Police Work Doesn’t Have To Go To The Dogs

, , , | Legal | July 25, 2018

(I’m walking my Labrador dog at a nearby, off-leash dog park. As most people know, Labradors are generally grinning, friendly, food-obsessed goofs. If you want a guard dog, get a German Shepherd or a Doberman, not a loopy Labrador! Anyway, I see a man walking towards us. He doesn’t have a dog, which is a bit strange in an off-leash dog park. I can see my dog is thinking about going up to say hello, and realising that not everyone appreciates strange dogs doing that, I call him. He obeys immediately, never coming within 15 feet of the guy. As the man passes us, I hear him mutter something under his breath.)

Me: “Excuse me? What was that?”

Man: *waiting until he’s a good distance away from me, then shouting* “I said you should have that f****** ugly mutt on a leash!”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park!”

Man: *still walking away* “Don’t f*** with me, b****, or I’ll report you and have that f****** dog shot!”

Me: *getting angrier now* “Hey! Come back here and say that to my face! We haven’t done anything wrong! Don’t be a f****** coward!”

(Right at that moment, I hear a calm, deep voice behind me. I turn around and find myself staring up at a very tall policeman. I don’t know where he came from but he clearly heard the whole exchange.)

Cop: “Please wait here, miss. Sir! Sir, please come over here. Yes, sir, you, the one shouting threats. Please approach.”

(The man shuffles back over to us, looking alternately furious and scared.)

Cop: “Thank you. Now, sir, from what I heard, you threatened to report this dog and have it euthanised. Please tell me what happened.”

Man: “It’s not on a leash! It was going to charge me! It could have attacked!”

Cop: *looking down at my Labrador which is now leaning against his leg and slobbering on his trousers* “…this dog?”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park! There are signs!”

Cop: “Miss, please calm down. Sir, please take a deep breath and answer my questions carefully. Question one: did this dog physically attack you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this dog growl, snap, or bark at you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this young woman at any time give her dog a command that you might have interpreted as a sign to attack?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “So, would you now please clarify what this dog has done that warrants being reported and subsequently euthanised?”

Man: “It was her! She started yelling at me!

Cop: “I see. So you’re saying she should be reported and euthanised?”

Man: “Uh…”

Cop: “Sir, you are clearly not a dog lover. That’s okay — not everyone is. But I do suggest that for your peace of mind, and your blood pressure, you take your walks somewhere that is not a registered, off-leash dog park. You see, yelling threats like this to someone who hasn’t done anything to deserve them could end badly for you, when all you needed to do is avoid registered dog parks. Okay? Good. Now, let’s all of us carry on with our day. Miss, enjoy the rest of your walk.” *gives my dog a good pat and ruffle on his head and neck* “Good boy. Sir, come along. Let me escort you from the park. There’s a good chance you’ll run into other dogs, otherwise.”

(It worked. We’ve never seen that guy in the dog park since. Lovely Mr. Tall Policeman, if you’re reading this, thank you so much!)

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