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Bobby Hall - Bullyson & Sons II

Bobby Hall - Bullyson & Sons II
By nine o'clock Saturday night after Eli, Jr.'s morning battle, I was back in Houston. By Sunday afternoon I was sitting in my friend, H.L Palumbo's living room. Here was a man definitely not into bulldogs. In fact, he had a toy poodle named Doobie sitting in his lap. I talked for several hours relating the story of Eli, Jr. I told him of the difficulties we had gone through and our ultimate victory. I explained to him and his wife, Billie, who sat quietly listening to our conversation, never saying a word, about my chance to purchase the belly brother to Eli, Jr. and my reasons to do so. I'd come to these people SO many times before with so many different propositions I don't &ink either of them would have been surprised had I asked them to go halves to purchase an elephant. 

I cont.inued to explain to Palumbo if he would go halves with me on this bulldog, I would guarantee his money back and half the bet on the dog's first win. We made the deal and with a simple handshake, as we had so many times before, were partners once again. Before I left I had his agreement to meet me the following morning, drive to Caldwell, Texas where Jerry Clemmons lived and pick up BullySon. 

Early that Monday morning I called Clemmons at the hospital where he was employed and got directions to his house. He explained he lived in a trailer house about twenty miles outside ofcaldwell, deep in the country. "It's really easy to find," he explained, "just turn right off the main highway then left at the first dirt road, proceed down this road until you come to an old abandoned feed store, flip another left, then cross three bridges." Sure-sounds simple! We found the first two bridges and were still searching for the third when we came upon an old man in a wagon being pulled by two mules. He explained we had already crossed the bridge. Turning the car around, and back tracking ourselves we found the third bridge. This 'bridge' consisted of six boards across a ditch. By this time, after thirty miles of dirt roads, Palumbo's new Cadillac was covered with Central Texas red dust making the original color a doubhl guess. Finally we found the right road and shortly arrived at Clemrnons' house. He was there and took us around back to see the dog. There between two huge oak trees was a sixty foot cable dog run. There, with a limb in his mouth, his eyes closed and making the God-awfulest sounds, was BullySon. He was hanging about four feet off the ground, shaking a limb in a self induced ecstasy of his own. I never will forget Palumbo, he was in a $500.00 Continental suit gingerly stcpping over several piles of debris on the ground, when we rounded the trailer house the scene before us stopped him dead.
"There's BullySon," I said.
"Shit," hissed PalumLo, "Man, you've got to be ludding."
"No, I'm not kidding," I answered, "That's a bad ass dog."
"I can see that," Palumbo answered in no uncertain terms, "he's not riding in no car with me, not that crazy dog!"
I stood for a moment watching BullySon. I certainly had not expected this kind of reaction. Eli, Jr. had been such a manageable, friendly dog and here was his brother a complete opposite. I knew I had my work cut out for me just getting him into the c.ar. After Palumbo's remark-and observing this dog for a few minutes, I had to figure a way to transport this animal with the least wear and tear on both, Palumbo, his car and of course, the over excitable BullySon. Since it was quite evident BullySon could not bc allowed to ride inside an automobile, I bought a kennel crate from Clemrnons and had him load the dog into the crate. No one else could get near the dog. I had Jerry leave the chain on BullySon and asked him to leave about two feet hanging outside the crate door. I then lifted the crate, dog and chain into the trunk of Palumbo's Cadillac. The poor man almost had a heart attack when I then proceeded to wire the thing down with a coat hanger. I've got to admit Palumbo was one of the best sports I ever knew, such an easy man to get along with, we were and still the best of friends. Palumbo was standing at the back of his car shaking his head, looking at me like "Well, here we go again, another one of Bobby's antics." I know he was remembering the time I had picked him up for a day's visit to Laredo. Upon our arrival in Laredo, I informed Palumbo we were to meet a guide in Monterrey, 168 miles inland. We did, we also met all my dog fighting Mexican friends. Together we had a great time getting drunk. By morning I broke the news to Palumho the actual dog fight was to be held in Mexico City, another six hundred mile drive. Needless to say our one day trip grew into a week of parties ,friends and dog fights. I guess Palumbo always had a good time with me, he just never knew where we would end up or how long we would be gone.

While I was working with the coat hanger securing BullySon, I kept glancing at Palumbo out of the corner of my eye. I could tell he was getting that 'down the road look.' I assured him, "Everything was cool." AS we were driving back to Houston he mentioned to me he and his wife would be out of town for a month. He asked if I would do him the favor of coming by his house each day to feed and water his poodle, Doobie? Immediately the little light bulb flashed on in my brain. "Why, of course, I will," I answered in my smoothest voice, "I'd be happy to!" We talked on for a while, then I cleverly slipped in my little suggestion. Since I was short of space at my house, might I keep BullySon in his backyard for the month. I would be coming daily to feed Doobie, why not kill two birds with one stone? Since his backyard had a six foot cyclone fence and was an area of about 100ft by 1OOft we both agreed this would be an ideal spot for BullySon.

We got to Palumbo's house and parked the car in his driveway. Going into the fenced in backyard, I placed a #3 wash tub under the faucet filled the tub leaving a constant drip, assuring the dog a ontinuous supply of fresh water. I then went into the side door of the garage, split two fifty pound sacks of Purina Dog Chow down the sides and left them inside so the dog could eat when and as much as he wanted. The garage would also serve as his dog house. Now came the chore of unloading BullySon which Palumbo wanted no part. I set the crate on the ground behind the car. I had a lariat rope in my car that I had earlier borrowed from my bull-riding rodeo friend, Art Riley. I tied the rope to the length of chain protruding from the crate. I fixed both snaps on the crate so when I tugged on the rope the gate on the kennel cage would come open. I stepped back from the cage, took a deep breath and gently pulled the rope. BullySon came out of the cage like an explosion! He was a blur as he raced to the end of the driveway. When he reached the end of his rope and chain, and could go no further, he then began to buck like a wild mustang. Realizing he could not get loose, he then charged me. As fast as I could I scrambled to the top of Palumbo's Cadillac. Palumbo had already dashed into his house and was at the front door watching.

I jumped over the Cadillac and keeping the car between myself and the dog, got some slack on the rope. Since Palumbo's garage was equipped with a an electric 'genie' door opener, I yelled as I worked the rope, "Raise the door!" He did and I rolled under. Just as BullySon made another lunge for me, the door came down leaving the dog outside the garage. I had about two foot of rope inside the garage with me, leaving it on the floor, I made my way through the side door of the garage. The back door to the house was directly across the breezeway from the garage. Palumbo was now standing there and I asked him if he would go inside the garage and pull the rope under the door. I would go outside and using myself as a lure, unwind BullySon from under the Cadillac for by now he had been all around l and under it. All the time I was trying to get the crazy dog to unwind he was trying to eat me up. I kept hollering to Palumbo, "Take up the slack, take up the slack." Finally we managed to get the dog to within three feet of the garage door. I went back through the back gate into 1 the garage. Palumbo ran back into the house. Pulling the ropethrough I the back door of the garage I pulled the door to, leaving a crack so I I could watch the dog. I signaled Palumbo to raise the garage door, he i did, and in charged BullySon. Palumbo closed the electric door once I more. Now we had BullySon in the garage. Holding the door shut on the rope, I slowly pulled it through until I was able to get enough rope to reach the back door of the house. I looked at Palumbo. "Are you ready?" I asked. We both laughed. Never had we expected such a simple thing as picking up a dog to turn into a three ring circus. I dashed across the breezeway to the back door of the house with BullySon close on my heels. When I released the garage door, BullySon charged through. I now had BullySon in the backyard I where I wanted him. I pulled the rope into the house untying it from the chain. The chain would stay attached and since there was nothing in the yard the dog might become entangled in, I didn't worry much about that. I felt after the dog calmed down I could always remove the chain. For a month BullySon ran loose in that backyard and for a month he wore a chain, and for a month I couldn't even go inside the yard. Each day I tried to make friends with BullySon. Every day I would bring a shank bone for him. I would kneel beside the fence,
place the bone between the fence post and gate post, letting the dog lick the bone through the space. For an hour each day I would sit and visit with him. When he growled at me, and he almost always did, I took his bone away. When he stopped growling I would give it back. Four weeks went by with me daily trying to bribe the dog with a bone, just to let me touch his head.

By now Mrs. Palumbo's beautifully landscaped manicured lawn looked like WWIII had taken place. There were trench holes dug everywhere, and piles of dog unmentionables every few feet. But I had really made progress for now I was actually able to touch BullySon on his head without him taking my hand in exchange. Of course, this was while he was licking his shank bone.

The day before Palumbo was due back, at my usual hour I was at BullySon's gate. When 1 called, he trotted to the fence expecting his usual bone. As he reared upon the gate I slipped my hand inside the fence and got his chain. With no sudden moves and talking to him quietly I opened the gate and led BullySon to the passenger side of my car. I had left the door open and a large shank bone on the floor. BullySon jumped into the car and began immediately to chew on his bone. This was the first time Bullyson had been able to do anything but lick a bone and now he was working it over with his back jaws, chewing at the bone as easily as a lion. I had never seen a dog who could do this before. 1 kept a close watch on him as we made the twenty minute drive across town to my house. I had already prepared a place for BullySon and while he was still chewing on his bone, I ran into the house for a fresh one. As soon as 1 opened his door, I showed him the other bone. As he came out to get it, I got his chain and with the one as a lure, led him to his new home. As soon as I had him secure I hurried out of his chain reach. Taking off my good luck bandanna I mopped the sweat from my brow. I called it my good luck bandanna for the simple reason I had made the drive across town with BullySon in the front seat beside me and had not had my throat cut. 

I knew without even trying I would have never gotten that dog back in a kennel crate and I didn't want to get him excited about anything. So I had done the only thing I could think of to get him home. Now I had the problem of facing Mrs. Palumbo and her ruined backyard. I really didn't think I could convince either of them the toy poodle, Doobie, was responsible. We finally decided since we owned half interest in the dog, to go halves in getting her yard back in shape. In the weeks to come I spent hours a day in my backyard trying to make friends with BullySon. I would baby talk him, cajole him, flatter him, anything to try and reach him. But this animal, being like no other I had ever owned, wanted nothing to do with me. He simply tolerated me.
I kept a constant watch on BullySon, studying him, trying to find his vulnerable spot. The weak link in his armor, his Achilles' heel, so to speak, but BullySon seemed to have none. He was simply an animal that no one would ever be able to reach with kindness or love. Other than contempt, BullySon had no feeling for anyone nor did he seem to expect any in return. I kept little tid-bits of food in my pockets and would toss him a bite a dozen times a day. He, of course, would eat the food, yet if he got the chance, would still try to bite me. About the nearest I could come to describing BullySon's personality at that time would be to compare him with a vicious lion. I had, of course, at different times in my childhood years visited the ZOO. I was reminded of seeing the zoo keepers feeding these remarkable animals. They would toss the meat into the cages for the lions and then get out fast. They knew it was wise never to trust one of these animals or turn their back on one, for you never knew when a wild  beast would revert back to its basic instinct and attack. BullySon seemed to have this same quality, waiting for me to turn my back or drop my guard.

Wile I was watching and studying BullySon, he was watching and studying me as well. One day while cleaning his quarters and run, I was raking all his stools from behind the garage, dumping them into a waste can. Between the back of the garage and the six foot fence that separated my property from the alley was a space about three feet wide. This was where BullySon would go empty. Daily, since bringing him home, I performed this task, keeping this area as clean as possible. On that day for some reason known only to BullySon something clicked in his head and he charged me, pinning me with my back against the fence in the small space between the garage and the back alley fence. BullySon was screaming and snapping at me, in a frenzy to reach me. I was pressed as flat against the fence as I could get with only six inches separating me from an extremely pissed off dog. If I tried to bend my knees, he would bite my legs and I didn't have room or dare turn my back. For four hours BullySon kept me pinned in that small space, finally, around four o'clock in the afternoon, my little girl, Pamela, arrived home from school. I shouted for her, told her not to come into the yard, but to call BullySon. She did and when he heard her voice he immediately ran to her like a pup, giving me time to turn and jump
the fence.

All of my efforts to get near BullySon so far had been to no avail. Then one hot summer night in the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by BullySon barking and howling and jerking at the end of his chain, trying his best to free himself. Somewhere in the near neighborhood two amorous cats were courting, driving BullySon crazy. I hastily dressed and took my six foot lead rope and went out to BullySon. Snapping the clip with a click, click, click as I approached him, his mind was so preoccupied with the cats he did not attempt to bite me.

I allowed him to follow the sounds, letting him ~ u lml e toward the cat noises, giving him a goal to reach. His approaching screams quickly silenced the cats, returning the neighborhood to its former peaceful night. I continued to walk BullySon, giving him, for the first time since bringing him home from Caldwell, the freedom of a walk. Thereafter, whenever I approached him snapping the clip he quickly learned chat was the signal that meant he was getting off his chain. This had been my first successful attempt to touch the dog, getting him off his chain onto the lead rope. A positive step at last!! The following week, each morning anywhere from two o'clock to three o'clock I would go out into my front yard and howl, scream, meow and hiss like cats, making an unholy racket. This would again un-nerve BullySon. I would dash back into the yard and snapping the clip, 'sic' BullySon onto the imaginary cats. At this quiet hour the neighborhood was deserted. Everyone, being fast asleep, giving us plenty of privacy for our nocturnal walks. I felt this to be the safest hour. I had inquired and found out the local patrolman would be changing shifts at four a.m. Never would I take a chance of BullySon co~ningin contact with anyone else, since his personality was so erratic, he was subject to lose control at anytime and with anyone, I certainly did not want a policeman involved. Progress with BullySon came slowly. Being able to do little things with him was a big step forward. Here again I make a
comparison between BullySon and a lion. With a lion, a trainer will have to continuously work with the animal in a constant repetition of an act he is trying to build. Sometimes working as long as two years to reach the point where the lion will perform the same trick each time a certain command is given. BullySon had the intelligence to know what I asked of him but with his "I don't give a damn-touch me if you dare" attitude his progress was as slow as chat of a belligerent lion in training. Two rnonths with BullySon had now gone by with our only progress being our nightly walks. Finally one day I decided to try another trip in the car. With the idea of beginning some kind of work with BullySon in the rice fields where I had worked Foots. Again discarding the idea of trying to use a kennel cage. Hearing the snap of the clip on his lead rope, BullySon immediately perked his ears, ticipating a walk. I led him to the car and had no trouble getting him inside. For this experiment I had decided to use an old jalopy from my used car lot. This particular car had no air, so I had rolled up the windows to within three inches of the door top.

Talking to BullySon, as I continually did while in BullySon's presence, we started our drive. We had driven about a block when BullySon spotted a dog on the sidewalk. Immediately he went crazy, dove straight into the window on the passenger side shattering the glass into a million pieces. This happened so quickly I just had time to duck as BullySon jumped from the front seat into the back, making for the rear windshield. There he stayed howling and screaming to get to the other dog, that was already disappearing in the distance as I continued to drive. This had really shocked me and had happened so suddenly I was afraid he was going to break the rear windshield too. Before I had time to think of the consequences and strictly a reflex action, I raised my voice in a disapproving shout at the dog. This was
the first and only time I ever shouted at BullySon. And I never, ever hit BullySon as you will sometixnes just spat a dog on the rump to get his attention. Because I felt this would have dissolved any progress we had made.

BullySon was intelligent enough to tell from my tone of voice when I was pleased and displeased. That day he chose to co-operate and soon settled down and the rest of the ride was uneventful. All the same the hairs on the back of my neck were standing on end for it would not have surprised me at any time for him to do a complete 360'turn from calm to crazy and jump me from the back. I was uneasy and afraid BullySon would pick up on my emotions, as animals have that unique ability to do. Finally the long drive was over and we arrived safely at the still isolated rice fields.

I placed BullySon in a harness, clipped his sixty foot lead rope on and without a lure of any kind let him run along side the car holding my speed to five miles per hour. BullySon immediately started running at his top speed trying to pull the car with his efforts, digging in with all his strength and determination. 1 let him pull for about fifteen minutes before I stopped for him to cool down. I sat beside him talking soothingly, praising him, rubbing him down, trying, always trying to make friends. BullySon ignored me. We sat there about forty minutes before I let him get back on the rope. I was still holding my speed at five miles per hour and again BullySon was trying to pull the car with all his heart and soul. Work seemed to be all this animal understood and wanted to do. Go, Go, Go-as hard as he could. After another fifteen minutes of supreme effort on BullySon's part I had to again stop him to cool down for he would have continued until he dropped. For another forty-five minutes we sat and talked our one sided conversation, rubbing him down again, trying to get him used to my hands.

After two months of being with BullySon I had never been able to pick him up and still couldn't. I had yet to weigh him for I could not put him on my scales. When I first brought him home from Palumbo's after his month of constant eating when he pleased, I guessed his weight to be around sixty-five pounds. It was at that time I began slowly cutting back on his food and now estimated his weight to be about fifty-five pounds.

As I sat there in the middle of nowhere rubbing the dog down, so many things were going through my mind. This dog loved to work but he tried too hard and too fast. If I could just get to the point where he would trust me enough to allow me to pick him up I could let him work my treadmill, but I had yet to even attempt that with BullySon. All day I tried working BullySon out of the window on the lead rope-fifteen minutes on, thirty to forty-five minutes to cool down. This had been a beginning of a work program, but I was so dissatisfied that aher a week and a half of going to the rice fields, I decided to try - - our luck in Galveston. For another idea was forming in my mind and I thought I would pull a little trick on BullySon to see how he would fair in the water. I had no idea what BullySon's reaction might be,
some dogs like water and are not frightened then there are some that wouldn't go near it. Being as crazy as BullySon was, I had no clue as to what this experiment would bring.

We arrived at Galveston and drove to the most deserted part of the beach I could find. That morning I had dressed in a pair of overalls with plenty of pockets. These pockets I filled with Purina dog chow. As we walked along the edge of the incoming waves, BullySon seemed enthralled with the water, the wind and the smell. The vastness of it excited him, he would run at an oncoming wave, snapping at it, daring it to crash on him.

When the gulls began to gather around us, I began throwing handfuls of dog chow into the air. As more and more gulls crowded around us crying and mewing, catching the food, BullySon was going crazy jumping to reach them. With his mind on the gulls, I entered the Gulf water going deeper and deeper. BullySon was close beside me still trying to reach the gulls who were now diving near BullySon, for I was throwing the food pellets close to the dog and into the water luring the birds around him. By now my lower pockets were soaked and the dog chow mush, but I still had a supply of dog pellets in my top breast pockets. Deeper we went until BullySon was swimming, still I went deeper until my chest pockets were covered with water. By now BullySon was swimming at the end of his sixty foot lead rope. 

The gulls soon lost interest after the food stopped coming, leaving BullySon and me alone. Calling BullySon to me I began walking parallel to the beach and he was swimming with his usual effort, straining to reach me. I kept BullySon in the water an extremely long time calling him to me and always backing away. My idea was to tire him out so completely I would be able not to just get my hands on him but to hold him in my arms, as well. 

I don't know how long I made the dog swim, but he finally got to the point where his tongue was lolling out the side of his mouth and each stroke had become a life and death struggle for him-I finally - - pulled in the slack, walking toward him. I gathered him into my arms and for about thirty minutes more I just held him weightless in my arms still in deep water. When I finally carried him out of the water setting him down on the beach, BullySon was so exhausted he could only stagger. He fell to his knees, got up walking sideways, trying to regain his balance. I slowly led him away from the water to the sand dunes about a hundred feet from the beach area. We walked about an hour letting BullySon get over his rubbery legs. I did not take him back into the Gulf that day, I was afraid if I over did it that first time I might not be able to get him back into the water. When we got to the car I placed a very subdued BullySon in the back seat, for there was still broken glass all over the passenger side. He didn't just lay down, he collapsed reminding me of a marathon runner who had just crossed the finish line. He didn't raise up one time on our fifty mile ride back to Houston. When we reached home I parked the car in my driveway, went around and helped him from the back seat. I again picked BullySon up in my arms without any resistance from the dog. I went into the garage where I kept my scales and weighed him for the first time. There it was fifty-four pounds.

When I placed him back on his chain he didn't even look at me, just went into his house and with a long exhausted sigh laid down, his head resting on his front paws. I stood there for a few minutes watching BullySon, talking to him in a reassuring voice. I felt like I needed to apologize to him but he had already tuned me out and was softly snoring.

I waited three days, giving BullySon plenty of time to regain his strength, before we returned to Galveston. I wanted him full of 'piss and vinegar' and sure enough after his three day rest period he was back to his old self, just as shitty and moody as ever. On the fourth day we were back in the old car headed toward Galveston. I had the broken window replaced and with my overall pockets full of dog chow and a fully rested ready to go, dog in the front seat beside me, we both were enjoying the ride. I planned to go through the same procedure I had the previous time, with the dog chow and the gulls and sure enough, it worked like a charm. My immediate goal was to be able to pick BullySon up into my arms at any time to weigh him, bathe him and ultimately be able to place him on the treadmill to work. For three weeks every other day BullySon and I went to Galveston to swim. By this time I was able to get BullySon off his chain without any trouble. I was even able to pick him up at will and place him in the car, for he knew he was going somewhere.

Then one day I didn't go out to get BullySon at the usual four AM to go to Galveston. Instead I chose about two o'clock in the morning because I wanted him to be nice and cool while he worked. Earlier that day I had placed the treadmill onto my sidewalk leading from the garage to my back door. Just under the back door I had also placed a coon skin that I had shown to BullySon on several different occasions. He hated that skin with a passion. I went out to BullySon placed him into his harness and led him to the waiting treadmill. BullySon sniffed the contraption curiously as he began to heist his leg to show me what he really thought of my treadmill. I hastily led him away for a quick walk around my yard to empty.

We returned to the treadmill and taking BullySon in my arms, I lifted him gently, placing him on the treadmill. I attached his harness to the clip on the mill and stood face to face with the dog keeping constant eye contact with BullySon. I slowly began backing away, calling his name softly "Come on BullySon." He started walking the mill, obeying my voice command. Still facing the dog with my left hand out stretched toward him I steadily continued backing away from BullySon until I reached my back door. With my right hand I slipped the coon skin from inside the door hiding it behind by back, blocking the dog's view from the lure. But BullySon immediately knew what I had done and what I had behind my back. I was still about two feet in front of him and by now he had picked up so much speed on the treadmill it was making a humming sound I had never heard before. I had yet to even attach the lure and BullySon was increasing his speed so fast the humming noise was piercing the night like a whistle! BullySon had been on the treadmill less than a minute when suddenly parts began to fly everywhere, it seemed to explode with everything going to pieces at the same time. I couldn't even tell what had broken first. BullySon had completely disintegrated my mill belt. I was reminded of the great Cassius Clay who was known later as Muhammed Ali, working the speed bag and with a tremendous right, knocking the bag completely off the connecting iron swivel. Not one boxer in a hundred had the ability to do this.

Needless to say we were unable to accomplish any work that night. When morning came I contacted J. W. Rumfolo. In my opinion Mr. Rumfolo was, at that time, the world's best treadmill maker. Being a man who took great pride in his work. Mr. Rumfolo constructed another belt for me-at no charge I might add. When the belt was completed he was kind enough to bring it to my home and install it on my mill. While he was making the necessary adjustments to assure the mill would again run smoothly, I had placed another of my combat dogs on the treadmill. When Mr. Rumfolo had satisfied himself and me that the belt was balanced correctly, I returned the dog to his chain returning with BullySon. Now the true test would come.
I placed BullySon on the mill and hung the coon skin lure very close to the mill. BullySon was picking up speed at such a rapid pace that the treadmill began the loud humming sounds I had heard the previous time he had worked. In less than two minutes, at an unbelievable speed the new belt came apart in the exact manner as the former had done.

Mr. Rumfolo, observing the proceedings from a safe distance of several feet, could not believe his eyes. I knew then, without a shadow of a doubt, fate had led me to the most fantastic dog in the world. This dog would become a phenomenon that people, not in contact with him, would not understand or believe. He would become in the pit bull world, what Elvis had been to 'rock and roll' and music. Col. Parker had correctly described Elvis when he used the word 'Phenomenon.' And because of that phenomenal man, the world of music was forever changed.

Now with the emergence of this one individual dog, the future of the pit bull dog would undergo a dramatic change, a change that would influence generations of breeding for y e a to come. For this dog would set a precedent that all other breeders would strive to match or surpass. His blood line would become one of the all time great lines and produce some of the most utstanding pit bulls in the world.

My feelings that night ranged from elation, anticipation and unbelievable good luck, to "can this really be happening to men For I again had that 'gut feeling' that this particular dog, BullySon, was destined to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. My imagination began to build fantastic images of BullySon. To me, he was the Cassius Clay and the Elvis of the dog world. And my responsibility to this animal would become my greatest personal challenge. To provide BullySon with the means to reach his unbelievable potential I would have to be to him what Col. Parker and Angelo Dundee had been to Elvis and Cassius Clay. With all my convictions and dedication I vowed to BullySon I would do everything in my power to assure him his most deserving and I felt, most fantastic future. I would become his agent, his manager, his handler and conditioner.

The dictionary defines AGENT: A means or instrument by which a guiding intelligence achieves a result. I made a pledge to myself as well as to BullySon to use every means in my power to be just that. To glide him and protect him to the best of my ability, for I realized this dog had power that had not been tapped. Locked inside of BullySon was a power house ready to explode, he just needed the right agent to direct his talent. But in reality, BullySon was a rocket poised on the pad, all he needed was a man to come in and press the button. To attain a greatness that I, at that time, was fully aware of and recognized. Even then I wanted this dog's fame to live on forever and to share his greatness with everyone. For I felt, and rightly so, that there would never be another one like him.

Twenty-three years have passed now and the BullySon legend lives on for not a month goes by that you cannot pick up The American Pit Bull Terrier Gazette, Sporting Dog Journal, Gamedog Digest, or the Scratch Line, without a story or a mention of BullySon. I feel someone is only dead when they are dead in your heart, or if there is no one left that remembers them. To me, BullySon is not dead because in my mind's eye I can still see him as if it were yesterday that we were together. I feel satisfied in my mind and comfortable with the thought that I truly served BullySon by being his agent. I also feel the reason BullySon's reputation is not down-graded is, would-be challengers recognize in that dog was a true champion and would today have to deal with living sons of BullySon. 

Being his conditioner I would either assure him a win or be the cause of failure if he were not conditioned correctly. One of the most important or maybe, the most important aspect of a dog's perfect condition is his true pit weight. The weight he can carry and still be in the best physical condition possible for that individual animal. I began a sixty day conditioning period to ascertain BullySon's true pit weight On Monday we would work eight hours in the rice fields. I didn't use a harness or lure for this work, just let him run parallel to the car at the end of his sixty foot lead rope-he stampeded ahead like an angry bull. So I reset the idle on the carburetor of my old car not to exceed fifteen miles per hour. This would be perfect for BullySon to work for eight hours. He soon adjusted to this stride and paced himself at
a steady trot for hours. I called it the 'old coyote trot' for these animals are masters of that gait and can steadily hold that speed hour after hour, never seeming to tire. After watching BullySon day after day, he was averaging five thousand strides to a mile.

On Tuesday we would return to Galveston, by this time BullySon loved the water. I would allow him to swim no longer than thirty minute intervals at a time and then I'd bring him out of the water for a thirty minute walk after each period in the water. We kept this up for eight hours every other day and these workouts in Galveston were really his hardest working days. For on our return to Houston he would 'nod' off and sleep the entire drive home.

Wednesday we would return to the rice fields, this eight hours of steady pacing was child's play for ullySon and our drive back home would find him constantly jumping from front seat into the back looking for any kind of animal on the streets. Thursday we were back at Galveston for another hard eight hours.

By Friday I felt BullySon deserved a rest and while I conducted my personal business during the day, BullySon relaxed and slept. About five o'clock on Friday evening, I would leave Houston with BullySon in tow and head for San Antonio, arriving at Maurice's house around ten p.m. Because of his many years in the business and his innumerable dogs, Maurice was equipped with space, seclusion, and one of the biggest jennys I had ever seen-measuring one hundred twenty feet in diameter with the hide of a coyote for a lure. For the first time in his life I placed BullySon on a jenny. He charged the lure, straining and pulling with all his mighty strength, as fast as he could run. I let him go, just to see what would happen. For five minutes he spun the jenny like a top that had just left its string. I then rushed in and stopped the jenny because I could see BullySon was beginning to get 'shockie.'

I snapped him on my lead strap, leading him away from the jenny. I slowly walked him to cool down for about an hour. After his tremendous exertion he was almost as wobbly-legged as he had been when we first swam in Galveston and I was finally able to hold him for the first time. After our hour walk I went back to the house and at an outside water faucet gave him a good bath and rub down. Maurice was anxiously awaiting what my next move would be. I placed BullySon back on the jenny while keeping an eye on my watch, letting him work for sixty seconds only, for BullySon could do more in sixty seconds than most dogs could do in five minutes. I again jumped in to stop the jenny, removed the dog and this time we only walked about fifteen minutes. BullySon had much more strength than after his first effort. We went back for another bath and rub down. The third time I put BullySon on the jenny I let him go two minutes. BullySon never broke his stride, he would go wide open never setting himself a pace. So after the two minutes, I again had to rush in and stop him. We took another fifteen minute walk also another bath and rub down. This time when I placed him backon the jenny I increased his time to three minutes. The same thing happened again, he would not pace himself. He continued at his wide open speed.

While I was rubbing him down this time, I was thinking to myself if I couldn't get him to pace himself and get himself into a stride, I would not be getting enough work in him. After his bath I attached him to the trunk of a tree with a chain I had brought with me. I went down to the jenny and removed the coyote skin lure hiding it from BullySon's sight. This time when I placed him on the jenny he did not work as fast as before. This time I was able to give him a fifteen minute workout, stopping him before he became exhausted. For the next four weeks, my routine was working the rice fields alternating every other day with our swim at Galveston. Then each Friday night we drove to San Antonio to work on the jenny. We would work the jenny Friday night & Saturday in the cool morning. Saturday night then again early Sunday morning before our return drive to Houston to rest the remainder of the day. That was some twenty years ago, I can remember Maurice staying up with me all night weekend after weekend, never giving me any advice, never criticizing me and never praising me. But as I look back on it now years later, I know Maurice realized I had enough sense not to hurt my dog.

The eight hours I spent working BullySon and talking and visiting with Maurice-talking about everything from the depression days ti1 he was a ten year old boy. He told me his father had bull dogs and they had no meat on the table. Things were bad in those days. He told me a story of a nearby neighbor who was conditioning a bulldog for a fight. The man had a mule and a flat bed wagon, the man had taken a pipe and welded it behind the front wheel of the wagon going at an angle-six feet. The pipe had a snap on it and the dog was attached to the snap. The dog would try to get to the mule. The man instructed Maurice to take the reins ofthe old mule and walk the mule about fifteen miles down a dirt road, then stop, turn around and walk the mule back to the house. Maurice said by that time it would be getting daylight. Maurice said the best thing about the deal was the 1 man was a pig farmer. And Maurice said every night the man's wife would pack him a lunch. He said she would cut him off a piece of ham thicker than your thumb and put it between two pieces of bread. He said the job only paid a nickel a night but it was the ham sandwich he was after. He went on to tell me the farmer's wife baked her own bread and the sandwich would be as big as one of our poboys you can buy now. I'll never forget Maurice's eyes lighting up when he told me about that ham sandwich for I, too as a child went through a stretch of only having red beans for breakfast, lunch and supper for about a three month period. So I could relate LO his story and both of us got a real chuckle out of it. I remember Maurice kidding, saying that's why he ate so much now to make up for the lost time when he was a child.

I agreed that was my problem too, for we both loved to cook and eat anything from Chinese food, barbeque, to Mexican cabrito. Â As I look back on those days with Maurice I guess you could say he did more for me therapy-wise than any one person in my whole life. Because by the time I'd arrive there on a Friday night, I would tell him my whole week's problems with my business and within a couple of hours he would convince me life was too short to take it that seriously. He would tell me I was like a rubber band, wound up too tight. He had a way of making me forget all of my problems because he would start telling me some story that was so interesting and fascinating. I can remember him telling me about the depression days of him and a fellow named Jolly. I said they would go in and order a meal and try to walk out without paying for it. If worse came to worse they just fought their way out. Backing out the door into the street, fighting as they went. In those days everyone would become involved. Then he told me, if the depression ever came again, Bobby don't go into a Chinese restaurant and order a meal. He and Jolly had gone into a Chinese cafe and ordered two large bowls ofwon Ton Soup. He said as they started the usual procedure, "Man, you wouldn't believe it, they came out of the woodworks. The cook came out of the kitchen with a meat cleaver." For every two he and Jolly knocked down with a chair, two more would show up. Maurice told me he finally hit the cook with the meat cleaver between the eyes with a sugar bowl. He said by the time they got out of there, their clothes were completely torn off-for even the women had joined the battle. By this time I was rolling on the ground laughing, he would make me laugh so hard every night that my ribs would actually hurt the next day.

Definition of a Manager: A person who directs a team or an athlete. In becoming BullySon's manager I felt like it would be a one time performance. Because of BullySon's superiority and greatness, I felt like he would only get one chance, for once he made his first appearance nothing or nobody would be able to touch him. So I waited. I passed up three or four of the smaller conventions because they would not have had the bigness, talent, or notoriety to show BullySon in his true light. For here was a dog destined to burst upon the dogworld with shockwaves that would continue for years to come. And in all fairness to the great dog, he deserved to be shown to his best advantage. Finally what I had been waiting for came along. Ed Weaver was promoting a show to be called the Southwest Convention. 

The first fight of the day would be Floyd Boudreaux's. Billy Don Glass. I knew people would come from far and wide to see Boudreaux sit down a dog. The second match was even better, Maurice Carver vs. Don Mayfield, what a drawing card this fight would bring. John Maverickvs. David Adams was scheduled for the third match. Then Sam Kennedy vs. RickHalliburton for the fourth match. Bobby Hall's BullySon vs. Bud Moore and Bert Clouse were lined up for the fifth fight.

I knew this would be the biggest crowd that had ever been assembled in Oklahoma. Mr. Ed Weaver had promoted and put together one of the all time great conventions. A total of two hundred and eighty people were gathered. This then was what I had been holding BullySon back for, his spring board to fame and that big pay day. I told my partner this would be the biggest 'sting' that had ever been pulled off. I had been so lucky to get matched into Bud Moore and the late great Bert Clouse. The best part about it was Mr. Clouse would be conditioning and handling their dog since it was a dog out of his breeding.

I won the toss so Mr. Clouse would be entering the pit first, a man well over six foot three inches and world famous in the dog game. Earlier before my match began, in addition to our original agreement and bet, Mr. Clouse, Bud Moore and myself had pumped an additional amount on to our bet increasing the value. I then approached and talked to five trusted friends of mine, I wanted to make as many side bets as I possibly could. To each friend I entrusted an amount of money. Agreeing between ourselves to bet the full arnount on BullySon. In no uncertain terms I also made it clear to them if the bet was not made before I entered the pit with BullySon, to disregard our agreement and keep the money in their pockets. Our pre-arranged signal would be to 'Rub' their finger in a certain way across their nose if they succeeded in making the bet. If they were unable to get a bet the signal was not to be given. I had no intention of letting the 'stinger' get 'stung'! 

The first match began and lasted two hours twenty-five minutes, the betting was not as heavy as previously expected and when the second match came down, it was canceled. Maurice's dog had pulled a shoulder during his keep. Adog he had substituted at the last minute for this match, could not make weight. The resulting cancellation of this match left the spectators with more betting dollars. This then was another lucky break for me.

The third match, Maverick vs. Adams lasted fifteen minutes. After the fourth match which lasted one hour and eleven minutes, it was BullySon's time to go. I had Norman Hooten wash the Clouse's dog for me and instructed him to stay in the pit until I entered the pit with BullySon. Mr. Clouse and Norman Hooten entered the pit with his freshly washed dog then it was my turn to enter the pit with BullySon. As I stepped into the pit, all five men gave me the signal. 

I was now assured my 'bets were all placed'. The best description of BullySon's fight would be to imagine Vince Lombardi's Rams in the Super Bowl, they win the toss and receive the ball. The ball being kicked down field and received by one of the Ram's runners, he in turn running down field narrowly
escaping several would-be tacklers putting the entire stadium of screaming spectators on their feet. The runner is clearly taking the ball for a touchdown on the opening kick off.

This was how BullySon's match began, excitement from the moment the kickoff occurred. It was like nothing anyone in that crowd had ever seen or expected to see. A completely unbelievable sight! A whirlwind, for BullySon was so quick and deadly in his moves, his hard biting was no match for the other dog. Within seconds after the two dogs came together the surprised crowd jumped to their feet with a roar, never to sit down throughout the entire twenty-two minutes that exciting match lasted. When it was over so quickly they were still jumping with excitement, looking at each other in amazement, asking
each other "Did we just see what we thought we saw?" As I had predicted BullySon had exploded on the scene, he dominated the match from the beginning. The red dog had no chance against him.

It gave me such a natural 'high' to see BullySon fight. He was a true master of his art. This dog was the result of what centuries of breeding had come together to produce, the perfect fighting machine. A dog with heart, stamina and most of all, a truly dead game animal, as he was to prove later in his career. The following excerpt of how the fight went down is from the August thru December 1970 issue of Your Friend and Mine. Quote
as follows: 

THE FIGHT REPORTED
DIRECT FROM MAGAZINE
YOUR FRIEND AND MINE

Editor Pete Sparks
August thru December, 1970
Page 13
Fourth Match.
Bobby Hall vs. Bud Moore
Males at 49% lbs. Cajun Rules
Maurice Carver, Referee

Referee said "don't either one of you release your dog until I  Say "PIT" ! Ref said ,"Face your dogs".
Dogs went together with a bang and Bobby's black dog got the first hold, but Bud's dog got a strong hold in the mouth. Black dog put the red dog down but he won't stay down. Black dog goes into the stifle but don't stay. Red dog is trying for a turn as black dog goes for the throat. Black gets in the shoulder and shakes. The black brought blood on Red's shoulder. Black is too fast for the red. All of this in the first five minutes of the fight. Odds offered 100 to 40. 100 to 25 being offered. (Black has his tail shaved) Editor asked the referee if that made them fight any better! Maurice said they cool off better! The black dog's tail arches up over his back.

The black dog gets into the shoulder at 10 and is shaking hard. Red tries to get him off with ear hold. Black gets high up in the groin and spectators say it is all over now, but the black goes back to the shoulder. No sooner said the black changes to the stifle. Black dog is from Maurice and Floyd's breeding. Full brother to Eli, Jr. One spectator is offering 100 to 10. Black dog stopped for breath at 19 minutes for a few seconds then gets nose and jaw.

Black doubles his head back over his back and changes hold and goes for stifle again. 22 min. Bobby Hall is to scratch to win. Rushed across and knocked red dog over. Bert Clouse was handling for Bud Moore. Quoting from Don Mayfield's publication, "Pit Dog Report we learn that Bobby Hall's dog is called BullySon. Owned by Bobby Hall and H.L Palumbo, according to Mayfield.

Definition of Handler: One in immediate physical charge of an animal, one that holds and incites a dog, gamecock, or other animal in a race, match or hunt.

I had been handling dogs in the pit for almost ten years before stepping into the pit that day with BullySon. Over the years I learned many tricks but that day I was only able to use one of them during BullySon's match. In less than twenty minutes Bert Clouse told me that he would give up the fight if I would scratch BullySon to win. This meant BullySon had to come across the pit to make contact with the other dog to be declared the winner. I agreed to these terms with Mr. Clouse, to me this showed true sportsmanship, a man with class. 

When I finally got a chance to handle BullySon over the downed dog this is when I used my 'trick', some people call it skill. In all my years handling dogs in the pit I have only observed one other person who used the method of psvching-out their dog into believing they had more to give. This person being Mr. Ralph Greenwood. I gently got BullySon behind the neck with my left hand easing him away from the dog, at the same time swinging my right hand to the side of his neck with a firm grip but gentle hold, guided him away from the dog. Not jerking or pulling him, gently urging him about eight inches from the dog. BullySon never took his eyes off the downed dog. He was hollering and screaming as I led him to his corner letting him walk sideways, always letting him keep his eyes on the dog, letting him think he could get away from me. The reason for this movement, I wanted BullySon to feel that he was stronger than me and in his mind
I was barely able to hold him. When we reached his corner, BullySon literally walked straight up the pit wall. As he got to the top of the pit I pulled him back a hair, causing him to lose his leverage as he scaled the wall. I knew his next move when he reached the top could be to bite me in the face for holding him back. I eased him back to the canvas where he could turn his head looking around my leg to view the dog. I thought the referee would never say, "Face your dogs". When he finally did, I eased BullySon around ever so gently, with him scratching, clawing, going berserk in my hands. Finally the referee said "Black dog to scratch". I released BullySon and before I could
clap my hands together, he was across the pit diving straight into Clouse's dog's stifle, almost knocking both of them out of the pit. At the same time the referee was screaming "The Black dog the winner. The referee then took a breaking stick, releasing BullySon's hold on the red dog.

Norman Hooten had been my second that day and washed for me. I told him to throw a towel over BullySon's head temporarily blinding him. At the same time I asked Norman to place BullySon's collar and lead strap on him. I released my hold on Bullyson's neck and grabbed the lead strap with my free hand.
By this time Bert Clouse had left the pit with his dog. I was using a four foot strap on BullySon and when I released my hold on him he immediately hit the end of the strap looking for the dog.
I never will forget BullySon running circles around me looking
for the dog. His shaved tail arched all the way over his back as if the fight was just about to begin. BullySon was still just as fresh as when rle scarted, and given the chance would have taken on any and all comers. A lot of people have asked me then and later over the years what was my theory behind the 'shaved tail'. Some of the explanations I have heard, that have gotten back to me over the years, were so funny! Here is the plain and simple truth, no big mystery, no voodoo . . . 

Over the years listening to different dogmen tell their stories one conversation I had with Mr. Earl Tudor stood out in my mind. His little talk went something like this. "Bobby," he said, "It's just something you'd do when you know you've done everything you can with an animal to have him in the best physical condition. It's like the last thing you do before getting ready to go somewhere. You put on your hat or like a lady putting on fresh nail polish, you know, the finishing touches." He had looked at me and as serious as he could be added, "I just feel like it adds a little class."

So folks, that was my only reason, I just wanted to add a little class!!! One week after BullySon's impressive win I began a strategy to get him matched again. I knew this would be tough. I placed an ad in the Pit Dog Report challenging Bennett Clayton who was now the owner of BullySon's belly brother, Eli, Ir. I knew Eli, Jr. was a super dog.
22-04-2010