Sunday, May 15, 2011

The law in its majestic equality

In a city like this one, irony is always waiting to bite.

The other night we walked down to REI to buy that new tent for ourselves, and there, under the freeway viaduct, were two cops handcuffing a young man next to his tent.

There was another guy, also poor-looking, in a wheelchair. One of the cops seemed to be explaining that the young man had done something to block the wheelchair. Somehow the guy in the wheelchair didn't look involved enough to be the complainer exactly. He was just sitting there watching. Maybe the cops had come swooping in to their idea of his defense. I dunno.

There was a little half-grown reddish hound dog looking out of the tent. The cop doing the cuffing was asking the arrestee, "So how soon is your buddy coming?" The other cop put on bright blue rubber gloves and checked something on the dog's head and neck (health check?), then seemed to be placing the dog back inside the tent. It sounded like they were going to let the dog stay. I even (wishful thinking) thanked them for it as we went by.

We came back later, carrying our own nice new tent for our own very different version of camping. By then the dog situation had changed. The cuffed guy was in the police car with the cop who had been arresting him before. The young dog was standing tied to the fence, leash looped around one leg, straining toward the familiar person in the car. One of the cops was making a phone call. Later we saw they unlooped the leash and retied the dog farther down the fence.

The cops were being reasonably gentle under the circumstances. Not much for us to do. Or it's what we told ourselves.

If they were calling Animal Control, they may have been placing that dog in the pipeline that leads to spaying or neutering, which is required in our city at very young ages -- too young, arguably, for the health of the animal. If the owner can't pay the spay/neuter fee plus the daily care fees until it's over, the owner forfeits the animal, at least unless someone is kind about something.

I hope that man in the handcuffs saw his dog again.

Eh, what's left to say? "It is a sad and beautiful world. Buzz off."

No comments:

Post a Comment