And I wanted an interesting job …

0900 hours: I am informed that my presence is requested at Bugscuffle County Justice Court, Precinct 1/2. I park my cruiser outside of the TrueValue hardware store in the spot marked by the sign what reads: “Thou Shalt Not Park Here”, wend my way past the nail bins, toss a cheery wave to Jimmy Don and scoot up the stairs to the second-floor courtroom.

The sound of a badly-mangled version of a Hank Williams, Junior song lustily warbled at the top of someone’s lungs is the first clue I have that things Might Be Interesting.

“Godda shot-rifle, a sumthin’ ‘n’ a four-drive wheel!”

I tap gently on the frosted glass panel of the door, and open it, to find the judge at his desk, elbow planted firmly, chin cradled in hand as he gazes in mild bemusement at what I guess would be the defendant.

Unless it’s the guy sitting next to the singer, face cradled in both hands — but I’m betting he’s the lawyer.

“Ah can skin a trot, ‘n’ run a buck-line!”

I cock an eyebrow at the judge, “I hate it when I skin a trot.” The judge snorts, there’s a muffled groan from the lawyer, and the court reporter giggles. I grin and sneak a look at her legs before opining, “I’m guessing the defendant …”

Never taking his chin off his palm, or his gaze off of Breakfast Theatre, the judge whisks a sheet of paper off the desk and hands it to me. It is an Adjudication of Guilt for Public Intoxication and a Commitment Order for five days. It is, I further note, on a PI ticket the Sheriff wrote two weeks ago.

“Ah,” sayeth I, “And the subject would be …”

“Drunker than a waltzing pissant” opines the judge.

“Not to mention …”

“All of nineteen years old.”

“And it’s only …”

“Nine-thirty in the morning.”

“Goodness. Should I cite him for Minor in Consumption, or Public Intoxication on the way to the pokey?”

The subject in question promptly — albeit shakily — climbs on top of the table and defiantly bellows, “CUZ A CUNK-, CONN-, CONNTREE BOY CAN SHUR-, SHUR, SOMETHIN’, DAMMIT!”

The judge ponders this performance for a moment. “Yes.”

And we’re off.

1115 hours: Meet with Reporting Party concerning a Dangerous Dog.

I pull into a small trailer park on Ranch-to-Market Road 1777. I have the distinct feeling that the man waving the baby parka at me is most probably going to be the Reporting Party.

Upon closer inspection, the baby parka turns out to be an extremely deceased chicken. The owner of the decedent has no doubts as to the cause and perpetrator of the Vile Deed.

“Vicious! Brutal! Da-angerous! I want that hound locked up, or put down — and somebody’s gotta pay!” He is extremely wrought-up, and to avoid getting smacked with a dead chicken I gently remove the carcass from his grip.

“So,” I ask, frowning as I notice the scar-tissue from where the rooster’s comb had been removed quite some time ago, “Are you sure it’s the dog next door?”

“Sure?! Am I sure?! I saw the mutt run into my yard and maul my five hundred dollar prize rooster! Who’s going to pay me for my rooster, huh?! Who?”

I raise my hand — the one not currently occupied with a chicken corpse — in a ‘peace’ gesture, “Let me go talk to your neighbor.” Without waiting for a reply, I walk to the trailer next door, pausing to look over the back fence belonging to the bereaved chicken owner.

Five other rooster look back at me, all missing their combs and all on six foot lengths of chain that prevent them from touching each other.

Oh-ho, thinks I.

I knock on the door of the trailer occupied by the owner of the rampaging mongrel.

It opens, and I am faced with a very large man, grey hair escaping from under a gimme cap, full grey beard and mustache — braided with tiny pewter skulls — black leather vest and knuckle rings on every finger — all displaying skulls, bones and various incarnations of death worked in pewter.

Oh. Joy.

“Morning, sir. I’m Deputy LawDog, Bugscuffle S.O. and there seems to have been an incident with your dog.”

I peer around the old boy, fully expecting to see a rottweiler or a pit-bull, but he interrupts my looking with a slightly — abashed — confession.

“It’s my fault, really. That damn rooster got up on the yard gnome, and started crowing like to beat anything you ever heard. I went to the door and yelled at it to, ‘Git!’ and Buster — well, Buster heard me yellin’, and kind of took off and jumped.”

“All right, then. Before we go any further, sir, where is Buster? I’d hate for there to be some kind of misunderstanding while I’m talking to you …”

I suddenly realize that the man has a chihuahua draped across his forearm. Granted, it has a tiny black bandanna with white skulls around its neck — but it’s still a chihuahua. Then, I notice the Spongebob Squarepants band-aid sliding down it’s furry foreleg. And fresh blood under the band-aid.

You’ve got to be … I point, “Buster?”

Buster wags his tail happily at me.

“Yes, sir, this is my Buster.”

I look at the dog. He rolls over on the man’s arm to have his belly scritched. I lift the chicken. Seven pounds. Easily. I look at Buster. Not seven pounds. If you stuffed his bandanna with bricks — five or six pounds. Maybe.

“Now I know that Buster shouldn’t’a done killed that chicken. But, it was in his yard, and Buster gets kind of territorial and he kind’a gets mad at the things I get mad at. But I done offered that man a hundred bucks for his chicken — even though it was in my yard where it had no right to be…”

I hold up a hand, and look at the chicken-slaughtering brute, kicking his back leg in an orgy of bliss as his tummy gets scratched. I walk over to the garden gnome. Well within the property limits. Blood and feathers everywhere.

I return to the chicken owner.

“That’s a five-hundred-dollar prize-winning rooster…”

I hold up a hand, forestalling the impassioned speech that’s building up steam.

“You’re about to lie to me. Again. And that would be unwise.”

He looks at me, bottom lip quivering.

“Take the hundred dollars. I found where — let me speak — I found where the chicken was killed. It’s not even close to your property. You don’t want his dog to kill your chickens, keep them off his property. Now, you can insist that I investigate and file a report. If I do so, anything I find during my investigation will be acted upon. As a creative articulation, let’s say that I find that someone around here is raising gamecocks for fighting — well, then, I’d have to act on that. And serving search warrants and seizing everything someone owns because they’re involved in a criminal enterprise — well, that just causes heartburn all the way around.”

He looks at me.

I smile.

“Sir,” he licks dry lips, “Come to think, a hundred bucks for that chicken is almighty reasonable.”

I hand him his dead chicken. “I’ll just go deliver the news then.”

Buster’s owner takes the news with some relief. I look at the chihuahua, dozing happily on the man’s arm.

“He doesn’t weight as much as the rooster did.”

“No, sir, that he don’t.”

“That rooster had a black-belt in chicken-fu.”

“Yes, sir, I reckon he would have to have.”

We look at Buster. A slow, proud smile escapes the beard and creeps across the man’s face.

“He sure [deleted] that chicken up, didn’t he?”


Does anyone else have days like this?


Don't get excited
In honour of the Political Process ...

52 thoughts on “And I wanted an interesting job …”

  1. Dogs and chickens . . . do they always send a deputy for such poultry offenses?

    Hey – at least there wasn’t an amorous armadillo involved!



  2. Lawdog, I’m pushing 60 and in my entire life I’ve only been bitten once by a dog, and that dog was a chihuahua. They are one mean breed of dog for their size.

  3. Thanks for some more peace officer stories.
    I’m retired now, and I miss the fun I used to have on the job.

  4. One more chapter for the book you owe us…Dawg…DAWG? Y’all hearin’ that?

    Seriously, folks, Dawg is teasin’ us, makin’ us read the book in serial form.

    But how do we put this on on our bookshelves? No covers or pages and such…

  5. My Chihuahua is like that…five pounds of fierceness…who’s idea of being fierce is to bark twice then run behind me and look up at me. I don’t know how she manages her weight, since she eats at least 10 pounds a day.

    Did the court reporter have nice legs??

  6. “. . . do they always send a deputy for such poultry offenses?”

    This was a special case in which a dog had run afowl of the lawn.

  7. “Does anyone else have days like this?”

    Dear God, I wish I did! I haven’t stopped laughing yet! 🙂

    Semper Fi,

  8. Reminds me of a good joke:

    Small, neat , rather fey & nervous cardigan wearing man walks into a bar.

    The kind of bar where the primary vehicle outside is a large Harley and the average patron is normally referred to “one of the usual suspects” in polite company.

    Mr Cardigan, obviously beside himself and not in his right mind, pipes up, “Who owns that Nasty disreputable beast of a dog that’s chained up outside? My dog Fifi has killed it!”

    The bar falls silent as it digests this peice of news and eyes turn toward the end of bar, where a very large, hairy, leather wearing, collossus, brushes a rather tired looking “lady” from his lap, puts down his beer and in a bleary bass growl enunciates: “_Your_ dog killed my BRUTUS?!”

    Collosus staggers rapidly to the door, grabbing Mr.Cardigan in passing, and towing the rest of the bar in his wake as curiousity grips the bar as to what sort of dog can kill a 250lb mastiff cross in such silence.

    Brutus is lying by the road. Dead. Not a visible mark.

    The crowd circles and Collosus stares in shock before he turns to a pale Mr. Cardigan and snarls “Where’s your dog?”

    Mr. Cardigan, crying, wails ” Brutus choked on Fifi.”

  9. “That rooster had a black-belt in chicken-fu.”


  10. The 19yo was probably on his way to court for the first DWI. At least that’s how a couple of them roll around these parts. *snort*

  11. Since nobody else seems to be answering your question:

    No. Nobody else has days like this.

    Hell, I got slowed up a little trying to picture the county courtroom above the True Value on the square. We’ve got a True Value on the square here, but no courthouse on the second floor.

  12. My dad raises packs of chihuahuas. They love humans but anything else that moves is dinner.

    Great story.

  13. Buster kills trespassers. I have no doubt our dogs would kill trespassing animals in our fully fenced yard. Especially if said trespassers threatened one of the “Pack”, like say…Mama, the alpha bitch, the provider of food, treats and Cuz toys.

    That kid was truly exhibit #1, wasn’t he?

  14. Since the chihuahua was not constantly yipping or shivering in your description, he’s probably a pretty smart chihuahua that’s not overly inbred.

  15. Hot damn. A Chihuahua that’s actually worth the air it breathes. Never thought I’d see the day…

  16. I know your job has more days that make you want to weep than mine does, and I’m glad you’re there. But days like this? This is when I envy you.

  17. I was walking down the road one day and my neighbor’s chihuahua ran out of the yard and nipped my ankle then ran back. That’s the only time I’ve ever been bitten by dog in my life. Feisty little buggers aren’t they?

    Ky Person

  18. LOL!!! Some days are just like that… Besides, what would you write about if you didn’t have this job?? LOL!!!!

  19. When we were living in midwest one of our neighbors had a miniature pinscher that was extremely aggressive. Our yards were not completely fenced so when the dog was outside it would sometiems run into our yard.

    One day it ran into the yard and nipped my three-year-old on the ankle.

    My wife and I went over to the neighbors’ house to discuss the problem. No voices were raised, but the owners couldn’t seem to understand the problem, even while the dog was gnawing on the cuff of my jeans.

    I began burning tracsh in my barrel on days when I hoped the dog would be out. I entertained many a fantasy of quickly snatching the dog as it ran by and dropping it into a nice roaring barrel. Then shrugging innocently when the owner came looking for it several hours later…

    That little bitch (in every sense of the word) is still alive and nipping for all I know.

  20. There are pigs, cops and peace officers. You sir, are a peace officer.

  21. No LD, nobody has days like this.
    That’s why we read you.


  22. LD, 2 weeks ago Friday I had an onlooker walk up to a disorderly subject the staff had called us for a stand by on as he got the customer service shuffle. Well in the middle of the call a Little Ole man gets up and sezs “let me tell you something fella” and I winced. he then proceeds to preform a hard shell snake handling baptist exorcism on the guy saying it was demons acting that way. All the while he is preaching the word to me ,my partner and the customer service staff(read big wig trying to calm a guy with an unjustified complaint down). The little old guy eventually was told there is spiritual evil and worldly evil and as I was a child of the word I was uniquely qualified to to tell the difference and the bad man was suffering from worldly evil not demons. Meanwhile my partner is trying to sell tickets as evidently I had the original recipe I’m not believing this SH*T look on my face while conducting business. Some days. Oh yeah did I mention that the Bad Guy was about the size of me, my partner and the customer service rep and not slack bellied.

  23. You are an incredible story teller. I could picture the entire thing as I read it. Thank you for a good laugh.

  24. I’ll bet that a pack of fiffty or sixty chihuahuas could no doubt bring down a full grown bison with ease. Wouldn’t be nuthin’ left but bones inside of an hour.


  25. it is things like this that remind me that Chihuahuas, like Pekingese are bred (miniaturized) from temple guard dogs that were IIRC the size of St. Bernards’

    when not inbred to the point of yappiness they are quite skilled hunting dogs.

    and have the egos the size of St Bernards’

    love the visual,

    5lb Chihuahua v 7 lb rooster,

    short fight that one.


  26. Kind of wish I did, ‘Dawg. Leastways, YOU can claim that you got something done! You kept the peace… I’d call that a good day.

  27. It’s been a lousy Monday morning at Ye Olde Salte Mine.

    And then I read this story.

    Many thanks for the laugh.

  28. Dawg, One would hope that someone made an anon call to the local ASPCA about those gamecocks. Your complainant might have some explaining to do…

  29. Thank you, thank you. I needed that laugh.

    I, too, was attacked by a chihuahua. Although family members owned them, I haven’t trusted one since… (I was five. Crossing the street to speak with my pal, the little brute tried to rip my kneecap out from the backside. Thank God for bluejeans is all I can say.)

  30. I work for an adult content provider – let me add, I’m female, I hate porn and I’m what would be considered a ‘nice girl from a good family’. Periodically, we’ll have a customer call our 1-800 support number looking for “help” with their account. Suffice to say, I’ve had days like this m’self and I go home to my husband saying ‘how the F*** did my life get here?’

    And then I look at my paycheck and it all makes sense.

  31. lawdog? The way you tell it, the accompanying visuals one gets reading it? Damn fine, sir! Damn fine! I’m rolling with laughter!

    Thank you!

  32. “And I wanted an interesting job…”. I once was told of a Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” Maybe you should have your karma examined.-Jay

  33. Well, if yo9u can equate college coeds with small, bug-eyed, over-accessorized aggressive dogs that aggresively chase cock all the time….

    Yeah, I have had days like that.

    You really do needc to wrtie that book, Dawg. Don;t make me whiiiiiine!

  34. Spent a year working for the city in a small town in Louisiana after my return from nam and once shot a rabid dog on main street, but never had to tangle with any of those taco dogs, or chickens.

  35. A great story, Dawg!

    The Moral of the Story: A dog is a dog and a chicken is a chicken. Don’t bring a chicken to a dogfight. If you have an appointment for a dogfight, miss it. Be somewhere else. If you MUST be there, bring a DOG. Better yet, bring several dogs. Bring all your friends with dogs…………

  36. You’re killing me Lawdog! My wife has a Yorkshire Terrier named Buster that weighs al of 4 pounds. He’s just like the Buster in your story.

    Anything comes in his yard he’s going to either kill it or have sex with it. Depends on his mood. Our Buster wears a shirt with Skull & Crossbones on the back that reads “Bad Ass Yorkie”.

    No I’m not a knuckle dragger with all the death rings and other “I’m old but still cool jewelry” on my fingers.

    I love my dogs though. No chickens in my neck of the woods. Just strays cats, dogs and a squirrel or two. Buster went after a racoon once that weighed 20 pounds easy. I’m glad the coon ran because I’m scared he would have killed my dog.

    Great story.



  37. In high school, the family dog was a chihuahua. A small, sub cat sized one, that thought it was a lion.

    One time, upon returning from school, I found the dog barking fiercely, having corned an 120 lb Great Dane on our front porch.

    The poor dog was cringing in the corner, tail tucked between its legs, a great Dane sized puddle of urine dribbling over the steps.

    That was a Good doggie.


  38. Don’t discount chihuahuas

    I got a half-chihuahua pup for my 10th birthday (her mom was a dachshund smooth-haired terrier mix, dad full blood chihuahua). Pound for pound they are the most ferocious dogs I’ve encountered (ran into a couple on my paper route. Or rather they ran up my leg for the pleasure of biting where heavy denim wasn’t). She had every dog in the block cowering and even chased off a bear in Yellowstone. I wasn’t there, spent summers on a cattle ranch in Montana, but heard about it from my dad, who almost died laughing. When He finally worked up enough courage to look out the tent door he saw the bear heading down the road and swiping a paw at her from time to time while she was nipping at his heels.

    Bob Durtschi

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