As I have said many times in the past, ALLIGATOR himself was only part of the equation to make the ALLIGATOR family of dogs what it was to become, then stand the test of time.
SOKO was the full brother to ALLIGATOR and was owned by the Little Plumber. SOKO was a family dog deluxe, loved all people and tolerated most dogs. He was an outstanding black brindle bulldog with a good eye, and with an undeniable air of confidence that left nothing to doubt about him being ‘the man’ at the Plumbers place. He was considered one of the best bulldogs of his day by most of the dog men who knew him.
Even though he had near super dog status, he was not bred to an army of bitches, so did not have a bunch of offspring to carry on the tradition. He was bred to midget, who was off the Big Plumber’s JADEbred to Mason’s LADY. While this breeding had all the characteristics of those that were apt to make bulldog history, these dogs were so self destructive that they disappointed a lot of us expecting anothergeneration of great dogs. All but a couple were hard keepers, that were chain and doghouse fighters that ruined their teeth to the point that it shaved years off their lives.
I owned three from this breeding that suited me, but weren’t dogs that I used much in my breeding program. There was SOKIE, CARMEN and DUCHESS, all of which were here at various times and were given every chance to be good. SOKIE was so smart that I figured he would be good in a working situation, in spite of having no teeth. The rancher that got him really liked him, but if a steer ever resisted SOKIE’S will while he was moving one, or going for the catch, SOKIE went into the fighting mode. The final straw was with SOKIE all but wiping out his barn cat brigade that kept the rats down. He got to come back home and later went to a fellow in Florida, where he was to be used as a stud dog and partner for the man down there.
If I remember correctly, SOKIE, who was called SAKE by his new owner, went on to produce a few pups, but his real claim to fame was him saving his owners life.
When SOKO was bred to his half sister CLEO, who was off nigger and Trussell’s GEORGIA, the Plumbers hit pay dirt. The famous LITTLE CLE, GYPSY ROSE and BLACK DIAMOND were from this breeding and as good a dogs as ever came down the pike. BLACK DIAMOND was the only one that I know for sure produced pups and some were good ones. I always hoped for the opportunity to own BLACK DIAMOND but it just never happened.It seems that SOKIE was left in the car while his owner went in a beer joint for a cold one or two. As he came out he was jumped by three men set on beating him to death. The man who owned SOKIE told melater that he knew the window was not cracked enough for SOKIE to get out, but he hollered out his name anyway and like a flash, the joker that was on top of him was knocked over his head, and was screaming to beat the band, with SOKIE buried up to his eyes in his butt. He went on to say he guessed you didn’t have to have good teeth to bring down a “cur” like him and then the other two men who were kicking on him, ran off as SOKIE let go of the screamer and started after them. He went on to say he reckoned that old SOKIE saved his life and he sure thanked me for him. I can’t remember where his sisters ended up, but think he had a well known brother that Gill sent out west to Pat, that was said to be a good one.
SOKO had a unique habit of digging, that I have never seen before. He would stand in the sandy loam of the Plumber’s place and pull both his front feet to the rear so hard that it would hurl sand three foot or so behind him. When he repeated the digging technique, he would slightly over reach with his front feet, then set up a rhythm of digging that reminded me of an old plugging steam shovel. He would literally disappear in the hole he was digging. He probably had the best six pack in the bulldog world and could out dig any dog that I have ever seen, and I have had a few champion diggers myself. When he would go for a walk, it was kinda like he would take a two footed double jump and he looked like he was shot out of a cannon. He was a powerful dog that could have been a weight pull champion, no doubt. It was good that he had a fast start because he was too short legged to have much of a top end and probably couldn’t out run a fast wiener dog. He was a very smart dog that was a pleasure to own and was a gentleman in the house, the car or most any situation. When he died, you would have thought the Plumbers had lost a family member.
It was several months after SOKO’S death that I got the RUFUS dog and if there was ever a clone of SOKO it was RUFUS. I called David and asked him to come over first chance he had and I would show him something that would make his day. He showed up with buddy and as they walked down back where I was working they both did a double take when they spotted RUFUS and I figured David would rub his eyes to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. Dave always had a way with words and said, “looks like you figured out a way to raise the dead son.” He was ecstatic when he heard of my good fortune in acquiring RUFUS and said any time he felt like looking at SOKO he would just drop by.
As my friend Johnny G would say, The only thing wrong with SOKO, was that he didn’t own him…. Ain’t that the truth