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The Dog Catcher

July 6, 2015

Things have been rolling right along with  my poultry farm.  The hens are laying 40-50 eggs a week, and in addition to providing eggs for our family and our near neighbors, I have been able to do some bartering for butter and cheese. Plus, it feels good knowing I am doing my part to address the egg shortage in Minnesota.  I double checked the regulations in Minneapolis to make sure my nine laying hens aren’t too many and found, to my delight, that we are permitted sixty!

A few weeks ago my next door neighbor and I had a great idea.  There is a long, skinny unused strip of yard between our fence and their fence just begging to be called a chicken run.  Dan agreed to help* us frame the area with chicken wire and attach it to the existing coop so the chickens could frolic in this shady, buggy area during the day.  While helping* me finish the run, a monsoon came upon us, so Dan propped the last panel closed, to be secured after the monsoon passed over.  We should have known better.  We both forgot about it, and the next day a crazy dog that has been menacing our neighborhood for weeks took advantage of our forgetfulness and murdered Sweet Alice, the silver-laced Brahma**.

My neighbor and I had been planning to have Dan help* us trap this crazy dog by luring him into our fence with meat and then calling Animal Control, but hadn’t gotten a chance to execute the plan.  And now…too late…a tragedy!  But, for the first time, we glimpsed the dogs owner who pulled up in a car in the middle of the attack, grabbed the dog and sped off.  My neighbor, who used to be a security guard, had the presence of mind to jot down her license plate number.

Of course I called Animal Control and was told an officer would be right out.

A little while later, the doorbell rang.  I don’t know how you picture the dog-catcher, but to my surprise, the officer turned out to be Dog-Catcher Barbie, in a crisp Dog-Catcher uniform with a walkie-talkie and everything.  She was only missing a big net in her hand, but I’m guessing that was out in her Dog-Catcher Barbie van.  She took a detailed report which included:

Name: Sweet Alice

Breed: Silver-Laced-Brahma

Age: 6 months

Next, she asked to be taken to the crime scene.  She walked around the yard with her notepad and camera taking pictures of feathers on the ground, jotting copious notes.  Although I a never miss an episode of SVU, and am something of a self-trained detective, I have never participated in an actual investigation like this and it was all quite exciting. She informed me that, because this was a fatality, she had traced the license plate number and would be proceeding to the home of the dog owner.  If they failed to respond to the doorbell, she would obtain a warrant and break down the door (presumably with her Barbie battering ram), and confiscate the offending dog.  If the owner objected to having her dog confiscated, I would be invited to testify at a hearing.

Before leaving she inquired gently, “Would you be willing to surrender Sweet Alice to us for autopsy.” Would I ever!  An autopsy at Animal Control….what a distinguished finish for Sweet Alice who came from such humble beginnings and was named after an industrial park***.

The next day, Dog-Catcher Barbie’s tiny assistant, who looked exactly like Skipper, arrived, clipboard in hand, to get a witness statement from my next door neighbor, and take some more photos of the crime scene.

All this for a chicken.  It was very moving.  I am proud to call myself a tax-payer in the great city of MInneapolis.

*Dan’s “help” consists of doing the physical work while I lend him my mind and circle around him making helpful suggestions.

**If you are unfamiliar with the Brahma, it is a hen known for its extraordinarily large bottom.  She was an impulse buy.

***You may recall the Sweet Alice industrial park on Highway 119 in Shelby County Alabama.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2015 2:14 pm

    Ah, your tax dollars at work…for a good cause, of course.

  2. July 7, 2015 3:45 pm

    Sweet Alice was just entering her prime and was on her way to being such a beauty! My condolences to all on the Olson Farm-seriously.

  3. Liz C permalink
    August 24, 2015 9:31 pm

    Bahahahahahahaaaa! Dom told me I’d like your blog.
    I do.
    And you.

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