When I was a kid, my dad always used to take us on skiing trips around the county in the weekends. One of these trips would be particularly memorable: We drove up to the mountains, and when we arrived at a suitable spot we couldn’t find a place to park the car. My dad cruised up in his Opel to a nearby farm to ask for directions. As he went out of the car to approach the farmer, who hung out in the front yard with a kid, presumably his son, a crazy dog suddenly leapt up and started biting my dad’s ankle. The bastard got a firm grip and wouldn’t let my dad go — he was wild, rabid and tore up my dad’s pants until blood started pouring out of his leg. As I remember it, it was like a horror movie scene. The farmer finally gained control of the dog, but the damage was done — my dad could hardly stand up and had to go to the hospital to be bandaged up and tested for rabies — and the dog had to be conked. The farmer was pissed and didn’t think it was necessary to kill off the dog, and the farmer’s kid cried rivers, but the evidence against the animal was overwhelming — several people had witnessed the attack. Fortunately my dad didn’t catch any diseases or experience any complications after the attack, and his wounds healed nicely. But we were pleased to know we never had to see the angry farmer again.
20 years later: My in-laws decide to purchase a mountain cabin a couple of hours drive from home. When we’re driving up to visit them for the first time, we pass the property of the land owner who sold them the cabin. He works as a caretaker, maintaining water pipelines, roads and doing the snow mowing for the cabin owners, so my in-laws talk to him regularly.
We’re passing the main building, thinking nothing of it, when a mad dog suddenly starts running up by the side of the car. I speed up, but the dog keeps pace, apparently trying to get in front of the car, until I finally stop to open the gate to my inlaws’ property, at which point he turns around and fumbles back to where he came from.
It turns out that this fellow, the property owner, is the son of the man whose dog attacked my dad 20 years ago, and his dog is every bit as crazy as his dad’s was. Fortunately he has no idea who I am — or my dad for that matter. But I have become convinced that one of these days this dog will be shuffled off this mortal coil under my car. That I will cause his kids the same grief that my dad caused him when he was a wee little mop. Because I swear that every time I pass his property, the dog gets a little bit closer to the car, a little bit closer to his destiny. We’re probably going back there in a couple of weeks — and until the inevitable happens, I’ll save some space here, for the conclusion of the story.