We continue with animal stories. This is a true story. I shared it around a campfire with campers and staff at Shasta soon after it happened. And because of this, avoided a potential disaster.
It all began about a week before camp in June 1962. We bought the land in 1959, which is a great story because of how it happened, but I’ll save this for another time. In any case, Camp Shasta was located about 2 miles south of the original owner of the land camp was built on. The man we bought the land from was a Gyppo-logger, a professional hunter, and a guide for people that hunted prize black bears and mountain lions. He also owned a large Alaskan Husky that he used on his hunting trips in the area. This dog had developed an ugly reputation as a “dog killer,” so this man had to keep his dog chained or face the likelihood that a neighbor would kill his dog to protect their own.
About a week before the staff and kids arrived at camp, Lenette and I decided to check out the forest and hike to Richardson Creek, our property line to the north. Brutus and Heidi, as always, went with us and played their way around every tree and smell they found. Near the Creek, we heard a growl and saw the big Husky heading for Brutus. The rope around his neck was torn, so I quickly surmised that he broke away from where he was tied and intended nothing good. I instantly grabbed Brutus and, with him in my arms, prepared to use the flat side of my machete to protect against the Husky. He dove at me at the same time as I hit him with all my might. The machete ripped from my hand flew to the ground, and the Husky had Brutus in his mouth. When the Husky grabbed Brutus, Heidi (all 125 pounds) hit the Husky, who dropped an unconscious Brutus. I instantly began to seek a rock or branch to attack the Husky and saw that Heidi and the Husky were engaged in a life and death struggle. I was in “Call of The Wild!” But this was not Buck and a wolf in fiction, but real and now. Both dogs were on their back legs to gain height and traction. They boxed at each other, seeking an advantage, and Heidi found it. She grabbed the Husky by the neck and threw him to the ground. Within an instant, Heidi had his throat in her jaws. I pulled on her tail and screamed for her to let the Husky go. Heidi’s eyes found mine; she hesitated but let go and backed off slightly.
Story to be continued. Sy