…on a perfect August afternoon in Hebron, Connecticut.
She was wearing a necklace that jingled and jangled as she gained speed. She was a lovely shade of cinnamon brown. She stood just over a foot tall. I think she was a pit bull mix.
Life could not have been better. I was playing the round of my life at Tallwood Country Club. I had just birdied the 16th hole, and hit a fine drive on 17. I remember thinking, “This is fabulous. It’s my birthday, I feel great, I’m playing great, what could possibly go wrong?” And then she appeared out of nowhere.
There were four of us. She chose me. She came at me as quickly as her four stubby legs could carry her. I couldn’t read the look on her face. Was she happy? Was she hungry? Was I lunch? I thought, “This is the way it ends? Really?”
What did she want? She wanted to play. And she wanted to play with the Titleist ProV1 (#3, marked with a blue dot) that had given me 4 birdies. I had bonded with that ball, but she was not to be denied. She grabbed it and ran.
My playing partners did their best to help. I’m not sure what their greater concern was: the dog, or my potential meltdown. I was fighting it, but there was no question that I would be the more vicious of the two if provoked.
The ball was recovered, but unplayable. Naturally, she chased after my next shot, which went into the high pines. I salvaged a bogey. Rinse and repeat on the 18th hole. I may have shot my best round ever. Or not. When the numbers were added up, I had.
As we sat and had a beer to celebrate my little achievement, I looked out the window. There she was, walking up the cart path. I thought she might come in, hop up on a chair, and say, “Wasn’t that fun?”
What a bitch. (In the dog sense of the word.)