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Friday, April 29, 2011


     Over my career I have had several incidents that involved wild or domestic animals. Sometimes when recounting these events to my friends, they bust my chops because what I said isn't what they heard.
     Exhibit "A" - I was driving up a hill that curved to the right. As I entered the curve, a huge owl was flying down the hill about four feet above the ground. It missed hitting my patrol car windshield by what seemed to be inches. Imagine having a bird strike while driving a car. When I recounted the incident to friends and colleagues, without exception and without missing a beat they asked me "How high were you flying?" 
     Exhibit "B" - While driving around at night it is very common to see whitetail deer along the side of the road or in the cornfields. I also hunt deer in the fall. I'm really great at hunting, not so great at finding. 
     I always see more deer along the side of the road while on duty then I ever have see in the woods. So, from time to time I have observed to my friends "I have seen more deer, sitting in my car, then I ever have in the woods." Again, without exception and without missing a beat they ask "How did the deer get inside your car?"
     Besides errant owls and free ranging deer, I have also had to corral domestic animals that had escaped from their enclosures.
     On one such occasion a bull had escaped and was running loose in a neighborhood. Being a city boy, born and bred, I had absolutely no idea how to return the errant bovine to it's rightful place. I kept envisioning a soon to be  news account of a police officer being hospitalized after getting gored by a bull. I did once witness a bullfight in Spain while I was in the military but there's never any picadors around when you need them and I left my red cape and matador sword at home.
     Fortunately, I was able to locate the bull's owner who returned the bull to it's enclosure.
     Another time I responded to a report of a burglary-in-progress. The homeowner reported hearing something crash in the living room. Upon investigating the report I noticed that the screen from the skylight was lying on the floor. I then noticed a pair of yellow eyes looking at me. The eyes belonged to a raccoon that had climbed onto the roof, stepped onto the screen and came crashing down into the living room.
     Being a city boy was of no help here, either. I had no idea about what to do. One thing that I was sure about is that if the animal attacked and/or bit anyone I was going to shoot it. I was not going to subject myself to a rabies series for nobody!
     What did I do you may ask? I opened a window and used some lattice work to form a ladder and coaxed the raccoon to the open window. Once the raccoon was leaning out the window, a quick push on it's butt sent it scurrying off into the night.
     Being a police officer exposes you to situations that range from the common- place to the bizarre. How to handle wild animals was never covered at the police academy. Upon reflection, these incidents still make me smile! 
     Enjoy your weekend and God bless you!   

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