8/14/11

17 Aug

I was on vacation with a friend, and we were walking through a residential neighborhood. It was low-income but a nice enough area to walk through safely. The streets were on a grid and there were alleyways behind each set of houses backing up to one another. Every once in a while we would spot kids down one alley playing, someone walking or bicycling through another and we would occasionally get someone looking at us suspiciously. But we never felt threatened.

We heard a couple of guys laughing down one alley and glanced down there. I don’t know what we were expecting but a dog fight wasn’t it. One pit pull and another dog resembling some type of herding dog looked to be bantering playfully then one would dive in and take a chunk of flesh from the other. The freshly wounded dog would yelp then go back to looking playful, tail wagging and panting. Then ,again, a dog would dart in on the other and take another bite of its opponent. This only went on for another 15 seconds or so after we began watching when one of the dogs toppled the other and took a large mouthful of soft underbelly, coming away with long ropey pieces of innards still attached somewhere inside the dog lying on the ground. The men hollered and laughed, slapped hands then one of them said to the other “It’s your dog that lost! YOU get to do it!”

“Dammit.”, was the reply.

The owner of the dog that lay bloody and crying on the ground pulled a gun from his waist band, put it to the back of the dogs’ head where the spine enters the base of the skull and pulled the trigger. The dog was still and silent then and the two men and the still-living though badly wounded dog started off down the alley.

But then one of the men, the shorter of the two, turned and looked straight at my friend and I. We turned to run at the same instant they gave chase. The dog didn’t seem interested and wandered away.

As we ran, we started to hear sirens- distant at first, then closer, then right in front of us as two black and whites screeched to a halt in the intersection we were approaching. Several officers jumped out with weapons already aimed in our direction. Figuring we were safe now that the cops were here, my friend and I split to either side of the street to allow the officers a clear bead on the bad guys.

The four men wielding the guns didn’t like that. They thought that our attempt to get out of harm’s way was us trying to elude them. Now they thought we were WITH the dog-killing bad guys. So instead of running from guys who saw us as a threat and being saved by the good-guys from what was possibly certain death but at least a serious beat-down, law enforcement somehow now lumped us into the category of law-breaking bad guys running from the cops with our law-breaking bad guy friends.

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