Monday, July 26, 2004

Do You Believe in Angels?

Do You Believe in Angels?
I do. Here's why. (It's a creepy story, so be prepared.)

When I was about 13, we lived in a trailer on the property of my mother's boyfriend's job-- which was a big trucking company. One of the employees (we found out later) was an ex-con, who had been in prison for rape. I remember once in my youthful enthusiasm, I had happily hugged him (again, we didn't know he was a rapist). But even then, right as I hugged him, my nascent instincts about creepy men kicked in and I saw a funny look on his face and avoided him from then on.

We had this beautiful Doberman Pinscher named (can you guess?) Angel. She was one of the red Doberman's, and she was my sweet best friend. She had been abused by her former owner, and because we were kind and loving, she adored us. She would spin and leap happily whenever I came home from school. If you've ever seen a Doberman run flat out at top speed, you know how gorgeous an animal happy with life can be-- they look like speed personified. (They are bred partly from Greyhounds and you give them room and they will sprint like there's no tomorrow).

Angel liked to sleep in the doorway of my bedroom. One night, I was awoken by the sound of her yelping slightly to see her standing firmly in the door, with the look of permanent unbudging determination that said "Okay, buddy, you've got about ten seconds to live if you even think about trying it." The guy, I'll call him Zeke (since that actually was his name-- hey, I'm not protecting the bastard here!) was standing in front of her, hand out in that supplicating "please don't eat me" way that people tend to respond to Dobermans with their temper up. Angel didn't bark, she didn't rip his throat out, but there was the distinct impression that she would be glad to at any time. I realize in retrospect that my response to the situation was problematic-- Zeke said "sshhhhh" and "go back to sleep" and I did. Nothing untoward happened to me. Angel prevented him from entering my room, but she was a shy dog, and not trained to chase him off (he was, after all, a normal person to be on the property, so not exactly a stranger to her.)

My sister, who is seven years older than me and was sleeping on the couch, woke to find Zeke hovering on top of her. She told him if he didn't get off, she would kill him. Now, you have to realize that if my sister told you that, you would (and should) believe her. She is not at all shy, and would definitely carry out her threat (make that promise). He did-- he left, and was not seen again. (I don't know if he quit his job, or was fired, or what, but I never did see him again). My sister is kind of a heavy sleeper, though, and when she finally got up the next morning, she found that her underwear was gone. Nothing happened to her other than that "attempt" and we sort of wrote it off as a weird event that was fairly harmless. (Again, now, in retrospect, I would be calling the cops if it were my daughters telling this story to me the next morning, if only to keep my husband from going after the bastard with his well-polished Glock, but I think that's the issue with a lot of these cases-- people don't always realize how they should respond).

Angel was hit by a car and killed not very long after this incident. It was a heart-breaking moment and I saw it happen and cried for a very long time.

But here's the point. I am quite certain that if I had been the one to wake up with Zeke actually in my bedroom, given that I was young and used to minding adults, I'm not sure what would have happened. Angel firmly kept him out of my room, and my sister could handle herself. There are other things that would have been nice if they had happened, like Angel actually ripping his throat out. But that's what Angels do, right, they protect, but they don't actually inflict harm. Then, after saving me from a painful terrible event, she was sent back to wherever Angels hang out when they aren't in bodily mortal form.

I like to think that she's my guardian still today. I have a particular fondness for red Doberman's. It's possible I may get one myself one day, especially if I have a daughter who might need some firm protection. Of course, I plan to teach a future daughter's Angel to not be so gentle when assholes who don't belong somewhere show up. In the future, any man who doesn't belong in my home will be finding his balls as a new form of Alpo.

Originally posted at Kim Procrastinates

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