Faster Than a Speeding Bullet…..
In Memory of Our Neighborhood Mascot
By Tara Rabuck
Kristin Teal Dixon
and The Residents of CHP
Edited by Renée Cabaup, Comm Comm
If you’ve lived in the neighborhood since the Fall of 2015, and you belong to the unofficial Facebook page, you’ve probably seen the posts…
“There is a dog running around The Bluff who is black with three legs. Does anyone know who this dog belongs to?? It has no tags or collar.”
“Anyone missing a 3 legged dog??”
“Hey guys the 3 legged dog is back!”
And from his Foster Human: “Hi! It’s Bullet. Urgh! I don’t know how he gets out of the fence, the lab and terrier don’t…”
Unlike most dogs wandering the neighborhood, Bullet, a three-legged, Lab mix, became a delightful curiosity. Not only because he had the ability to escape from pretty much any yard he was placed within, but also because – despite missing a back leg – he was…well…faster than a
“Bullet has escaped. Let me know if anyone sees him!”
“Bullet sighting on Lost Creek!”
“Just saw Bullet on the loose! Lost Creek and Grove Hall Rd. He was going mighty fast!”
“Go bullet Go! That’s the fastest three legged dog I have ever seen!”
There was something about his spirit, and his determination to run free, that made us all root for him! And his reputation as an ‘escape artist’ amused us – after all, how many four-legged dogs ever managed to routinely escape from their yards??
It wasn’t long before Bullet became a CHP celebrity:
“I see the same three-legged dog I picked up in the summer keeps getting out.”
“His name is Bullet. He’s a Chestnut Hill legend.”
Bullet became our unofficial ‘mascot.’ He was famous, and his sightings and escapes became the topic of numerous Facebook conversations and memes:
“I think Bullet is running down Hollingshed!”
“Bullet was just spotted in Highland Creek.”
“Bullet sighting in the ‘hood, but he’s been returned home safe & sound!”
“Haha, this little fella gets out A LOT..not the first time I’ve seen his mug shot on this page.”
He even inspired his own hashtag:
He even became the Poster Boy for one of our CHP Facebook pages:
He had a fan base throughout the neighborhood:
“Several years ago, before the unofficial Facebook group existed, I was on my way to work and saw a three-legged dog wandering down the road. I pulled over and he jumped in my car when I opened the door. I took him home, let him play with my dogs and bathed his stinky butt. I missed most of his work because of him. He even tried to escape from my house, but I prevailed that day. I found his (previous) owner by posting signs through the neighborhood and was sad when I got the call and had to take him home. She said his name was Bullet because he had been shot prior to being rescued, though you would assume his name was from his many nimble escapes on three legs. Thanks for being our mascot, Bullet.”
– Kristin Teal Dixon
“I recall a time Bullet came trotting into our garage as Rick was working on a project and our dog, Will, was doing his usual sunbathing in the driveway. Bullet was all smiles, like he was stopping by to introduce himself. Will was happy to meet a new friend as well and we instantly fell in love. When Rick posted about him, “hey a dog missing a wheel showed up over here. Anyone know where he lives?” we found it comical that he was already a CHP celebrity and we were glad he stopped by.”
– Sara McKay
`We just met bullet!! I’m fan-girling.’
And he showed up in the darndest places!
“I have a black three-legged lab mix with a bright green bandana at my house if anyone’s missing him. Raintree Acres subdivision Laurel Oak.”
“True story: This morning the doorbell rang. It was the police. “Sir, does Bullet live next door?” Yes Sir. “We found him on Hollingshed and he is in the backseat of my patrol car. No one is home so I am going to put him in the backyard.” Yes Sir. 5 minutes later…Bullet was on the loose again!!!!!”
“We have a wall full of height measurements. In April of 2018, Bullet’s height somehow got on our wall. We were out of town that weekend and were surprised to see it there when we got home. How it got there/who wrote the height has always been a mystery.. and a sweet memory!!!”
Eventually, Bullet needed a forever home; someplace with loving people who would entice him to stay at home for play and cuddles, as opposed to wandering the neighborhood…and that’s where Tara Rabuck’s story comes in……
By Tara Rabuck
In March of 2016, I was perusing our neighborhood Facebook page, when I saw a post about a dog named Bullet. He was running loose through the neighborhood, while his foster Mom was out of the country. Someone called the police department to pick him up and detain him until his owner was located. Bullet managed to escape from the police, and animal control was going to be contacted. A neighbor, down the street from my house found him, and put him in his yard, and asked if anyone could keep him until his foster Mom returned.
I had previously seen posters on the stop signs in our neighborhood that read, “Three legged dog found”, and thought it was comical. It was a regular occurrence, although I had never seen him personally.
At the time, I was working from home, and months earlier, we lost our family dog. I offered to take him in until she returned, so that he would not be sent to the pound. “It’s only a few days.” I thought. I had no intentions of having another dog. I messaged his foster Mom letting her know, he was with us, and we would keep him until she returned.
She then told me about Bullets life, before she fostered him…
Bullet was a stray, and was shot, which led to his leg being amputated. His foster Mom‘s friend took him in, but couldn’t keep him because they lived in a townhouse and claimed he whined, (We NEVER heard him whine).
She found another home for him, however they sent him back, because they had problems with him “chewing” on things….(We NEVER experienced that either).
After my kids and I spent a few hours with him, we knew he was meant to be with us. His foster Mom was gracious enough to allow us to be his “Fur-ever” family.
Yes, he still occasionally managed to escape and roam the neighborhood, however he knew where home was, and loved his family. He was a very social boy!
He was very intelligent! My son taught him many tricks! He was also very loyal, and loving! Although he loved us all, he was a Mama’s boy. He followed my every move. I couldn’t walk through the house, without his nose running into my legs. When I went to bed and got settled, he would settle down in his bed and sleep, then snore. I miss that so much!
Bullet was an older dog when we got him, and his need to roam the neighborhood, over the course of 4 years, diminished. In his last year, he enjoyed sleeping in, to the point I would have to wake him up when I got up, so he could go potty.
At this point, we bought him several “Serta” beds, he wouldn’t sleep in any bed, unless it was a “Serta”… Although, he scratched holes in the cheaper ones. Yes, he was spoiled!
In February 2020, I was preparing to get my house on the market, and needed someone to foster him during the process of repairs, etc. The foster noticed a lump on his neck. We hadn’t noticed it before, and couldn’t feel the lump ourselves.
A couple weeks later, Bullet woke us up, very sick. I took him to his vet, and the vet found the lump, and confirmed it was carcinoma, on his carotid artery.
His doctor suggested a specialist, who could better assess his survival, only after an aggressive round of antibiotics, if he had surgery. However, within a week, Bullet started having issues and pain in his left eye, to the point, he lost his vision in that eye and was in the excruciating pain.
His doctor recommended removing his eye, in order for us to address the cancer. We opted to have the eye removed.
Bullet was back to his old self two days after his eye was removed.
We walked the neighborhood, he was on the mend! Less than a week later….
He had an appointment to see his vet, for a check up. I wake up and wake him… He lost vision in his other eye, and was in pain. I called his vet and told him about his condition. His vet said, “I’ve removed both eyes in dogs before, and they’ve adjusted.”
Bullet had already lost his leg, his eye, potentially lost his other eye, before he could undergo the cancer surgery. When I was on the phone with his vet, I had carried him downstairs and put him outside to do his business.
After I got off the phone with his vet, and went outside to bring him in, Bullet had crawled underneath the deck. I literally had to dig him out with my fingers. He was done, and had suffered enough.
The next morning, Bullet and I said “Goodbye”.
My son could not join us. It was too much for him. I cradled Bullet in my arms, and told him how loved he was, until he took his last breath ❤
Bullet was laid to rest in a quiet spot within CHP.
He will forever be a part of the neighborhood he loved.
Thank you to
Tara Rabuck and Family
Tom Johnson, Kristin Teal Dixon, and Brittany Newell
for the wonderful photographs and memes they shared.