Home > Life, That's Total BS! > EXTRA! EXTRA! Mayor Nearly Arrested!

EXTRA! EXTRA! Mayor Nearly Arrested!

bs3These days, it seems corruption is everywhere, even in our own front yards. 

In the past I have written about my 12-year-old lab, Murphy, the Mayor of our street, (Now THAT’S the Life!) doing her rounds, walking the neighborhood and smelling the roses (or, the equivalent for her — dog poop). Though there is a leash law, people seem pretty okay with letting her mosey around on her own. 

On Thursday mornings I like to stretch those boundaries a little. Wacky Jacky, the Weimaraner, needs a lot more exercise than Murph does so I justify breaking the rules a little bit, letting him out to run up and jack_jaildown the street with me as I gather up the trash cans and recycling bins of my neighbors, figuring that a good deed deserves some license for Jacky to roam. 

This morning, a white van was parked down the street. I had no idea it belonged to the DOG CATCHER! I’ve never even seen them before and I was caught red-handed! Wacky zoomed right past her….

Hillsborough County Animal Control must have finally been responding to numerous calls that have been placed about the Siberian Husky that lives across the street. His owners leave him tied up outside for days at a time while they are out of town, and as any true Husky will do, he howls his head off for hours. At night, rather than walking him on a leash, they just let him run and he darts in front of cars and in and out of bushes, scaring everybody half to death. 

The officer yelled across the street to me, “Did you know that you are in violation of the Hillsborough County ordinance that prohibits dogs from running around without a leash?” I held up a dog biscuit and explained contritely that I was trying to get him to come in.

She replied, “It doesn’t look like you’re trying very hard. It looks like you’re trimming the bushes!” I further explained that if he escapes I have better success getting him to come to me than if I chase him.

“Next time it will be a $175.00 fine!” I redoubled my efforts and he came to me right away. Fortunately he had gotten all his running out of his system by that time.

murph_nabbed1But then it hit me — THE MAYOR WAS STILL OUT! I furtively peeked inside the window of the van, hoping they hadn’t picked Murphy up yet. Then I saw her sauntering down the street toward me. Adrenaline fueled my pace and I snuck up beside her and ushered her back to the house before the gestapo could see us. PHEW! Of course Murph had been swimming in the pond but I didn’t care if she was dirty. I shoved her inside.

I had dodged the bullet this time but as I thought about it, I started to understand how corruption happens: a little at a time. I am as apt as anyone to stretch the rules when I take unfair advantage of the good will of my neighbors on occasion. I grew up on a wide open farm in New Hampshire and spent most of my youth chasing animals who had overstepped the boundaries of their enclosures and I know that they are more likely to return through enticement rather than pursuit, but I also know how important it is to their spirits to get out and run around a little. But it is just that kind of thinking that adds to my own corruption and makes it easier to break the rules next time, only with less guilt.

I appreciate the work of Hillsborough County Animal Control since their work is usually on behalf of really severe cases. But I realize that, as with the neighbors across the street, when I break the rules I am giving permission to those who would break them much more significantly. 

Thank you, Officer, for letting my dogs off with a warning. I’ll try not to let it happen again. Really…..

Categories: Life, That's Total BS!
  1. Cheryl
    March 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    We have a dog friendly neighborhood, thank goodness. A little dead end street where the dogs run in a little herd of 3 (sadly, Shadow has passed on and Tia moved back to Sue’s). Good thing the town can’t afford a person or truck!

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