Why Vampires Shouldn’t Bite Me

So, I am sorry it’s been so long since my last blog post — it has been quite crazy with holidays and such this year. I have a wonderful Christmas story to share with you though — the heartwarming story of last year’s Christmas which was full of cuddly animals, family togetherness, and blood.

Now, this story starts some while before the holidays, with Garian’s father “Mark” finding a puppy. The puppy was hyper and sweet and just adorable. Mark adopted him and began spoiling him as is his way with dogs (we suspect he likes to live vicariously through his canine companions and takes secret glee in their misbehavior; otherwise, he might give in to the family’s constant pressure to go to obedience school… or at least to attempt some basic training). Through research, we guessed that the puppy may have been all or part Basenji — a small, short haired, barkless breed. Unfortunately, this breed is also wired to instinctively chase anything that moves and on the very day that Mark was going to repair the hole in the fence, the puppy dashed through it to chase a car. And caught it.

After Mark had mourned this tragedy, he became deadset on acquiring another Basenji. Garian and I tried to persuade him that a more trainable, compliant breed would be better suited to him, but to no avail. He found a nine year old dog through a rescue program, and adopted “Eli.” Eli was generally a good dog, a little old and crochety, but basically good. Mark’s lack of training quickly guaranteed that the dog was the master of the house. He was devoted to Mark and would “guard” him from his friends and family on occasion.

Garian said he's never had a dog actually try to kill him before this.

One day, Garian had to go by the house to set up a new DVD player for his dad and no one was home but the dog. This didn’t bother Garian; he is a dog person and Eli had never shown him any hostility before. But today, Mark wasn’t there and Eli was going to guard his territory by God. He launched himself at Garian, latching on to his thigh, and meaning business. The ensuing battle did not go well for the 12 pound dog, though he gave it his best try. Garian managed not to break any of Eli’s bones and grimly hooked up the DVD player with ripped jeans and blood dripping down his leg, slowly filling his shoe. Ever since that day, the dog disliked Garian and by extension, me.

Flash forward to Christmas Eve dinner at the in-laws. As we’re setting the table, Mark’s wife, “Hyacinth” suggests that he should sit at the far end of the table so that Eli — curled up at his feet — won’t be in the way of traffic. “No, I don’t want to go all the way over there…grumble, grumble…” Late dinners and holiday stress make him grouchy. “Then, what if we put Eli in the den while we eat?”

“No, he’d be too sad and all alone in there. He needs to be near me.”

I exchange a resigned and exasperated look with my mother-in-law and we let him sit where he wants, attended by the old crabby dog who is over-excited by all the company and up past his bedtime. This is gonna go great.

Given that the dining room is so tight, I help Hyacinth serve the food (the traditional Christmas dinner in this family is lasagna, garlic bread and salad). Eventually, I’m standing beside Mark’s chair, leaning over to hand down two full plates, when Eli decides my foot is too close to him. There was no warning growl, no opening snapping like a normal dog would do. He just lays into my foot like a mongoose ambushing a cobra.

I managed not to curse, or scream, or even drop the plates. I gasped, I think, said “Frakkin’ dog” through gritted teeth, and handed the plates down while trying to shake the dog off my foot. Mark grabbed his collar and scolded him in the tone one would use to ask, “shall we go have some ice cream?” I withdrew to the bathroom to apply peroxide and band-aids while Mark decided that the dog could be tied up in the entryway so he could still see all the people and wouldn’t feel left out. Of course, he wanted to know if I had stepped on his dog… surely Eli wouldn’t be a bad dog for no reason; not when Mark wanted so very much for him to be a good dog…

There is a difference between training your dog and happening to get a good dog that doesn’t need training — Mark is the sort of person who needs to happen onto a good dog.

But what no one evidently knew, not even myself, is that it’s apparently quite dangerous to bite someone with distilled Essence of Evil running through their veins. That dog was dead in less than a month. And, no, I didn’t kill him. The vet’s official cause was sudden and rampant cancer, possibly due to a rich diet. Garian and his brother speculated that my blood is toxic and that, should another dog ever bite me, the dog should get shots instead of me. Ha. Ha.

So, ever since the Christmas dinner when my father-in-law’s dog bit me and died, I have not been all that worried about vampires. Perhaps I should go into the vampire hunting business, since if they ever get a nip in, it would be their undoing…

I hope everyone had lovely holidays this year, full of cuddly animals, friends, family togetherness, and a minimum of blood and death.

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