Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Moment of Panic

I call the police every day.

It's part of my job, calling the sheriff's office or the police to get information for our daily report of police activity. I've gotten used to talking to cops.

But I never call 9-1-1. That's the emergency number, and I never have an emergency. Right? Well... today I called the emergency line.

I was driving home after finishing up my last story for the day. I turned an annoying blind corner onto the street that leads to my subdivision, and there was something strange in front of me.

I first registered an SUV stopped in the roadway, askew. It wasn't aimed straight. I then noticed there was something/somebody on the sidewalk to my right side, and there was a big orange dog in the street headed toward the sidewalk. I registered that the dog was attacking/lunging at a dog on the sidewalk being held on a leash by a woman who looked, frankly, really angry and scared. Then I noticed that she had a child with her, trying to hide behind her.

I then realized the SUV was trying to block the orange dog from getting to the woman. I pulled up, stopped my car and turned on my emergency lights. I heard the woman yell, "Get your dog on a leash!" to a man carrying a two-by-four approaching from a house on my left-hand side. I wasn't sure what to do, so I dithered while the man ran behind my car, where the orange dog was running to either get away from him or cut off the woman and her dog, or both. I heard a smacking sound and the orange dog yelped, then the man was headed back to the house. I didn't see the dog after that (I think it ran while I was looking at the woman).

All this time the woman had been trying to drag her dog, which appeared to be a young brown Doberman, up the street. She was now next to my car, so I yelled (since my windows were up) "Do you want me to call the police?!" She nodded, looking grim and frightened, and I dialed 9-1-1 for the first time in many years.

I may have been a little over-excited. I told the dispatcher that a dog was attacking a jogger and her dog and child. I offered to stay and direct the police to where the dog and the man had come from. While I was talking, the woman got her dog around the corner and away. The SUV driver slowly drove off. And the man returned to his house. I didn't get any names, and no one was there to support me.

Rather than stay in the middle of the street, I pulled a u-turn and parked nearby. The police arrived a few minutes later and I directed them to the house. As soon as he saw the officers, the man came out and started to apologize, saying his dog had broken its leash. Because of the neighbor dogs, which always run loose, he said. Two more officers arrived, including one I knew. I gave my name and address and such, then I went to my car...

...which I'd locked with the keys inside. D'oh. Fortunately, it's cold out. When it's cold out, I wear a coat. When I wear a coat, I keep my wallet in the pocket. And in my wallet... my spare key. I was able to get inside my car without utterly embarrassing myself in front of the cops and clear out. As I left, the police were questioning the dog owner.

I'll be sure to look at the police log tomorrow to see what I hath wrought.