Krispy Kreme K-9s
Laverne sniffed my hand suspiciously. “You’ve been petting someone tall, dark, and handsome,” she said in an accusing voice.
“There’s been no petting in my life in quite some time,” I said, adding, “Maybe we need to get the nose checked?”
“Not human tall, dark, and handsome. Canine. And while you were out fooling around, your crazy Bengal cat ate all my food. I’m starving.”
She had me.
Last week, as part of an assignment for the magazine, I spent an afternoon riding with Officer Steve and his dog, Abbas, one of the K-9 teams in our local police department.
Abbas is an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois (pronounced Mal-uh-wah) who was born in the Netherlands and has a pedigree longer than Lindsay Lohan’s rap sheet. He’s been certified by the Dutch Royal Police. According to his partner, Officer Steve, Abbas has participated in five arrests, including that of a convicted murderer and a child molester. And get this: every person he’s arrested has made a visit to the emergency room on his way to the pokey. In fact, the convicted murder walks with a limp now. He’s missing the Achilles tendon in his right ankle, thanks to Abbas.
Laverne and Shirley were impressed. Kind of. They began yapping about pursuing a career in law enforcement. Part-time, of course. With doughnuts at least twice a week.
“I don’t think the police department is looking to add dachshunds to the force,” I said. “You can do some damage to a possum, but I don’t think the bad guys would be scared of you.”
“The tax assessor was scared,” Shirley pointed out. “And we instinctively went for the Achilles, just like Abbas did.”
“She was barely five feet tall, and you didn’t even break the skin,” I pointed out. “Plus, police dogs have to be brave enough to go into buildings and clear them so that the human officers are safe. You guys are afraid of leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners.”
The hair on the back of Lavern’s back bristled. “I’ve cleared a room before. Remember the gay decorator?”
“Laverne, crapping on my living room floor cleared the room, yes. But making the decorator gag didn’t help me.” I continued, “Here’s something else about Abbas: He’s trained in food refusal so that he can’t be bribed or poisoned. In contrast, I’ve thought about having the two of you tested for Prater-Willi Syndrome, that disease that causes you to keep eating because you never feel full.”
They howled at the insult.
I continued, “Remember biting the Domino’s guy to get the pizza?”
Shirley growled. “That guy put the pizza in a sheet to be hauled up to the second floor so that your kids could sneak pizzas in after midnight! We weren’t trying to get the pizza. We were alerting you!”
Laverne poked Shirley with her nose and whispered, “I’m pretty sure law enforcement dogs don’t lie.”
Shirley hung her head in shame. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
“Hey, guys,” I said. “Not everyone is cut out for police work. But some make great security guards. Our house has never been broken into, and you keep this yard completely free of squirrels, possums, and UPS guys. You’re pretty awesome at what you do.”
They weren’t convinced. They moped around until I thought to tell them that Abbas is rewarded for his hard work with a piece of PVC pipe.
Turns out, they like the security gig. They get eggs.