Every Easter a certain family/mystery makes its way around the diner table and still, 30 years later there are only two of us around who know the truth about the death of 'Tippy the Dog' My cousin Tina died in a car accident several years ago so the truth left with her and my Sister Kim was deported to Australia and my step-sister Cyndi is living in the high desert of Arizona where the heat has fried her memory.
When the four of us were kids we often got abandoned to my aunt Francis' farm in the tiny town of Gretna Manitoba for a couple of weeks. There was nothing to do there but visit the corner store, swing on her giant bench swing, eat strawberries and avoid the devil dog that was Tippy.
Tippy had a grudge against the world and all the creatures in it. We never teased it or threw things at it but that didn't matter. Tippy was pure spite. He would chase us on our bikes and through the yards despite the fact that with his little pudgy legs he couldn't catch much.
Whoe be it to anyone who fell. He had a grip that wouldn't let up until you used a broom as a wedge. He terrorized both our days and our nights.
Well one day we were running from Tippy and we all ran into the green house thinking we were safe. As he scratched on the door we looked for another escape route and saw an open window on the other side of the greenhouse. From there it was easy to go over the fence to freedom. We all scrambled and as I was the last one out I tried to close the window but he was too close.
Here is where the truth and legend diverge. To the four of us, Tippy, trying to get through the window, got himself wrapped in some cable and started to choke himself as he struggled to get us. I and my other relations say he committed suicide. At anytime (as we watched him struggle) anyone of us could have went in the greenhouse to help him but at that moment on truth we all looked at each other and ran as fast as we could away from the house.
That night we were sat down for some sad news...Tippy had indeed strangled himself to death. It was a terrible accident (one we could not deny nor prevent). We even had to attend his funeral all the while trying not to break into laughter. Our demon was gone and through our inaction we were rewarded with the best summer ever.
Burn in hell Tippy, burn in hell.
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