Friday, August 7, 2009

The Sly Dog

When out in the field, doing Home Visits, or serving warrants, you always have to keep your eyes open for dogs. One of the things I've learned, is to watch out for the sly or sneaky dog. You sometimes see the dogs that are rabidly aggressive, snarling and barking and doing their best to get at you from whatever is restraining them, be it a fence, chain, rope, etc. Those are good, because you know exactly where you stand with them.

Then there are the ones who are barking at you, protecting their property, but are also wagging their tails. Those can be difficult, because they may come up and just sniff you, and be happy to have someone near, or they may be wagging their tales at the thought of getting to bite someone. I generally notate them as 'moderately aggressive' when I'm writing things up, because they can go either way, despite the wagging of tails.

There are also the ones who are just happy to see anyone when you pull up into the yard, and you can see that plain as day in their posture. There are also the ones who go slinking off as soon as you pull in, who seem scared of human contact. I feel bad for these, because who knows what has happened to them that caused them to fear people so much, yet still stay with their owners.

The last, I was reminded of this week, are the sly dogs, or sneaky dogs. I pulled into the driveway to check on one of my people, and beeped the horn. Now, my guy has three dogs, two big ones inside of a small fenced in area in the front yard, and a small chihuahua type, that stays inside. So why do I beep the horn? Because this is a neighborhood, and I use the term loosely, that is known for dogs running loose. At the beep of the horn, I get no response from the house, however, 6-8 loose dogs do respond, with lots of barking and wagging of tails. I remain in my car, reach over and flip on the power to my siren bank, and hit the air horn a couple of times. The dogs that are running loose start adding jumping to the mix of barking and wagging of tails at the sound of the air horn. I see a curtain move inside the house, and know that my guys now knows I'm out here waiting for him to come out to the driveway.

However, the most important thing comes not from the dogs I see, or the folks coming out of the trailer I'm parked in front of. It comes from my left, from underneath the little pick-up truck I'm parked next to. It's a deep, angry, rumbling growl that just about sets the truck to vibrating it's so intense. I lean over out of the window, and try to get a better look, and sure enough, there's a sly dog, or sneaky dog, that wasn't under the truck when I pulled in, but is there now, just waiting for my door to open, and my left foot to stick out from under it as I try to get out of the car. Apparently, the air horn has pissed him off enough that he unintentionally gave away his position. Once he sees me looking at him, he growls a bit more, then eases further back under the truck, until I can't see him anymore, and slinks off to what is undoubtedly, another ambush position.

My guy comes out, we chat, I get my business done, all through the open window of my cruiser. My guy comments that "...yeah, that one's a sneaky bastard, you gotta keep yer eyes on him. If he gets round behind ya, he'll git ya sure..."

So, keep your eyes open. The overtly aggressive and friendly dogs will be easy to spot, but it's the sneaky ones you have to keep an eye out for.



Rev. Paul said...

Are "dogs" a metaphor for politicians? Just kidding. I'm glad you don't get out in those situations.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post.