I bet you were expecting me to tell you I got a dog today. I didn’t, and now there’s a twist. I went to the beach today for a walk, no sitting and thinking, no walking and thinking. Just walking. Being a Monday, it was very quiet with few people and fewer dogs. When I got back to my car and proceeded out of the parking lot, an animal enforcement truck from the Humane Society pulled in. I watched as he parked the truck facing the beach, and I assumed he was there to eat his lunch in the truck, being noon time. I was curious because of my big spiel on my blog the day before so turned around and parked in the lot also. I guess you could say I was watching him watch.
Soon enough came a guy with an unleashed dog. I recognized him as a sort of a fixture at this beach. He is there, every day, all day, and lives in an old conversion van. (You could say he is homeless, not minivan homeless). Comes early in the morning and leaves before they close the gate for the night. Always has a big smile for everyone, very tan, and very lean and fit. (I figure he doesn’t eat much). After my two month trip back to Minnesota, upon again seeing him at the beach, he had acquired a dog (or a dog acquired him, hard to say). The steely eyed dog detective watched him carefully as he made his way back to his van. Then he sped over to the van, rolled his window down, and called him over.
I watched as the van guy leashed his dog, climbed into his van and came out with what appeared to be his license (surprised he had one), and handed it to the dog catcher. I figured that was enough snooping, so with a last look at him standing at the window of the truck, I left. I imagine something transpired. Either a warning, a ticket, or maybe shared his lunch. I’m guessing he couldn’t scrape up money for a soda, let alone a ticket. Regardless, I came away with a different feeling than the day before.
It didn’t help either that I was followed the entire 15 miles from dropping my son at his school this morning by a police car. The roads are two lanes, and very hilly with lots of curves. The speed limit is 20 to 30 miles per hour. That is tough to maintain, as about 30 cars behind us by the time we reached the four lane will attest to. Another one followed me from the market to my house. I was thinking today must be the day.
I have never gone to prison, spent a night in jail (or even a minute), or have gotten into any real trouble. That’s not to say I don’t pucker up when a cop follows me. I think it goes back more to my youth. Growing up when I did, it was fashionable to be anti-establishment, and I embraced that role fully. These were the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, Kent State days. Big government, the police, and the militia were definitely not in favor. It shaped my thinking then, and it still does.
No, I am not a big protester, hate the police, try to overthrow the government, chain my self to a tree kind of person. But I do favor the underdog (get it) when I see injustice. I think the dogs should be allowed to run free on the beach. I get it that some people might find it offensive, or scared of them, or just plain annoyed. Can you imagine how that dog would feel, get on the expansive beach, room to run free, frolick in the water, and be tied up and have to be controlled by the speed of the owner? Now that’s a crime.
They have a couple of dog parks here where dogs can be unleashed. But for me, I’m out. It seems to be that the dog owners are required to huddle together and talk about their dogs. I don’t want to talk about everyone’s dog. I want to watch my dog run as fast as they can, jump in the air, swim in the sea. And I don’t have to chit chat with someone.
I think I am going to start a beach dog watch. If I see the over zealous dog napper pull in, I will warn people walking their dogs, just like the drivers flash their lights to oncoming traffic when there is a cop lurking nearby. Who knows, if I put it on Youtube and get a million views, it might change the world, one dog at a time.