Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lewis & Catfish

Lewis Grizzard owned a beautiful Black Lab named Catfish. Catfish was named after the great running back from The University Of Georgia in the 1930's, Catfish Smith, Look him up he was a hell of a guy. Lewis didn't really own Catfish it was kind of the other way around. Catfish had it made. Catfish came from the home of Vince Dooley. Lewis had been looking for a dog and Vince got wind of this and let Lewis know he would have him one in just a few weeks. 

A few months before that Vince and Barbara Dooley were having a wonderful outdoor party. Now this was a formal party with white tents, white tablecloths and even a small orchestra playing softly in the background. The Dooley's had two beautiful black labs named Miss Georgia and Herschel Walker, yeah....Really.

Anyway the party was in full swing and I guess it might have been the cool night air or maybe it was the soft music in the background. Whatever it was it put
Miss Georgia and Herschel Walker in the mood to.....Well do what it is that dogs are known to do, but not always at your formal dinner party with a couple of hundred guest. 

They started doing the doggies dance under a table and that's when all hell broke loose. There were chairs and tables being knocked over plates of food everywhere people screaming and running for cover it was mayhem in the Dooley's back yard at least according to what Vince told us when Lewis and I picked Catfish up and he was there so he would know.

Catfish was your average black lab puppy, full of energy and tons of mischief on his mind. On the ride back to the house, Lewis was holding Catfish in his lap and he was jumping and climbing all around and trying to get down so he could explore the back of the van, Catfish not Lewis. 

Without warning Catfish stopped in his tracks and stood perfectly still. Lewis said "what's he doing"? I said "how would I know he's your dog". Well it only took a second to find out what he was "doing". It was good old # 1 all over Lewis's lap. Lewis was yelling "Stop The Van The Dog's Peeing All Over Me". Naturally when ever I hear that I start to laugh and who wouldn't. 

I did get the van to the curb pretty fast but then it was even funnier watching Lewis trying to get a wild little puppy that by the way was still peeing out of the van and on to the ground without getting any wetter than he already was.

With the pee stop complete it was time to head home but Catfish didn't see it that way. Catfish is thinking, "well now that my bladder it empty lets see how fast this guy is".He was named correctly, he took off like a running back. Here we are parked in a nice neighborhood in Athens and here we go, two grown men running through people's yards, front and back chasing a puppy that thinks this is a wonderful fun game called let's kill the humans. 

After about a 15 minute chase Catfish just flopped over in the street. Lewis and I both stopped and just looked. I said "do you think he's dead"?  Lewis said "at this point, if there's a God in Heaven he is". Well he wasn't dead but he was one tired puppy and that made three of us.

For the first few months that Lewis had Catfish it was a chew fest at the Grizzard house. If Catfish could reach it then it became fair game and his goal every morning was to see just how many things he could either destroy, render useless or make completely unrecognisable. He was very good at his daily task. In one week Catfish ate or chewed to a pulp 3 pair of Gucci loafers, 2 pair of glasses, 1 pair of sunglasses, 2 remote controls, 3
wood banister from the stairs, a hat, and 4 things we could not recognize.

Lewis took Catfish to a puppy school in Alpharetta and a miracle took place. When Lewis and I went to pick Catfish up he was a changed dog.....While he was there. I'm pretty sure that the dog trainer told Catfish that if he didn't behave he would go to Athens and kill all of Catfish's family. Catfish was the perfect dog. He would sit, stay, heal and poop and pee on command. Lewis ask me if I thought it was the same dog? I said what does it matter, lets take this one and go, and we did.

There are many Catfish story's but I want to leave you with this one. Lewis and I spent a lot of time on the road and that meant Catfish would spend a lot of time at home alone. Sometimes we were gone all day long and that's when we were in town so Lewis came up with the idea of a doggie door so Catfish could pretty much come and go. 

Lewis lived in North Buckhead at the time in a big house with lots of woods. You could not see the house from the street and you could not even see any of your neighbors houses so Catfish had the run of the woods. Lewis would wonder out loud at times if I thought that Catfish would be lonesome while we were gone and he got his answer very soon.

We had been gone somewhere all day and Catfish loving his new doggie door  pretty much came and went as he pleased. We got back to the house just before dark and parked the van and headed in. Up the stair's to the front door, as we walked in there was some commotion in the great room just below where we came in. 

Well Catfish was not lonely at all. There were at least 13 dogs in the house, big dogs, little dogs black dogs, white dogs and spotted dogs,it looked like a Disney movie. There were dogs on the sofa, there were dogs on the beds, there were dogs in the kitchen and dogs sleeping by the fireplace and when they saw us they all started to scramble, kind of like catching a bunch of boys at your daughters slumber party.

It took us about 10 minutes to get all the dogs out of the house and Lewis did have to have the carpet cleaned. We never did find out who owned all the dogs. But we did find out that Catfish was NEVER lonely.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the adventure, I thought the world of your Dad, and Lewis was beyond category, loved all his work, Great American's for sure!

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  2. Great stories- well told too, I’m sure Ludlow and Lewis would agree,

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  3. Excellent writing. Thx for sharing the talents of your genes. I will be following your blog and looking forward to it.

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  4. Phil, thanks for sharing that great story I had read a portion of it before and one of Ludlow's wonderful books. To coin a phrase that your dad used in ending one of his books "Lewis and me and Skipper Makes Three", Precious Memories how they linger. The last time that I spoke with your dad on his radio show I ended my conversation with him with those exact words. I didn't know at the time just how provident that statement would be, Luddy was gone so very soon afterwards. You have a new follower of your blog you are an excellent writer and what a smile it brings to my face to see that style of writing and those wonderful stories channel through another generation thank you.

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  5. I always liked Ludlow and Lewis. I was at one of Ludlow's book signings in Powder Springs. I told him my mother played basketball at Snellville High School and Lewis's father was their coach.They affectionately called him "Sis". Ludlow got a kick out of this and promised to tell Lewis, which was sure he would get a kick out of it.

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