The Neighbor’s Dog … and Paul

Our neighbor Paul could sleep through earthquakes (I told that story) and make coffee in a hard hat (I told that one too).  He could also be a “dog whisperer.”  Well, maybe not exactly a whisperer.

At one point Paul was injured on the job and wasn’t able to work for awhile.  He and his family were about to lose their mobile home.  Another of his friends paid off the mobile home and he moved it and his family out onto our property until he could get a settlement from Labor and Industries.

Before his injury, when deer season had opened one year, he went hunting in an area where he had formerly lived.  While he was gone I noticed plenty of deer in our area.  During that same period we had a bad storm that blew down many high voltage lines.  Paul’s company called his crew out without him.  The crew was paid double-time for the entire weekend as they worked to get power back up.

When Paul returned I asked him if he had gotten a deer.  He said that he had not even seen a single deer where he had been.

I used to razz him about how expensive his wild meat was.

Before we met Paul and his family they had lived in the mountain country around Flathead Lake.  One winter day he was sitting in a bar, visiting with another patron.  Paul told this fellow that he wasn’t afraid of dogs.  The fellow patron, a neighbor of Paul’s, said he had a dog that wouldn’t let Paul get to the house.

They made a bet.  Paul told him; “I’ll come over this afternoon and don’t call the dog off.”

Paul went home and got a coat made from a bear skin, and rode over to the neighbors on his horse.  He got off of the horse to open the gate about 300 yards from the house.  Immediately he heard the dog running his way from the house and barking.  Paul calmly closed the gate and turned to face the oncoming dog, which by now was pretty close.

Paul hunkered the coat over his head, dropped on all fours and began crawling toward the dog, raising his arms menacingly.  The dog skidded to a stop giving out a yip, and headed back to the house as fast as he could go.

The dog never came out from under the porch the whole time Paul visited with his neighbor.  He never told me how much the bet was, but he sure did win.