Sheriff Porter 31
“What you are going to have to find is a dog sitter. Someone who is at the same place all the time and would take Dog for a few hours while you pretend to be the Sheriff,” Simpson said.
“Mrs. West,” I suggested.
“I can’t see her walking Dog when he has to go out. She is a bit frail I think. Once he get past this depression, if a cat crosses his path he will pull most anyone down,” Simpson said.
We were standing in the shade of the gun shop while Dog lay quietly panting. “I don’t know. Hell Eddie I’m the boss. I’ll just assign someone to take care of him.”
“You know that would come back to haunt you in a couple of years,” Eddie said.
“Yeah but I’m not leaving him alone,” I said.
“How about this, keep him in your office and take care of him till you need to go somewhere you can’t take him. Then call one of your friends who is downtown to come get him. You can leave Dog with Mrs. West for a few minutes. She is a woman with grown kids, I’m sure she would love something to mother. Just don’t expect her to take care of him. If you know what I mean.”
“Okay Dog stays with me at the office. If I have to interview bad guys he can stay in her office. If it’s a long thing, I leave him with her till Brit or Jeremy can come pick him up. So I need to get him used to the two of them, if they will do it.”
“Brit tells everyone he owes you his life, but won’t say why. I don’t think he will refuse to walk fifty paces to pick up Dog for an hour or two. I think Jeremy would do it in a heartbeat. So go work it out,” Simpson said.
I left the courthouse at 5 PM with Dog on the rope. We walked to the Brit’s Pub. “I got somebody I want you to meet. Brit this is Dog, Dog this is The Brit. You two should get on famously. You are both all bark and no bite,” I said.
“Where did you get this fellow,” The Brit asked.
I told him the whole story, then explained my problem. “Well most mornings I’m not really doing anything. If he will behave, he can stay here for a couple of hours no problem. At 3 PM he will have to be gone.”
“Do you think Jeremy would allow him to stay at the gallery?” I asked.
“We will all have to see if he is a good citizen,” The Brit said.
“Dog and I took the trike out every morning. We also stopped at Hardee’s and sat outside having a biscuit. If it rained Dog and I stayed home. He didn’t get to run and I didn’t get to pedal the trike. Fortunately that didn’t happen often.
Dog spent time with The Brit and Jeremy. We joked about who really owned Dog. Everybody who met the fifty pound bag of bones couldn’t help but fall madly in love themselves. The first time I had to go out to a bad accident, The Brit went to the courthouse and retrieved Dog.
He told me later he wasn’t sure Mrs. West was going to let him have Dog without a written authorization. She really never went to the pub, so she didn’t know who The Brit was. Since I was still out working at 3 PM, Jeremy was supposed to go by to pick up the Dog. The Brit told him not to bother. “Dog has never spent time with you. He is going to need to be introduced to you slowly.” At least that is what Jeremy said.
I found Dog at the end of the bar where I usually sat. I have no idea how he knew but he was there guarding my seat. I came by to collect him and everyone wanted to buy me a drink. Brit had told them all the story of how I came to have Dog. Nita made his supper that night. She fixed him some pork and rice dish. I was afraid he would never eat Old Roy in a can again. Everybody spoiled the big bag of bones.
That damn dog had toys of all shapes and sizes spread all over County Seat. He and I played tug at home. It was a huge rubber ring that we pulled on. After a few days of running with the trike his appetite came back. His diet had to be managed. I fed him at home but everybody kept him eating all day long.
Since they saw him only a couple of hours most days, they spoiled him. He was naturally a sweet dog with a great disposition. The first few days was a time of adapting to his new life for both of us. I kept finding new ways to make his needs compatible with my life style.
During that first week I had the man who installed my fence put a twenty feet long by ten feet wide by 6 feet high fence between the house and the storage building. I also personally planted shrubs and climbing pants on the galvanized wire. I also mounted the web cam on the back corner post, so I could keep an eye on him. Dog was pretty low maintenance after all that.
We rode the trike and ran in the mornings. He ate a little dog food after his sausage biscuit while I showered. He and I found time to go to Reggie’s and work the bag every day. Reggie took to Dog just like everyone else. Dog was big and sweet as could be but he really didn’t like the way people at the Gym rough housed. The push and loud voice made him nervous. He was always very hyper vigilant when he was there. I could actually see the relief in him, when we left with nothing bad having happened.
Dog was as good a companion as I could ever want. He and I went everywhere together. If I did need to run to the store and it was too hot to leave him in the car, he would go play in his pen for a half hour. From the web cam I learned that no matter how he complained when I first left he settled down as soon as I was out of site. He would bark and act all tough when a squirrel wander into his line of site, but other wise he found ways to amuse himself.
Then one weekend Liam came to visit. The two of them became fast friends immediately. Liam took him on his morning run. Dog went willingly and I saw Liam take his rope off at the end of the driveway. If he lost my dog, I was going to cut off his balls, I told myself.
The Deputies had to subdue a drunk that first weekend in the middle of the night. The patrol supervisor had asked me to take the call Saturday so he could go to an anniversary party at the Mountain Home. It was a gated community a little higher up the mountain and in another county. So I was the one who went in to see how the drunk, the deputies had to subdue, was doing in the Community Clinic’s ER.
The Deputy said he was not just drunk, he was acting crazy and wanted to fight him. There was no backup out there at night, so he had subdued him the best he could. It required him to beat hell out of the guy before the highway patrol got a car to him.
I was planning to have a little meeting with the on call Physicians Assistant who was checking him out. Since I didn’t know the extent of the damage, I put Dog in his pen before I left. It was 4 AM and he didn’t much like being moved, but he went along without too many complaints.
The PA was a youngish looking red headed kid. I didn’t get his name, since it would be in the Deputy’s report. One of the great things about being the Sheriff was I seldom wrote reports. I read one hell of a lot of them, but I wrote very few.
“So how is the clown?” I asked the PA.
“Well your Deputy did a number on him. It looks like he might have gone a bit overboard,” he said.
“How so?” I asked.
“The guy has three broken ribs and a concussion. I have an ambulance outside to move him on up the line,” the kid said.
“Okay write up just what you saw for me please. Did you draw blood for a toxic substance screen?” I asked.
“Of course, and it does appear he was on something. That still doesn’t account for his injuries,” he said.
“How about we hold off writing it up till you have the tox screen,” I suggested. “Then when you do write it, do not hold back on your opinions.”
“Why should I wait?” he asked.
“You really have to make that call, but you are going to look like a complete idiot, if you beat up on the deputy and the guy comes back with PCP or bath salts in his system,” I said. “You can be just as indignant, when the screen is back. Hey, it’s just a suggestion.”
I made it sound like I was trying to help the PA, but the truth was he was less likely to write a nasty report, if he had time to think about it no matter what the tox screen said.
“I’ll meet the ambulance at the hospital. To which one are you sending him?” I asked.
“I’m sending him up to the full hospital in Abbottsville, this concussion might be serious,” he said.
“Okay,” I said. Abbottsville held the University Medical Center a quasi government hospital. The Dobson community hospital wasn’t much more than a super clinic. They had beds to hold twenty people, but didn’t have a lot of equipment more advanced than an xray machine. It did have a small lab with only limited equipment. They could draw blood and send it to the regional hospital. It was really a glimpse of things to come. We were so poor that it gave the government a license to experiment with the new health care system they were pushing.
When I got to Abbottsville, I went directly to the hospital. My drunk came through the ER before being admitted. I convinced the lady doctor there to run a second more advanced tox screen by telling her what the Deputy had told me. She was a bit more circumspect than the clinic Physician’s Assistant. I expected she was a ranting liberal. I supposed that we needed them as a counter balance. Some of us who had no patience for the people who turned to crime, rather than work at the dog food plant.
The liberals would say that the reason there wasn’t as much crime in Warren county, as there was in other counties our size, was the people were better off financially. They couldn’t prove that, but I could prove that better police methods worked. The street crime was up all around us, but not in Warren County.
We were actively enforcing the laws. The people who we knew to be criminals, we kept a close eye on. When asked by Wendy Roberts what advice I had for people, I said, “The message to the bad guys is take your shit to another County, you are not welcome here.”
I know every Sheriff said the same thing, but in Warren County we made it stick. We had zero tolerance for any serious criminal activity.
Edited by Walt