Cop Talk 6, Dogs and Cops

Police work is a job of experience. Stepping out of the academy, you are not even remotely prepared for the job. Well not in Detroit anyway. One of the first lessons you learn, that doesn’t come from a book, is about dogs. Many officers have been chased and bitten and have been forced to shoot and kill dogs. To most officers this happens in their first couple of years. After that, you know most of the tricks and are able to avoid or be able to recognize a potential "dog attack" situation.

Working plain clothes, my partner and I responded to a breaking and entering run. The description of the house was only listed as brown and on the corner. No address. As we pulled up to the intersection, there were two brown houses both on the corner. We decided to check the rear of both houses at the same time. You really don't want to separate, but  we could see each other from both yards. Step one to avoid the dog confrontation fireworks is visual. Check the yard for a dog house. Look for bones. Bone size will determine how fast you must move. Check for dug up holes, or dog waste. You can sometimes be fooled by the visual portion of your check. A loud kicking or shaking of the fence will usually draw out your opponent. The gate is best because it makes the most noise. With a negative response on all counts I entered the yard. I slowly walked along the south side of the residence, weapon in my right hand, flashlight in my left. As I made the corner of the house, a large pit bull with blood shot eyes slowly stepped out from around the corner. His approach was as quiet as mine was. Time stood still as our eyes met. I believe he smiled first. We both realized my escape over the fence was going to take several seconds. I smiled for a split second appreciating the dog’s good fortune. Time returned to fast forward and I  made a dash for the safety of the fence I didn’t make it and he sank his teeth into the rear of my right buttocks. With one swift blow, I caught him on top of the head. To my surprise he let go, giving me an opportunity to clear the top rail. He quickly recovered and gave me a going away nip on the calf. The commotion caused the home owner to come out. An elderly black woman began yelling at me and asking why I was in her yard. Standing there bleeding and in tattered pants, I lost my composure and I yelled back, "To protect you". Her quick response caused me to smile once more. "Don't need protection, I have a dog."

Stay safe my brothers and sisters.

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