Katherine Taulman Vaughan


Do you know about our new pup, Theodore (AKA Hellboy), if you aren’t up to date, read Blog 5

I didn’t go to the ER because of the dog bites. I went because the following day, I stepped down into my dahlia garden and Theo sped after me, crashed into the back of my knees, and down I went. When I sat up – which was hard to do since Theo was humping my head – I realized my arm had hit one of the flower braces and broken it. The rusty end stabbed my forearm and ripped the skin so deep the wound started seeping blood. There was another slash on my shin that had hit a metal decorative fence and it too resulted in an archipelago of gashes. Theo proved to be an empath as he barked and licked my leg wounds, but with every bloody slurp, I imagined what had been in his mouth. And perhaps worst, I had landed on my prize dahlia which was now bent and crushed, as Theo played tug-of-war with the last of my Fall blooms.

Hobbling back to the house I hitched a ride with my husband to town. He also suffered from a slight limp due to his unexpected split the previous day. We decided a trip to the ER was prudent since my wounds occurred in dirt and were cleaned with dog saliva.

Several attractive young nurses greeted me, and I showed my wounds and they were nodding in agreement about the need for a tetanus shot. I had not had one in fifteen years. But when the doctor entered the exam room, he noticed the slashes around my ankle and said, “So ya got into some barbed wire, did ya?”
Laughing, I said it was just some doggie love bites.

STOP! The party was over. The doctor said it was a state law that dog bites must be taken seriously, and ANIMAL CONTROL must be notified immediately.


And in thirty minutes two serious officers appeared. I showed them my injuries and they took pictures and notes. I threw Theodore under the bus by tattling on him. They wanted to quarantine him for ten days.

“But he’s only 4 months old and weighs 5 pounds. He’s just getting used to us. He was playing.”

So, after I convinced them that Theo had all his puppy shots and wasn’t rabid, they said he could stay at home in quarantine with Tinkerbell as his only companion.

I got the tetanus shot – which felt like a mule kick – and returned home to my dogs. Tinkie was utterly disgusted at her younger brother’s quarantine status while Theodore raced around the yard in a zoomie performance that could have broken the speed of sound. He was smiling with his mouth open and tongue flapping to one side. Round and round he flew in circles over the yard. At one point he slipped and fell on his side then bounced back up and kept running.

My husband – an erstwhile motorcycle racer – admired Theo’s fall and recovery then said, “Would you look at that; Theo is a knee dragger. My son is a gyroscopic genius.”

“That’s cool, baby, but your genius just drug his knee through some fresh dog-doo. How ‘bout you take your gyroscopic hero and go clean it up.”

Indeed, I may be too long-in the-tooth to train a puppy but not so much so that I can’t fall in love. And admittedly, I’ve fallen hard for Theodore, even if his tooth is sometimes embedded in my hand.