Monday, September 11, 2017

sneak preview

The setting for this adventure is the middle of the okeefenokee swamp. Literally in the swamp. The lights were strung over the dog pit suspended from tree limbs and run by generator and yeah somebody did live there.

The hundreds of photos I shot over the years were quite accurate but could never really convey the atmosphere. Imagine if you will approximately 100 people sitting on cobbled together bleacher eating, drinking and smoking waiting word from the promoter.

This show was being staged by my buddy the illustrious Harry Hargrove who at the appointed time stepped over the pit wall to make " the announcement." Back in the day all shows where prefaced by the promoter giving a brief speech.

"We're getting ready to have a dogfight here tonight (whistles, cheers) so if there's any sheriff's department, ATF, Treasury agents or humane society here I want you to stand up and identify yourselves (no one does, duh) . I see some people here tonight that I don't know so I'm going to point to them and somebody tell me who they are (all eyes scrutinize the crowd).

At this point my somewhat warped sense of humor kicked in. I turned to Carolyn Hand who was sitting to my left and asked, "you don't think anybody like that's here tonight do you?" She leaned close and (sotto voce) said "oh honey you never know who might be sittin next to you at one of these things anymore". She then assured me that if there was the men would handle it so I shouldn't worry.

After ascertaining that no undesirables were present the matches commenced. There is no way to convey the atmosphere. The smell of wet dogs, blood, beer, b.o. and the all pervasive miasma of redneck moron overlaid with barbeque is beyond description. Bets are being called with odds, some are taken while others are countered. A half kilo coke deal goes down not ten feet away while two dogs grapple and swap out holds.

I'm in my own little world bounded by the viewfinder of my trusty Nikon. The owners want pics if their dog wins or shows game.  Jack Kelly will publish them in the Sporting Dog Journal along with the match reports Carolyn will submit. Kelly is absent from this show, the dogs are average, no one going for a title tonight so he'll get the report and photos in the mail.

The matches go as expected until number six. Two fast mouthed fast footed bitches both looking for their first win fight wall to wall. This match went about forty five minutes before one quit standing on all fours.

After number seven is done it's time to convoy out of the swamp and down to the nearest all night diner for breakfast. It's only around two and sitting around for the post show dissection is always rewarding.  We take the three largest tables in the place and begin evaluating the dogs, the handlers, the gate and the crowd. These post match parties usually last an hour or more and something I always found quite productive.

I now have additional names to go with match handles. The guy sitting across the pit from me wearing three different plaids is from N.C. and a friend of Robert Bass. His kid is pre vet at UNC. That'll come in handy for everyone. The dogs this night had required no urgent post fight care, they just weren't that good. He and I will meet again in the not too distant future.

Finally it's time to go. After I leave the parking lot I spray myself with air freshener. The cloying smell of dogfight has permeated my clothes and I've no desire to spend the next few hours with it in my nostrils. Tonight the Doors, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin ride with me over an empty rolling two lane road. It's very cold, sever clear with a full moon riding west. Frost sparkles like diamonds on cut over fields. The songs, the solitude and the night are really quite lovely, it's a good drive home. 

78 comments:

snarky said...


"the all pervasive miasma of redneck moron overlaid with barbeque is beyond description "

im guessing you'd need a strong stomach for the early morning breakfast afterward.

....probably, puking would bring you under suspicion and perhaps bring on a fate similar to what you just witnessed all night .

orangedog said...

Wow. Crazy. I'm looking forward to the rest.

Jake said...

This is the sort of page turner that would keep me up at night.

Your Quiet Neighbor said...

Good stuff! Keep it coming.

april 29 said...

REALLY looking forward to part 2!

snack sized dog said...

Wow - keep it coming. This is the second description of a dogfight that includes the smell of mixed beer and blood. blech.

snack sized dog said...

that I've read...i meant to say.

DubV said...

Awesome, TS.

I hate that I do this, but I'm already thinking of what the nutters will say to deflect any criticism by someone that did the work that TS did.

snarky said...

snack
beer, blood and redneck asshole.

dawn james said...

yep, good stuff. keep it coming ts

DubV, good question. the pit nutters NEED dog fighters in order to promote their product.

orangedog said...

They wouldn't be able to cash in on all those fight bust dogs without dog fighting. It's a codependent operation.

vintage said...

NEW OMS POLICY:

"A ditch and a shovel for every able bodied dog fighter and pit breeder"

Orangedog...You are correct...It has to be at least a Billion dollar a year tax free, codependent economy.

Mauling victims get the short end of the stick!

Miss Margo said...

MOAR PLEEEEZE!

Branwyne Finch said...

TS, I hope you consider writing more about this, and putting it in a book.

The history of the APBT that the public currently has access to is a complete fabrication...post 1980's. There is no historical documentation anywhere of these dogs being family pets, nanny dogs, farm dogs, etc. All of these claims appeared after the 1980s. Before that, the majority of stuff written about these dogs was by the dog fighters themselves. It was clear that these animals were never bred to be pets, companions, or farm dogs.

Contrast that to the history of the Scotch Collie, which could be described as the REAL "America's Dog" . These were the dogs brought over by European settlers to work on the homesteads.....these were the all purpose farm dogs. Farm Collie puppies were even sold in the Burpee seed catalog. There is extensive historical documentation as to their popularity and what they were used for.

http://www.oldtimefarmshepherd.org/historic-collie-articles/

There is NOTHING documenting pit bulls history as anything other than fighting dogs. TS, you could help shed some light on this by documenting your years undercover.

tropical storms said...

I only know of three bulldogs kept as pets by dogfighters. Most who kept pet dogs had toy breeds as house dogs. Pat Carver's Stompanato was raised in the house from infancy and was never intended to be anything other than a pet.
Ralph Greenwood kept Jimmy Boots as a house dog after the Benny Bob match. Irish Jerry Holcomb kept Miss Pool Hall Red as a house dog.
Other than with these few exceptions I am aware of no others.
There were no illusions about the dogs until after the early 1980s. Certainly not among the fancy. The reason they had the dogs was the reason the breed was created, as battle dogs.

dawn james said...

thanks, that is great link branwyne. i will add that to the truth blog post about herding farm dogs.

here is a farm dog aka cur from 1942 (the years that everybody had a pit dog hanging out there porch).

well, i think we can all agree that if farm dogs were commonly referred to as CURS, that constitutes as proof that pit bulldogs were never farm dogs. in the old days, dogmen referred to non pit bulls as curs. or in today's hip terminology "if it ain't pit, it ain't shit".

snack sized dog said...

Yes, Snarky

beer, blood and redneck asshole.

That third, makes the description totally vivid, and that is the first I've ever heard that, TS!

I just find it interesting that in what little I have read about dogfights, there is confirmation of that particular and gross detail that must accompany all dogfights.

Here is the other one.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_7kxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=k-UFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4747,5959551&hl=en

The valentine image I created incorporated the dogfighter, blood and beer on it because it was such a strikingly gross detail to me.

http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-kansas-dogfighting-valentine.html

TS, this, in book form, and elaborated, WOULD BE GOLD!!:

I only know of three bulldogs kept as pets by dogfighters. Most who kept pet dogs had toy breeds as house dogs. Pat Carver's Stompanato was raised in the house from infancy and was never intended to be anything other than a pet.
Ralph Greenwood kept Jimmy Boots as a house dog after the Benny Bob match. Irish Jerry Holcomb kept Miss Pool Hall Red as a house dog.
Other than with these few exceptions I am aware of no others.

I mean that kind of stuff could really turn the whole issue upside down!

Branwyne Finch said...

Dawn, here is a great history of the Scotch Collie...it is a landrace breed that was all but extinct until some dedicated people set out to save it.

http://www.oldtimefarmshepherd.org/current-collie-articles/obtain-farm-dog/


These were the dogs used on homesteads, NOT pit bull terriers. They were versatile in working livestock, highly intelligent, gentle with and protective of both young farm animals and children. While small terriers may have been used as ratters on farms, there is NO large terrier breed that has ever been used for these purposes.

If there ever was a breed of dog that could be referred to as "Americas Dog", it was the Farm collie. The Scotch collie helped early immigrants to this country run the farms that fed their families and the nation. The fact that this title has been given to fighting dogs by fanatics who are trying to rewrite history is an atrocity.

snack sized dog said...

well put Branwyne. Thanks. The title america's dog and farm dog attached to fighting dogs looks all the more ugly after that.

S.K.Y. said...

Great job, TS. Add me to the crowd that would love to buy a book of these recollections. I'm very much looking forward to the next installment!

About the farm cur in the link, it looks quite similar to the modern WORDS you want to link Smooth Collie.


S.K.Y. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.K.Y. said...

Darn it, here goes again:

Here's the picture I meant to link to of a Smooth Collie.

dawn james said...

sky, i thought the "cur" looked like a smooth collie too. i am not sure i have seen a smooth collie in person.

branwyne, that is a great history of the collie. it confirmed my feeling that the nutters plagiarized the collie's history. the only similarity the shares with pit bulldog is the near extinction of the collie and the ambull.

i especially like this:
Ordinarily they did not roam, kill poultry or harass livestock.

they are honest in that, they don't deny that occasionally a rogue farm collie harassed or killed those under their charge. the nutters would never say anything like that in their mutant's fabricated history.

there is a kernal of truth in the myth of pit bulls as ratters. there was a time when pit dogs were used in ratting contests, not on farms but in pits.

Miss Margo said...

Hey, what' s up with the "Favorite Pit Nutter Myth" poll on the right? Is it just me? There used to be about 13 votes on it, and now there are only 2. Is it bugging out?

dawn james said...

i noticed that the other other day. i have no idea. i see all kinds of weird shit, especially with comments. blogger is persnickety.

dawn james said...

i voted for no one can id a mutant. currently showed zero votes. so i changed my vote but it had no effect. i deleted that poll.

DubV said...

Jackie Lockard which, as Dogs Bite Decatur AL linked, killed a dog by leaving it in a car last summer. This dog was stolen by her, a dog trainer, and sold and then she took it for training and killed it by heat.

Shortly after killing this dog, Jackie left a BSL nutter post on her blog.

http://www.abnerspress.com/1/post/2012/07/with-bsl-what-happens-to-our-k9s.html#comments

She thinks BSL will hurt military war dogs because so many of them are pits.

Miss Margo said...

I love the way Lockard does all these linguistic gymnastics in order to avoid writing "pit bull" as much as possible.

I read the story at DogsbitedecaturAL. Lockhard's attorney says she is "not at evil person," but only "exercised poor judgement."

WHAT-FUCKING-EVER. It's evil enough to steal your next-door neighbor's beloved lab and SELL IT, but it's positively SADISTIC to return the lab's CORPSE to them after you KILL IT!

Seriously! Seriously! Can you imagine? Why would she bring her neighbors the body of their lab--knowing, as she did, the conditions of its demise? The only motivation that springs to my mind is so that she could see the pain and drama (and perhaps get credit for "finding" the body "while jogging.").

What a monster. A halfway-human garden-variety scumbag who killed the lab accidentally due to their own stupidity would dispose of the body as covertly as possible and hope to hell they never got caught. Only a sadist would return the body like that. Can you imagine the looks on the Moose's owners' faces? ARGH!

Is this how a sociopath acts?

Sorry for this rambling comment, but this story upset me. Jacqueline Lockard is a very bad frightening person and I bet she is going to hurt lots of people in her life. She is still very young.

Miss Margo said...

Seriously! I know every owner of a lost pet wishes they had some sort of "closure," but I'd rather be able try to hope that my pet was happy somewhere with another loving family than to find out that it died a senseless, agonizing death at the hands of the sadistic psycho next door! ARRRGH!

Could I blog about Lockard? This awful person deserves a blog post. I am going to google-stalk this jerk. I am going to try to get my hands on the court victim-impact statement of Moose's owner, too.

april 29 said...

Miss Margo,

DO IT!!!!!!

orangedog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orangedog said...

But the military bans pit bull dogs from its bases... so, oh gosh, I'm trying to figure this one out... Where are all these military pits?

LOL

Miss Margo said...

April 29: Oh yeah, I'm on it.

snarky said...


LOL @ that lockard retard , well.... her mug-shot. if ever there was a typical nasty female pitter , she looks to be it ,emphasis on the word IT . why are these "things" seemingly all ugly , fat and stupid looking ? never mind , dont answer that .lol

snarky said...


seems like she just moved out of state and is probably doing her things elsewhere . just like a pitter , wreak havoc on someone , then , slither away to do it again another day .

DubV said...

"WHAT-FUCKING-EVER. It's evil enough to steal your next-door neighbor's beloved lab and SELL IT, but it's positively SADISTIC to return the lab's CORPSE to them after you KILL IT!

Seriously! Seriously! Can you imagine?"

I can imagine it, and it makes my blood BOIL.

Please do blog this woman.

DubV said...

"why are these "things" seemingly all ugly , fat and stupid looking ?"

The same reasons that cults typically prey on people at weak points in their life?

snarky said...


psychopathic idiot people love pitbulls cause they are like them . they choose a dog with a rep for violence and mayhem for this reason , not cuz they are sweet , loyal harmless big goof-balls . call bullshit what it is ....bulloney with a bad after-taste .

dawn james said...

miss margo please blog this.

dawn james said...

"why are these "things" seemingly all ugly , fat and stupid looking ?"

The same reasons that cults typically prey on people at weak points in their life?


i agree with you DubV.

DubV said...

A neat play would have an actor playing Ledy VanKavage playing the role of Jim Jones. She would seclude her little group and convince them all to let a nanny dog nanny them up. The result would be much slower and more gruesome than cyanide in your kool aid.

snarky said...



pitters often say that dogs get dirtnapped when peops get away with murder.

yep , i agree , its just not right

kidnappers and dognappers need to take a dirtnapp too . imo

DubV said...

Bulls law will have some effect though Snark. It will disallow some of the Jackie-mick-whack of the dog worlds from bothering animals

snarky said...


LOL ...I remember the first time i ever heard the term DIRTNAPP , i musta been grinning from ear to ear .

i though id died and gone to heaven for haters .

i had a full blown epiphany right there in front of my laptop.

back then i thot maybe it was just me that thot pitters and pits were the scum of the earth . lol

dawn james said...

DIRTNAPP is from the movie Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead. rent it, you will like it. some of christopher walken's most memorable lines are in that movie.

Miss Margo said...

Christopher Walken has an intense, cerebral, creepy masculinity. Not necessarily *menacing,* but intense. He is not conventionally good looking for a movie star, but his look is kinda...interesting, even compelling. It grows on you.

He is a talented man. When you watch him, you can tell that there is a lot going on upstairs. Keeps his cards kinda close to the vest, too, so you can't be sure...

Wait, why am I talking about this again...? Sorry.

Is anyone else watching the new series "Hannibal?" I really like it so far!

MOVING ON

I am blogging about Moose's Law and the, ahhh, events surrounding his death. I hope to have it done by the end of the work week. If anyone has thoughts or insights about the leading lady responsible for this shit show, please email me.


snarky said...


when i see her face its like deja vu all over again . she is the quintisential pure pitnuttress that ive come to know and hate ...... and i dont even know if she likes shitbulls.lol
to see her , she could be any pitloving vet tech, medical lab worker , in any mutant infested shit-hole , anywhere in north america . ....if she had an education .lol4719ntonwen

tropical storms said...

Here's a good site to read about the bad guys in their own words. You can start with the Ozzie Stevens interview here, gamedogshistory.com/ozziesteven/interview. If you find it interesting just substitute the name of your favorite bad guy, if he or she has given an interview to Fat Bill it should pull up.

dawn james said...

christopher walken is my favorite actor. i just adore him.

looking forward to reading about jackie.

ts, i tried to call you. i will try again. anytime you want to submit another, i will be happy to publish it.

Jake said...

I haven't seen that many Walken movies, but I have to admit, he was great in suicide Kings - and blast from the past.

dawn james said...

loved suicide kings.

Anne King said...

Walken movies...you gotta watch 7 Psychopaths...it is the movie that Kelly Rippa commented on while interviewing Walken that got all the nutter's knickers in knots...

Jake said...

Anne King I will netflix that one.

dawn james said...

oh yes, definitely watch 7 psychopaths.

april 29 said...

She will be missed.

PutMeInCharge4OneDay said...

April 29? Who?

Tropical Storms? What happened?

Mom in Eugene said...

Love this post!

Love Walken!

nice to see ya back!

Anonymous said...

Blood AND morons? So you were at my Prom too? Bitchen!

Anonymous said...

Watch Walken in the office dance video (Fatboy Slim?) Scarypuss can DANCE! Magic.

Anonymous said...

I miss Tropical Storms. :(

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

me too.

yesterday was the one year anniversary, so i bumped everything to the top.

PutMeInCharge4OneDay said...

Already a year.

Tropical Storms was an amazing contributor.

I do miss her.

Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace, Tropical Storms.

S.K.Y. said...

Is Tropical Storms dead? Or just not posting here anymore?

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

she died. cancer. last year.

S.K.Y. said...

Oh, so sorry to hear that. And I always assumed T.S. was a male. I wish she had survived to write a book; she had such great info.

PutMeInCharge4OneDay said...

S.K.Y. here is a piece about her.

http://www.animals24-7.org/2014/11/29/legendary-undercover-dogfighting-investigator-dies-at-60/

Anonymous said...

We've already seen former dogfighting pits rehomed. Now---coming soon to your neighborhood: ex-wild hog fightin' pits!

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2015/09/see-how-these-dogs-have.html?credit=web_id93480558

PutMeInCharge4OneDay said...

Anon,

You thoroughly ruined my day with that link.

As if we did not have to worry about "regular" pit bulls murdering our pets now we have these dogs that have had the opportunity and had their genetics encouraged to attack and maim other animals out in the general population.

At least the former owners did not kid themselves that these beasts were pets. Now the humaniacs have their hands on them and with a wave of the magic wand and some cookies they are magically transformed............

Anonymous said...

meh,its not a popular opinion but if we aren't going to ban fighting breeds we shouldn't ban dog fighting.Its literally the only thing Pits are good at.The dog fighters will at least acknowledge these dogs are dangerous and not drag them into the general public claiming they are "service dogs."

Jake said...

@anon 5:22 agree completely.

To ban dog fighting, while continuing to breed fighting dogs like crazy, makes about as much sense as outlawing the use of meth while allowing anyone to make as much meth as they like.

The continued breeding of pit bulls in an ostensibly post dog-fighting era in the US has resulted in much animal suffering, with some 65,000 innocent pets and farm animals mauled to death by loose pit bulls last year.

If we were serious about ending not only formal pit on pit dog fighting, but also pit bull attacks on all animals, then it's time to put a stop to this particular genetic expression. Let dogs be what they originally were, and let this man-made product of sadistic animal abusers die out, for the good of all.

Anonymous said...

The posts by Tropical Storms were informative and honest. When trying to come to my own conclusions about certain breeds and inherent risks the posts by TS were very important because they were straightforward and well thought out. It is a terrible shame that she died at such a relatively young age. I am sure that there was a lot of information that she did not have the time to share. Just tragic, may she rest in peace.
CNYC (who is traveling)

Anonymous said...

I always think I've heard it all but this is a new low.

I hope people can get the word out about this because Janie will be having the jack booted thugs hunt this man down and persecute him while she shields her crooked bimbo

http://www.animals24-7.org/2015/09/30/what-is-the-austin-animal-center-doing-to-dogs-in-the-name-of-play/

Miss Margo said...

Tropical Storms had incredible integrity and was brave as fuck.

James Lee said...


you'd have to be to expose yourself to those psychopathic scumbags .

B Cazz said...

Still miss her knowledge and posts.

Anonymous said...

Actually thought of her today when I saw a "heartwarming" hurricane animal rescue story. A car load of roosters "wrapped up like burritos so they won't fight".

Hmm. No hens. Just roosters. That fight. Hmm.

Animal fighting is alive and well in the Good Ol' US of A.

Anonymous said...

I respect the work T.S. did but I have to wonder if it did any good.
Back then if you wanted to see a dog fight you had to know somebody, drive off of the beaten path and seek one out. Now you just have to walk a non mauler dog in many neighborhoods and you will get to witness a dog fight first hand.

I understand the reflex of sane people to end animal suffering. Seeing how they act on their own, I am not sure fighting pits suffered all that much. I don't think their pea sized brains process pain like a sane animal does.

I wonder if any of the people who worked to end dog fighting realized those same dogs would move from hidden pits in rural areas to the living rooms and sidewalks of residential areas. At least the dog fighters were honest about what they had. I am not denying these guys were evil but they knew enough to keep small children away from their fighters.

If it would get the number of fatalities for humans and pets back down to what they were I would gladly support making dog fighting legal again. I fear the genie has been let out of the bottle. Even if you could legally buy tickets and see these dogs do what they were bred for the pitiots would still claim they were nanny dogs.