BUFFALO BATTALION’S CH CUTLASS
BUFFALO BATTALION’S CH CUTLASS
Now where do I start? As the years tick by I tend to forget more than I can remember, so I suppose I’d have to start right at the beginning when I first got to see Cutlass. A guy working for a pharmaceutical company as a rep, initially owned Cutlass and Cleo. He had pups advertised and I went to go have a look, but when I got there the pups were all sold and only Cutlass, Cleo and a young bitch of about six months old were still left on the yard.
Now the little bitch had a bit of mange as the guy traveled a lot and couldn’t really care for all three the dogs and I asked him to sell me the young bitch, which he did. She was arguably the gamest little dog I owned, but Boots and others proved dead game. Anyway the story is not about Blue, but rather her dad and this was my first encounter with Cutlass. Little did I know that our paths would cross again a couple of years later. At that stage he was still a young and handsome looking animal, but I did not trust him as the owner warned that he might bite. Cutlass had good conformation with a head which looked a bit too big for a dog of his size and weight. He was stocky built, with a solid frame.
A couple of years later at a mall I got to see this young boy of about 10 years old, in the back of a 1400 Nissan bakkie with a bitch and some young puppies. Being a pitbull fan at that stage I walked across toward the bakkie and introduced myself to the youngster whom I later learnt was the son of Bouncer, the new owner of Cutlass and Cleo. The bitch in the bakkie just happened to be Cleo and I immediately recognized her when I laid eyes on her and that got me on a long friendship with Bouncer and many colourful characters. What a small world – you’d have to agree. When bouncer collected Cutlass from his previous owner, he was also warned that he could take Cutlass, but that he might get bitten as the dog was a little mean and difficult to handle. Bouncer just asked the owner to clip the leash onto the dog and he’d handle the rest. Cutlass might’ve been rough, but I’m sure that he was not prepared for what was about to follow. Bouncer grabbed the leash, flung Cutlass over the stable door and manhandled the bewildered Cutlass. After Bouncer roughed the dog up a bit he was meek as a little lamb and Bouncer gave him to his son, who was about 10 years of age to walk the dog down the road.
I recall sitting in Bouncer’s lounge one day just enjoying “lekker” bulldog talk, when Bouncer’s Ford Sierra started shaking. Yes, believe it or not, but Cutlass punctured that vehicle’s tyre and was furiously shaking the wheel of that car. He was probably the strongest dog I’ve seen in his weight category and this proved to be the truth when he was matched into Jack the Ripper, but a little more on that story later.
Cutlass had a schooling or two before he was first matched into a dog named “Sonny Boy”. The Southerner conditioned Cutlass for his first match and Bouncer conditioned his favourite dog then, named Nero who later became Ch Nero. Cutlass blew his opponent out of the water in 17 min and his handler conceded in short order.
Now I can’t recall whether it was before or after his first match that Cutlass got schooled into Freud, because The Southerner wanted to have a good look at Cutlass before campaigning him up north. Well, what better schooling could he get other than the hardest mouth in the South way back then in Freud. Just to put things into perspective on Freud, he happened to be the dog that beat Ch Panther, when Panther outweighed him by a couple of kilograms, but that’s a completely different story which we’ll save for some other time. Anyway Cutlass proved a very good dog in this schooling, but was left with a permanent limp in one foot handed to him by the hard mouth of Freud. I had a good son out of Freud, named Tombstone, gifted to me by Shogun and Bouncer.
Cutlass was campaigned by “Buffalo Battalion”, which consisted of three men:
A man who lived dogs named “The Southerner”, the highly committed, rough and ready for action “Bouncer” and the walking Pitbull pedigree encyclopedia “Shogun”. Or rather that is how I saw them.
The second match was into a much talked about dog named “Jack the Ripper” who was a littermate of CH Roxy. This dog was touted as a dog killer and I was told back then that he killed several dogs in schooling’s, but we all know that the tale grows as many times as the story is told and then finally I heard he was a one one-time killer. Mr. True Blood couldn’t get “Jack the Ripper” hooked up, as nobody wanted any part of him, but the boys down south relished at the idea of taking him on. For those who don’t know, back then it was not really a strain vs another (like now the Frisco’s against the Yellows), but rather the south vs the north and the south I must ashamedly say came a bad second. We just didn’t have answers to the Yellow/Bullyson dogs up north.
Anyway Cutlass got hooked up and he had to travel the length of the country with “Buffalo Battalion”, all the way from the coast to the High-veld and going in as the underdog. On the way up north to meet the “Jack the Ripper” dog Cutlass pulled a nice one on Stuntman and a Dalton brother, who were both traveling with him in the back of Bouncer’s bakkie. Stunman and the Dalton bro were eating biltong when Cutlass decided to rob them of their eatables. Stuntman knew if he did not let Cutlass have his way that he might become the next object of focus and quickly gave up his treat. He also tore up their facecloths and toothbrushes – wonder what happened to their undies? This dog had a bad attitude and a mind all of his own. I always had the feeling that he could not be intimidated. When I asked Bouncer what he thought was remarkable about Cutlass he just said, ‘his attitude’. He said he’s never seen a dog with such a bad attitude, that he was really mean and was cannibalistic if you left him with a down dog; he would start eating on the down dog. To me Cutlass was just plain moody, because the one day it would be alright to pat him on the head and just the following day he’d want to eat you. I recall that Southerner always carried a boot knife whilst conditioning Cutlass, just in case he turned on him. My opinion always was that he tolerated Southerner, because they spent much time together, but he respected Bouncer for being rougher than he was.
When they arrived up north they had to travel another 400 km to the venue. Upon arrival everybody laughed and joked about Buffalo Battalion bringing a Doberman to match their killing machine. Southerner took pride in the fact that he told them that they had the dog’s tail docked to make weight. The laughter didn’t last too long, because Cutlass proved to be anything but a Doberman that night.
Upon ” release your dogs”, Cutlass was not focused on the opponent, but rather on the Springbok head which was mounted in the center of the hut (rondawel) as I think Cutlass would’ve scratched into that head, because he was always up for a brawl with anything on the opposite side. When Cutlass finally saw the opponent coming he gave a type of howl and from there on it was one-way traffic. He flipped Jack the Ripper and his spine slammed onto the wooden floors so hard that it sounded like a gun going off. “Jack The Ripper” never got into the match and was whipped for 26 minutes until he finally gave it up. He never even laid a tooth into Cutlass. After the convention Cutlass was the only dog that could bark and still go on like he never went into battle. He was probably relishing at the idea of having some more Yellow supper.
Cutlass was hooked up to go into Gr. Ch. Sir Thomas for his third, but shortly before the match True Blood notified Southerner that he drove over his dog’s leg during his keep and that he’d pay the forfeit. Southerner told him to keep the forfeit and that he should retire his dog. Sir Thomas was a Grand Champion and was well respected. The funny thing is that not much later Sir Thomas was matched again into some novice which made him a 7X winner. Unfortunately Cutlass was never afforded that opportunity, but was taken to his championship by Bouncer who matched him into Citizen’s Killer. Cutlass won this match in approximately forty minutes and became a worthy champion. Bouncer commented that if he owned Cutlass earlier, it would’ve been his ambition to make him a grand champion.
Bouncer said Cutlass was a workaholic, as this dog worked hard when taken out on the road during conditioning. It was a pleasure working this dog as he put in all the effort during a keep. He chased after anything that didn’t look like a stone and would more than likely scratch into it as well, be it papers, plastic bags or just about anything that he saw on the road. He was always focused on anything moving in front of him and would strain to get to it. There was no way that he would return home the same way he came, you just had to take him a different route back home otherwise he’d rebel and wouldn’t move, even if it meant taking a longer route back home.
The only animal “Cutlass” tolerated was a big red tomcat which slept with him in his kennel, much to Bouncers dismay as this cat had Ch.“Nero” barking all night. Anything else on four legs (and some on two legs) was good for a brawl or killing according to Cutlass, except for that big red tomcat.
The pedigree of Ch.Cutlass says that he was out of Bianca’s Rex over Bianca’s Rose and Bouncer believed that pedigree to be true. The Southerner however had a different take on that pedigree and swore that he saw the litter Cutlass was supposed to have been born from and that there was no black pup in that litter. He could’ve been right and somewhere in The Pitbull Breeder’s Digest he gives his version on how Cutlass was bred. The Southerner believed that Cutlass was bred from his old Henry stock and I believed differently, because the old Henry dogs (which later became known as Southerner’s dogs) were mostly tan and buckskin and white dogs. The Southerner used the name Henry to register his dogs before he started registering them as Souherner’s dogs. I did not confirm with him whether I am allowed to say why he used that name (he might deem it a personal matter), as I have not seen this friend in many years. I think the last I saw him and Chicken Piet was at Hudson Hawk’s wedding. The reason why I believed Cutlass was not a Henry dog, was the fact that Cutlass did not resemble any of these dogs as he looked completely different from any of the Henry dogs I’ve seen. I still have a photo somewhere of Henry’s Cleo and Icepick. Right up until today I am convinced that Cutlass was a Bullyson dog, as he looked like the old Eli dogs. He was black with a tinge of white on his chest. He was rough as hell just like the old Bullyson dogs and operated like most Bullyson dogs back then, but this is just my opinion and should not be accepted as fact. I also know that Jeremy, the guy who initially owned Cutlass, bought him in Johannesburg when he was still a pharmaceutical rep and traveled much. So why would a Henry dog end up in Johannesburg and then get sold again as a pup to someone who lives in Cape Town? Once again I’d like to stress the point that this is just my opinion and not confirmed by or with anybody else.
Cutlass was not the first dog to win up north, as I can recall Killroy as being the first dog to win up north and I still have an old photo of him as well. He was on the same yard back then as the father (Murdock) of my first pup. Murdock also lost into Freud.
To sum up my opinion on Ch Cutlass:
I think he was the meanest of dogs I’ve seen. He had a malicious, vindictive way about him that left you with the impression that he is not just trying to fight another dog, but that he was really trying to murder, maybe even annihilate, that dog in the quickest possible time. To me he was the full package, a naturally long-winded dog with a good mouth and wrestling ability, but I think he’s greatest attribute as a warrior was his strength. This dog could sum up and outwrestle and out maneuver any dog in his weight category.
I will fondly remember him as one of the greatest dogs I’ve seen.