driver’s side first and then the rear passenger side.

Some one parked their vehicle next to mine and Sparky went “haywire.”  Bouncing and jumping around, he hit the gearshift lever with his gargantuan paws and knocked the truck into drive.

I dropped the air hose and hurried around to the front door, intending to get in and put the truck back in “park.”

Just as I started to run to the front, my foot got caught up in the twisted air hose, causing me to trip and fall.  I got back up as fast as I could and hurried to catch the truck as it was headed for the highway.

Sparky seen me coming and it excited him.  He thought that we were playing a game I guess, anyway he started pawing at the glass (the windows were rolled up because it was cold).  While he was pawing he slammed the door lock down so that I couldn’t get in.

By this time the truck had rolled about 20 feet towards Lem Turner, a four lane road, busy with traffic.  Out in front of the truck, standing in the median, was a group of people hawking newspapers to people in cars that stopped for the light.

I ran around to the other side of the truck thinking that I had better hurry before the truck picks up speed and plows into those people, who had their backs to us.  Sparky still thinking we’re playing a game, locks the passenger side door too, just as I reached to grab the door handle.

Sparky is still jumping around and barking his fool head off, excited by this new game we were playing, just as the truck nears the road.  By some miracle he pawed the steering wheel and the truck turned to the right, heading down the highway at about 5 miles an hour.

I ran back around to the driver’s side door, hoping that I might have left the vent window unlocked, I didn’t.  There was a JTA bus parked at the stop in front of us and if matters didn’t change for the better quick, we were gonna plow right into it.

I jumped into the back of the truck and kicked in the back window, crawled through the opening, pushed Sparky to the side and slid behind the wheel.  Problem solved, with about a foot and a half to spare.  Sparky was so proud of himself.  He was grinning from ear to ear, tongue hanging out, jumping up and down.  Now every time I let him ride in the cab he wants to drive.

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