I’ve lived in this neighborhood for over 32 years. I’ve lived in this house for 29 & 3/4. In this time, I’ve owned five dogs that I can remember. Mostly sporting dogs. An Irish Setter, “Red”, several English Pointers… “Skeeter” and “Trooper” (named after my step-Dads beagle). A German Shorthair. Skip, who is a Min-Pin, came along after I went back on the road. My friend and classmate, Terry found her for me just before I sold the 99 Western Star and ordered the 2005 Western Star.
As a result, Skip has more miles on her than most people will drive in their lifetime! I swore I’d never own a “little” dog but here I am, roughly 8 years later with one of the best companions I’ve ever had… But that’s not why I’m writing.
As most of you know, I’ve been “grounded” since around February with what began as a shoulder injury. “Destroyed the shoulder joint…” is what the doctor said. THAT evolved into heart surgery in April. The shoulder still isn’t repaired, and the heart is healing. Shoulder surgery is once again “pending” But that’s not the subject of this writing either…
Since I’ve been home, I”ve been going stir crazy. You’re talking about a guy who average 150 to 170,000 miles a year on the road. Avid in photography, I also averaged 50 or 60 or more photographs a day ALL around the country. And too many hobbies to mention! As a result, since being home, I’ve been spending a great deal of time in my “work shop/garage” on a couple of wood working projects while Skip idles her time away lounging in the front yard. There is, in my neighborhood a dog that lives up the street. A young Pit Bull named Charlie. Mind you I have no opinion of the breed one way or another. He’s an overly friendly dog, and when he gets out (which is quite often) he runs the area visiting the neighbors. I’m quite proud of Skip. Regardless of the distraction she generally stays in the yard. Even when the roaming Pit Bull runs up and down the street, Skips’ content to visit with him only when he’s in our yard.
A few weeks ago I was in the garage as usual, Skip in the front yard sunning. A woman from the apartments across the way was out walking her dog on the sidewalk in front of my house, while Charlie was once again on the lam. I heard the commotion from inside the garage. The woman fussing, her dog barking, and the Charlie bouncing around them, desperately wanting to play with the new dog. It was obvious the woman and her dog were one of those with the preconceived notion about Pit Bulls. I came out of the garage laughing, trying to explain to her that Charlie was just the neighborhood gypsy and he wanted to play. The woman, with her dog cradled in her arms, stormed off back towards the apartments in fear…
After taking Charlie home to his own back yard, I went back to the garage and Skip returned to her spot on the porch. Roughly a half an hour later, the Humane Society (local dog catcher) van pulled up in front of my house. As I was walking out to meet him to explain that Charlie was already home in his back yard, HE squatted down and began calling Skip. “Here doggie…” in one of those cutesy kinds of voices. Skip, being the “people dog” that she is, looked up at me, and I approved. “Go ahead. It’s okay” I told her. So off the porch she raced. Nearly into the dog catchers arms.
Angrily, the man stood up and began demanding my driver’s license! “For what reason?” I asked. “You’re getting a ticket for not having your dog restrained”. And “the fight” began. Defending Skip as I would ANY family member, I argued, “But you called her out of the yard to you!” “Doesn’t matter” he replied. “You’re getting a ticket.” Soooo… While ushering Skip into the house, I kindly but firmly explained to the nice man exactly what he could do with his ticket. I may have also commented on his own bloodline and family history. I admit, I was NOT being very diplomatic at that point! Refusing to hand over my license, I returned to the work shop.
Ohhhh, perhaps another ten minutes passed with Mr. Dog Catcher remaining parked in the street. I hear another little commotion out front, and look up to see not one, not two but THREE Omaha Police cars strategically parked in front of the house!! Two of the officers met with the Animal Police, while the third approached me. In my mind I’m thinking, “All of this for a 13 pound dog?”
“What’s going on?” asked the officer (who I DO believe could take on the line-backers of any professional football team!). Sooooo, I told my story from beginning to end. After listening patiently, the officer explained; “You’ll have to take the ticket, but when you go to court, tell the judge your story…” “But… But… But…”. “Just go get your license…” So I did.
While the other two officers watched, the third followed me up to and into the house while I fetched my wallet. Skip of course, met us at the front door. “Is THIS the dog?” he asked. “Yes sir”. “Your ONLY dog?” “Yes sir. Ferocious, isn’t she? She’s a 13 pound fighting machine.” He laughed. “Just tell the judge what happened…” Sooooo, while Omahas’ finest was petting and visiting with Skip, I presented my license to the “Vicious Animal Control Department Representative. Mr. Jackass is… Never mind…
I have been presented a ticket. The officer explained that if I continued to refuse to sign it, they would suspend my driver’s license! All of this over a 13 pound dog! If I choose to enter a guilty plea, I can sign it and send it in with $198.00. OR I can show up in court on the date and visit with the judge. I think I will do to the courthouse thing and maybe take Skip with me as evidence! It’s the right thing to do… I haven’t worked since February and can ill afford to just send the dog pound $198.00 for Skip running across the street. NOW I’m really angry!
Sooooo, for now, Skip is on house arrest, or at least a leash when we go out to the workshop! I am having some prison clothes made for her. You know the kind? The orange jump suit. Or perhaps the black and white striped outfit. Whaddya’ think?
You can see Skips attitude about the whole incident!
More to follow! I may have to start a “Help Keep Skip Out Of Jail” campaign!