About the Book
Billy’s World is a work of fiction based on the real life experiences of the author and his dog, Billy Bob, who was rescued from an owner involved in dog fighting. That dog fighting operation is no longer in business.
Excerpts from the book:
From Chapter 2 - Memories:
“It was night. The stars were out and it was cold. He was being led by a choker chain and leash with his litter mates down a dirt corridor between the pens. Mother wasn’t there. The litter, now down to seven, was nervous and scared.
One by one, two brothers and three sisters had been yanked roughly from their small pen, never to return. One had been his best friend and fellow runt, who lost his eye to the stick. It had never fully healed and he cried too much for his own good. It so happened all the missing siblings had been whinier than the others.
The lanky, dirty pups were led into the back of an old shed. It was full of noisy humans. They were sitting in chairs around a small ring with a dirt floor that had a smell the red pup didn’t like. With the rest of the litter, he was tossed into a wire mesh pen at the edge of the ring. Very soon, Big-Un and another man burst into the shed, a huge pit bull tethered between them. The big dog was straining against its choker so hard his front legs were off the ground. A foaming mouth, flashing eyes, and low rumbling sound from the animal’s throat bespoke an anger, an evil, and most likely, a madness such as the red pup hadn’t witnessed before. Most of his brothers and sisters went to the back of the enclosure and huddled together. The humans seemed to enjoy the way the big animal was acting. They reacted by slapping each other on the back and talking excitedly. The smoke was overwhelming, dimming the bare light bulbs hanging over the ring. But worst of all was the stench; it made the puppy sick—and apprehensive.
The men fell silent. A door on the opposite side of the ring flew open. Ninety pounds of brindle colored fury burst into the shed with two men in tow. This one didn’t have to be dragged to the fight. This one smelled the blood from his previous victims and wanted to freshen it up. The humans were looking at the litter of scared pups and saying, “What do you think of your daddy?”
They were the offspring of this terrifying, mad dog. They were there to learn their trade—to acquire a taste for that smell they still didn’t know or like.”
From Chapter 14 - Uncle Bob:
The scarred, leathery face of the wiry old man was dark brown, in stark contrast to the whiteness of his full beard. “I’m on an errand of mercy, Rick,” the old man responded. “Now are you gonna stand there jawin' till I’m too old to get down or you gonna help me?” He pointed to another branch above him where a young grey cat seemed frozen to the tree limb. “That’s my problem. That gol-darn cat’s afraid to come down. She’s been stuck there since she chased a squirrel up the tree yesterday evenin'.”
Rick scratched his head and went back to the Jeep. He started the vehicle, eased it over by the tree until the top of the cab was right under the branch where his uncle was perched and crawled on top carrying a rope. He helped Wash down. Then after throwing the rope over a couple of limbs and pulling himself up, he reached the frightened cat who was glad for anyone, even a stranger, to help her get down. Billy was excitedly circling the tree, surveying the rescue operation. Safely on the ground, the cat scampered off as Rick held Billy back from chasing her. Bob sighed deeply from the exertion, “Rick, I don’t know if I coulda made that without you. You’re handier than a dry cow pie at a chip-throwin' contest. You know that, boy?”
“You’re too old to be doing that without someone around,” protested Rick. If you had fallen out of that tree, you might have laid there a week till someone found you.” Knowing his words were descending on deaf ears, Rick changed the subject after they walked over and sat down on the porch. He pointed at Billy Bob, “What do you think of my new sidekick?”
Bob reached down and stroked the dog’s neck behind his ears, “This is truly a fine pup, son. From the size of these feet, he’s gonna be a big-un.”
Billy’s ears perked at the familiar name of his original owner. He decided it was time to go look for the cat, so he ran down the steps and took off around the cabin.
“Well, I guess you met the rest of my family,” Bob continued. “I know you met Cat, and I guess you met Dog and Goose on your way down here.”
“Met them!” exclaimed Rick. “It’s more like they forced themselves on us. If we had been in a small car, they would probably have hauled us off the road and buried us.” Rick paused as the old man chuckled. “I also get the distinct impression, and I don’t know why I’m not surprised, that Dog, Goose and Cat are actually their names.”
“You’re a certified genius Rick, to pick up on that so fast,” Wash teased. “It’s real simple. I don’t ever get confused and it’s easy fer them. Besides, fer all I know, they call me Man.”
From Chapter 31 - Revenge!
Leroy “Big Un” Keller was having one of his best nights ever. Most of his dogs had won and over ten grand in winnings was in his cash box. Usually, August was a bad month because of the heat. This year, the summer storms blowing in from the gulf had kept the weather cooler and the boys were really spending their money.
It was the next to last match. He surveyed the faces of the farmers and ranchers surrounding the arena, cheering for the contenders. He really had something these hayseeds liked, and he loved taking their money. A cloud of dust hovered over the pit, parting occasionally for hair and fluid debris that flew off the animals as they tore each other to pieces within its confines. Leroy thought life didn’t get much better than this.
Engines rumbled to life on the two giant oilfield trucks just as it seemed the noise from the arena had reached its peak. Like sleeping behemoths rudely awakened, the powerful diesels roared, testing their strength. They were parked two hundred yards away from the wallow, widely separated from each other and hidden by the terrain from anyone who might come out of the buildings. Their huge winches, each with over 4,000 feet of high-strength cable, now mostly reeled out, started cranking in their line. Block and tackle rigging, hitched to large trees on the other side of the small group of buildings came to life as the cables pulled taut. Like two powerful serpents tightening their coils, the cables, their strength now doubled to 20,000 pounds by the use of special pulleys, started inching across the ground. They slowly closed in on the encircled structures. The smaller outbuildings and fence posts on the edge of the complex were encountered first. They snapped and collapsed like twigs as the line first nudged them at ground level, paused as the pressure built, then leveled them as if struck by an invisible scythe.
The noisy crowd was getting ready for the last fight when Leroy and one of his cronies heard a low rumble outside the building: thunder? Nobody else seemed to notice so they resumed their business of getting final bets placed. Thirty seconds later the lights went out, plunging the entire complex into darkness and momentarily silencing the revelers.
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