Rampallion: Noun, a scoundrel, a villain.
I have to be honest, when I lived in St. Louis, I worried a lot more abut rampallions than I do now. I was single, I lived alone and my chihuahua, the late great Peek-A-Boo, wasn't what you would call vigilant about protecting hearth and home (you can find kind of a funny story about that here).
When Opie and I married and moved here to a small town in Oklahoma, I worried even less. Because it's smaller, there's less crime, and Opie had a big dog.
This is our half-Rottweiler, half beagle, Bubba:
The only problem with Bubba is that he has decided that I am HIS human and that he should protect me at all costs. I appreciate this when the neighborhood crazy tries to get into the yard (long story, you can read about it here). The thing is, he's pretty sure any stranger in the neighborhood is a rampallion.
A lesson both the lawn guy and I learned the first month I lived here. See, the lawn care people are supposed to knock on the door and let me know they’re here before starting on the lawn. But sometimes they forget…and they don’t come on a regular schedule so I don’t know when they’re going to be out there. So, right after I moved here, the stars aligned and the lawn guy was trying to let himself in the backyard at the same moment that I'm letting the dogs out of the house.
Bubba did NOT not take this well.
Peek also did not take this well…but Peek was old, a little fat, and more than willing to wait and see if the guy had a treat before ripping his throat out. Bubba, on the other hand, charged the fence like the guy was made out of ham.
I, of course, went running out and over to the fence as fast as I could…and was relieved to see that the guy hadn’t actually come in the gate yet…but then I had to get Bubba calmed down in the face of this clear and present danger.
A task made more difficult by the fact that the lawn guy was standing right on the other side of the fence, chattering away nervously, apologizing and assuring me he won’t come in until I get Bubba back in the house. The problem was, Bubba couldn’t believe that this EVIL RAMPALLION was actually DARING to talk to me while he was on guard duty. So the more the guy talked, the more Bubba ran around me in wide circles, barking and growling at the guy like a maniac, and occasionally charging the fence.
If this happens with your Chihuahua, you pick him up, carry him inside, and praise his bravery. If this happens with your half-Rottweiler mix, you interrupt the lawn guy’s sixteenth apology and ask him to go stand by his car.
“Or better yet,” you say with a smile “actually get in it.”
“Are you serious?” The lawn guy then asks.
“This dog knows you’re here to kill me,” you explain. “And he’s not going to let you.”
On the one hand, I’m pretty sure THAT GUY will never forget to let me know he’s here before spraying the lawn…on the other hand, I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t think I’m funny AT ALL.