Sunday, September 24, 2023 Sep 24, 2023
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Merle Haggard’s Toes and One Mean Dawg

By B.B. |

It has all the earmarks of a great country and western song. It’s got Merle Haggard. It’s got a pore old working gal. It’s got Fort Worth. It’s even got Merle Haggard’s dog. Maybe it should go like this:

I bent down to trim yore toenails and yore dawg bit me on mah face.

And the chorus is:

I’m gonna su-uuu-uuu-ue youuuuu.

The facts are still in dispute, but the allegations are these. Back in September of last year, ol’ Merle was propped up in his room at the Sandpiper, presumably sipping George Dickel or misery and gin and getting ready to go sang at Billy Bob’s. But he kinda got to noticing that his toenails were troubling him some. So somebody calls up this pedicurist name of Judy Upshaw to come and fix him up. She goes on up to Haggard’s hotel room.

Merle’s dog Gus was there. Now, by all accounts, Gus is a pretty good old dog, but something about Ms. Upshaw must have brought out “the bitin’ side” of Gus, because according to her suit, while she was working on Merle’s little piggies, up jumped Gus and chomped her on the lip. It must have been some kind of serious chomp, because she’s claiming Haggard owes her $15,000 in medical bills and lost income.

Bear in mind, Gus is something less than 01’ Yeller: he’s a one-year-old toy fox terrier. Haggard’s road manager, Biff Adam, says the dog probably weighed all of six ounces at the time of the attack, and that he tips the scales at about eleven ounces now.

Says Adam: “I’ve heard so many different stories from the people that were there. Some of them said he didn’t do it. Anyway, it’s like a little puppy. You stick your nose down in its face, it’ll bite you, but it’s just playin’. It’s a good little old dog. It travels on the bus with us everywhere we go.”

Haggard, Adam says, doesn’t even remember it. “I’m not sure he was even there when it happened. It happened in the suite, and that’s what she was there for [the pedicure], but I don’t think he was there.”

You’d think that if a manlyman like Merle was havingsome toenail trouble he’d justhaul out a Bowie knife or achain saw and cut ’em down tosize-or heck, just shoot ’emoff. Well, not everybody knowsthis about Merle, but the boyhas a nasty case of ingrowntoenails.

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