A case for animal abuse | VailDaily.com

A case for animal abuse

Mike Larkin

My dog’s parole officer called me today. One more violation and Max is heading for prison.And to tell you the truth, my first thought was, “maybe prison will be good for him.”The call wasn’t unexpected. It came after the dog broke out of my house four times in one night to take himself for a walk in Edwards.A lot of people will tell you their dog doesn’t mean to be bad (usually, right after it throws up in the backseat of your car), but I can say with certainty my dog means to be bad and takes pride in his deviant activities.His latest, and arguably most impressive, crime is his escape from a completely locked house. I have no idea how he works the door without a thumb (and I’ve checked, several times, to make sure he hasn’t somehow rigged up an artificial thumb). He’s like Houdini. It’s kind of creepy really.I’ll get calls in the evening from local concerned citizens letting me know my dog has been spotted somewhere he’s not supposed to be — the only place he’s supposed to be is in my house or at the end of a leash attached to me.I then get to go to the spot he was last seen and start tracking him down, which is like following the path of a drunk monkey. He’s got the attention span of a gnat. The other neighborhood dogs don’t seem to want to give me any information about Max’s whereabouts. They’re all in this together. I’m expecting to eventually find my dog smoking cigarettes behind the dumpsters with other bad dogs.It’s during my clueless ramble, whistling and yelling for my dog, that I get to meet some of the neighbors.Me: “Hi, yeah, I’m looking for a big yellow dog that answers to “Neighbor I’ve Never Met: “Max? Yeah, he was here, grabbed a Ding Dong out of my daughter’s hand and went that way.”Me: “Yeah, uhhm, sorry ’bout that. He likes Ding Dongs.” (Then I scurry away embarrassed and angry.)If I do find him, I have to walk back home with him trotting in front of me pretending to be oblivious to his infraction. He knows that I am unable to savagely beat him in front of the neighborhood children — all of whom seem to know my dog by name — and he works it to his advantage.Damn dog.When his deviant behavior first started popping up (this involved an incident of him going swimming in the Homestead Court Club pool with the neighborhood kids that’s an indoor pool), I just thought he was flat-out dumb. But I now realize that that is exactly what he wants me to think. He plays dumb to lower my expectations — this theory neatly explains the time he jumped out of the window of the car while going 50 mph to chase a squirrel. He knew it was stupid but he also knew that I would forever think him to be mentally incompetent, allowing him to plot bigger and better crimes without me nosing around. Ingenious really.Now I realize when I go to sleep he probably puts on an all black cat-burglar suit and picks locks for practice.I’ve found myself with the rebel-without-a-cause of dogs.Part of the problem lies in the fact that he was raised in Red Cliff. Before I get 100 letters from Red Cliffians saying Red Cliff isn’t to blame, I have to say it was how I raised him there. Basically, when he was a puppy, I brought him back to Red Cliff and let him go. Three years later, when we moved, I called him home.And now that he’s been relocated into the rural suburbia of Edwards, he’s lashing out with his criminal behavior. Maybe it’s a relocation thing. Have any of those relocated Lynx been caught jacking cars or anything yet?His parole officer has told me that I’m an “enabler.” I guess in the sense that I give him a home to break out of, that’s true. But I’ve tried to explain that the dog would be doing this even if he lived in the nicest house in Vail. He’s an evil genius who gets off on getting me into trouble.If you catch a dog on your porch trying to light a bag of feces on fire and ring your doorbell, just tell him, “Max, you are a bad, bad dog; go home.” Don’t be surprised if he eggs your house though.Have fun in prison, Max.I’d visit you there, but I’m worried you would somehow switch places with me and leave me to rot in your cell.

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