Columns

2002.12.11 It's a dog's world here

on . Posted in By The Way

By DAVID GREEN

DID YOU notice that it wasn’t me filling this space last week? I know many people did because they mentioned enjoying the dog tails, I mean tales, from my brother, Dan.

For years, Dan has provided commentary on Morenci’s police reports. If there’s mention of “Dog complaint,” he’ll ask what the dogs in Morenci are complaining about.

My chief goal for Dan’s Thanksgiving visit was to get him into the police notes. We could have inserted him on our own—we write the news, after all—but we were after the real thing. Dan was considering fleeing a police officer for his crime.

He wagged his tale and ran through the neighborhood on all fours. He parked on the wrong side of the street. He jaywalked repeatedly. He once spit on the sidewalk. He operated a steam-driven device after 10 p.m. All the usual things that will get a person onto the bottom of page three, but to no avail.

He left town with a clean record.

WE LIVE in a community of loose dogs and inoperable automobiles. Dan lives in a community of bizarre crimes involving guns and people with their pants down.

I’ve been on police report deprivation since the Alaska papers stopped arriving. The Observer was exchanged with a few papers from the far northwest for several years, but it finally ended.

Dan and his wife, Maggie, have helped fill my emptiness with a subscription to the Ballard News-Tribune. Ballard is a city in Washington that doesn’t really exist, and maybe that’s what makes it such a gold mine of interesting police news.

The News-Tribune has a correspondent who visits the police station every week to glean the finest items from the list. They probably have loose dogs in Ballard, too, but why write about that when there’s a man removing his clothes and walking around with his pants around his ankles?  Why mess with the theft of a bicycle when there’s a man dancing in the street in front of a fire engine? He was reported to have “glossy eyes.”

The headline on that brief report was a simple “Dancing man.” The pants-at-ankles story was called “Screaming man.” Here’s “Busy man”:

 A man living on Northwest 54th Street reported the theft of a .22-caliber pistol from his residence. He said he had placed it under his mattress approximately three years ago and that it is now missing. He wasn’t sure about suspects because, as he told officers, he’s had “numerous guests” during that time.

The outer Seattle neighborhoods are not without dog news. On SW Graham Street, a female thief knocked on a woman’s door and said she was searching for her lost Chihuahua. The home owner let the stranger in, as though the dog might be in her bedroom, I suppose, and then her purse was robbed.

A woman on 101st Street was awakened by her dog’s gentle growls. She went downstairs to find a stranger sleeping on her couch. A man on 101st Street NW was forcing a small pekingese-type dog to run alongside a pickup truck.

AS ALWAYS, I suppose we should be grateful that our police news is relatively bland. Loose dogs instead of tortured dogs. Perhaps a general lack of Chihuahuas, lost or otherwise.

But loose dogs are common, as Dan noted. In one of our final visits together before he left, I was eating lunch at home when what should catch our eye out the window? Of course, it was a loose dog, the same character I saw in the yard a day earlier.

He wrote his dog column before he learned that sister-in-law Ginny was walking along M-156 by the cemetery when she was joined by a loose dog. It wasn’t long before the dog was hit by a car and ran off injured across the field.

The driver stopped and gave her a look that said, “What do expect, lady, when you let your dog run loose on a busy road?”

Ginny agrees fully. What can you expect?

    – Dec. 11, 2002 

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