Friday, April 8, 2011

Taking the bite out of crime

Ben can now add Police Dog to his suddenly burgeoning resume, which to date, includes Comstock Squirrel Herder, Maryhill Winery Greeter Dog and Most Excellent Soccer Player. Here’s the 4-1-1:

Every morning without fail, on the last leg of our morning walk, Ben has to stop at the corner of 28th (our street) and Monroe. And every morning, he fixes the next block with a long, penetrating stare. I’ve never been too sure what he’s looking for – an errant squirrel, calculating cats, the Meaning of Life – but whatever it is, Ben must stop and ponder it at length before turning down our street and trotting home.

Friday morning, this ritual reverie was interrupted when a young woman seemed to appear out of nowhere. At first, I thought she was one of the neighbors but as she approached it became quite clear this was not the case.

She walked slowly, almost dreamily, with a denim jacket hanging precariously over her left shoulder and an unlit cigarette dangling from her right hand. Her whole body seemed to list as she reached the corner where Ben and I were standing. She gave Ben and me a sideways, slightly off-kilter glance.

"I have a dog like that," she mumbled. Then, she swayed a little closer in our direction.

Ben fixed her with an harsh, unblinking stare, body rigid, nostrils flaring, ears back. A soft, cautionary "Rr-rr-rruff!" rumbled from the depths of his chest.

I was completely taken aback. Ben had never growled or barked at a woman before.

The mailman, maybe. And most certainly, the newspaper boy. Everyone knows they're evil. It's all about uniforms and big, bulky bags.

But Ben NEVER growls at women. He LOVES the ladies.

I was so distracted by the escalating urgency of Ben's growls, not to mention my listing, lop-sided lady friend, I totally missed the white Explorer that pulled up and deposited one very animated-looking police officer on street about 100 yards from us.

He ran toward us, shouting, "Hey! Hey! Stop!"

Crap. We're in deep doo-doo now. Uniform. Big bulky things like, um, guns. Flagrant violation of city leash laws.

I braced myself for canine Armageddon. Instead, Ben bounded out into the street and ran to the copper, tail wagging, as if discovering a long-lost friend. He danced alongside the officer as he approached my lady friend.

"What are you doing?" he asked her. Ben milled around the pair, looking up attentively at the cop as if to say, "See? See? She's clearly Up To No Good!"

Listing Lady had to think about this for a moment. Apparently, it was a hard question.

"Ummmm, walking?" she responded vaguely.

The officer gently placed a hand on her shoulders and turned her around.

"I think you need to come back to the accident."

Accident! W.T.F?!

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Taking this as my cue to corral Ben, we beat a hasty retreat down the street to home-sweet-home.

So, full disclosure: I'm a hopeless neighborhood Looky-Lou. I safely deposited Ben at the house and gave the Wonderfully Patient Spouse the Reader's Digest version of what just went down at the corner of our street. And, of course, headed out the door to see what would happened next.

Sure enough. There had been a car accident. A pretty good one at that. And there was my Listing Lady friend, now handcuffed and bent over the back end of a police cruiser. Three big, burly cops hovering over her. Somehow, I think she was in for a long day.

And back home? Ben got two morning treats for his crime-fighting prowess. Well done, Deputy Dawg. Bermtopia is safe with you on the job.

Ben's best Police Dog pose. Well, actually he's tracking a squirrel.
But you get the idea.


  1. What a riveting story! Ben did a good job, sensing The Evil Woman. Was she hit in the head, is that why she was listing? Whatever, WELL DONE Ben! :)

  2. Excellent Bermtopia news-worthy story! Ben, you sure know how to take the bite out of crime (literally - such excellent chomper restraint). Good boy!

  3. Ms GLP -- Ben, who has asked that we now call him Elliot Ness, believes the Listing Lady was Under the Influence.

  4. I love that you immediately felt guilty when you saw the cop ... mmm hmm, a little something to hide?

    Two paws up and extra Milk Bones to the crime dogger!

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years