So - here's what went down.....
From my early to late teens, there was a family dog named Charlie. He was a cute little mutt, about the size of a large cat. And - in fact - he liked cats. One or two of the family cats got along with him, and they were often found sleeping together - curled up in an adorable cross-species ball. Other cats knew not how to deal with Charlie. They left the marks of their displeasure as scars on his cute little "rubber eraser" nose.
When I was in Middle School, he knew my schedule. Walking home from school, I would find him waiting at the corner of our block. We would then race to the front porch. As time passed, the number of races I won increased.
When I was a high school student - when dinosaurs roamed the earth - there appeared in the neighborhood a bitch who was in heat. She was a larger dog. Among the males who presented themselves as suitors was a son of a bitch about the same size as the bitch who was the center of attention. Competition ensued.
This mongrel bastard - spawn of satan dog - chose to deal with Charlie by taking him in his mouth, biting down hard, and shaking him.
While my father took Charlie to the vet, I went on a motorcycle ride - to collect my thoughts. Charlie was to die a few days later. We didn't know that yet.
Later that night, my father and I spotted the offending S.O.B. in the neighborhood. I loaded up the Rugar Nylon .22 and and we gave chase. With - at least to begin - my fathers blessings.
We found the S.O.B. in the back yard of house that my father owned - a rental property that I was later to buy from his widow. At the same instant the word "No!" came from my father's mouth, I pulled the trigger. And again. And again. Until the rifle jammed. I heard a yelp, indicating some measure of revenge, but the dog escaped.
Fast forward a month. My father, serving as a judge for the Utah 4th Circuit Court, is hearing the case of a man charged with having a dog running at large. In his defense, the accused states the following: "I was sick and tired of dealing with that dog, and was ready to put him down. But someone saved me the trouble. He was found dead - shot with a .22 - at the intersection of 600 West and 100 North."
At this point, The Honorable E. Patrick McGuire complemented the accused on his proper attitude, dismissed all charges, and prayed to heaven that the man before him would never learn that it was his son that had killed the dog.