By Nate Thayer
July 15, 2016
My pal, Lamont, and I knew it was just a matter of time before the long arm of the feared Dog Police would catch up to us.
They had surrounded the house twice in previous days and pounded on the door, demanding to interrogate Lamont. Each time, Lamont and I hunkered down in silence until they went away. But the Dog Nazis left legally binding orders that we turn ourselves in Or Else, and we knew the clock was ticking.
Lamont has been on the run ever since, cleverly outwitting the Dog Police, giving them the slip each time they closed in.
We knew we were performing an act of Civil Disobedience as Lamont is under legally ordered House Arrest because of the misunderstanding involving false allegations that Lamont assaulted a federal government worker and put a hole in his leg one week ago, leaving the man bleeding and dazed.
These are not just your regular cops. They are Agents of the Rogue Washington Dog Secret Police–the Hated and Feared “Animal Control Police”—with all the extra-judicial powers that its Orwellian name implies.
Lamont knows they have a Special Canine Suppression Unit, with broad authority and powers targeting known dog rabble-rousers, and Lamont’s picture is likely hanging on the wall of every Dog Police Detective in town.
We knew we were fugitives from the Hated Washington, D.C. Dog Police. And we knew they most likely had an all points bulletin to locate the storied mutt.
Last night as dusk turned to dark, we slipped out of the house so Lamont could engage in his well-deserved daily constitutional.
As a first generation immigrant who appreciates the opportunities afforded by civil society defined by rule of law, Lamont is committed to his civic duty to defend freedom for all–especially his own–to frolic and romp unchained without armed agents of the State intervening to stifle his pursuit of happiness.
Technically, it is against Municipal and Federal law for a dog to be unleashed in Washington, D.C. And the penalties can be severe. They include arrest and detention without habeas corpus benefits, the right to a trial, an appeal, a jury of one’s peers, or to even present a defense. The penalties can include arbitrary sentencing to indeterminate incarceration, and even state sanctioned death by Lethal Injection.
From Lamont’s perspective it is unjust that there is a little publicized parallel canine judicial system—a Dog Guantanamo Bay in the heart of the cradle of liberty, Washington, D.C.
Lamont has a particularly grand time proclaiming his Emancipation from the bondage of the modern day chains of the hated Leash Laws.
So last night Lamont was following the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King on the use of non violent dissent to protest unjust laws, by publicly doing the canine equivalent of sitting at a White’s Only lunch counter by romping leash less on his own property.
And Lamont considers it his civic duty to keep the flame of the candle of freedom alive by daily engaging in what Lamont considers a personal act of non-violent civil disobedience by breaking free of the chains of repression and bondage—the hated Dog Leash—and running free in honor of the long struggle that freed the slaves.
Because Lamont believes that neglecting to eradicate the tumor of the anachronistic modern day Leash Laws will surely metastasize into a cancer that ravages the body politic, he is particularly adamant that he daily walk the leash free one-dog picket line in solidarity with all those in bondage, past and present.
Lamont believes that a free dog is a vigilant dog; that there is no such thing as a revolutionary war veteran because the revolution is never finished; that freedom is never free; that complacent dogs are seedlings for the rise of dictatorship; and that to keep the flame on the candle of liberty glowing canines must remain alert.
He remembers the wise adage of the rise of fascism. “First they came after the Jews, but it wasn’t us so no one cared. Then they came after the Catholics, but it wasn’t us. Then they came after the Gays, and when they came for the Dogs, there was no one left to fight to keep us free.” Or something like that.
Plus he likes it. A lot.
But the problem was that Lamont was under House Arrest, a consequence of the slanderous allegations of assaulting a federal worker last week.
Shortly after exiting our palatial gated villa, a tall man in uniform emerged from an unmarked SUV, clearly conducting covert surveillance. He was parked strategically across the street.
From the shadows, an authoritative baritone voice called out.
“Are you Nate Thayer? And is that Lamont?” I need to talk to you both,” he said.
Lamont and I rounded the corner briskly, crouched, and hunkered down behind the hedges. “[email protected]#!! Get over here, pal! I think we are in trouble!” I whispered. I scooped him up in my arms. Lamont knew something not good—not good at all—was in progress. We emerged from the hedges, our heads held high, retaining our dignity and exuding a tad bit of defiance.
“Yes. I am Nate. And this is Lamont. What is the problem, Officer?” I said.
“I am Officer Daniels from the Washington Animal Control Division of the Department of Health,” said the man. “I am here to investigate a reported dog bite on the Post Office mail delivery man.”
Lamont responded to Power with Smooches, as is taught in the canine version of Dr. Martin Luther King’s tactical guidelines for non-violent dissent.
Lamont went on full alert, snout pointed towards the Law, ears perked rigidly, rising to his full erect height of ten inches, as I held him tightly in my arms, in a posture of defiance. Lamont cleverly masked his true feelings, exchanging them for a friendly demeanor of full body wiggling, rapidly wagging tail, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, flashing those irresistible droopy oval eyes, and whimpering.
“Lamont didn’t bite anyone,” I protested. “He tried to smooch the man. Because the Post Office workers wear those goofy shorts, Lamont might have scratched him when he jumped up on his leg to give a friendly hello,” I winged it. “The man knocked on our door stark naked from above-the-knee down, for God’s sake!”
Officer Daniels seemed to roll his eyes, so I tried a different approach.
“I am glad you are here! I got your paper you taped to the front door. Why don’t you come inside? I said, taking a risk that Lamont might not be on his best behavior.
We sat down at the dining room table and I put Lamont down on the floor.
“Lamont! You better not fuck up now, pal!” I whispered out the side of my mouth.
Lamont—no dummy—knew he was in Big Trouble and needed to act fast to diffuse the crisis.
He leaped up on the creased pants of the officer’s uniform, rapidly wagging and wiggling, and requested a smooch to demonstrate mutual good will.
First the officer stiffened.
“Lamont, get down!” I ordered, knowing the last thing we needed was the bad publicity that would be brought to the Movement with another assault and battery charge on another police officer against Lamont.
“No, Lamont is fine,” he smiled, his eyes locked on Lamont’s. “He is a friendly little guy,” he said.
Then Officer Daniels sorta melted.
“Well, Lamont certainly does not appear to be exhibiting any symptoms of rabies,” said Officer Daniels, who failed to suppress a smile and gave Lamont a warm pat on the head.
The nice officer then began scribbling away. “Lamont is fine,” he said.
“He didn’t bite the man,” I said.
“Well the Post Office Doctor couldn’t say whether it was a scratch or a bite,” said Officer Daniels. “I am going to give Lamont 10 days quarantine—retroactive to when Lamont did whatever he did to the mailman. This is the first health check. Lamont, obviously, is showing no signs of being rabid. He seems like a very good boy.”
Lamont sat by the Dog Nazis feet and barked approvingly, and wagged his tail, giving the man those dreamy, watery, big, bedroom eyes, which are virtually impossible for a human with any heart to resist.
“You can take Lamont out on a leash. But he cannot come in contact with any humans or animals until the end of quarantine,” he said. “There will be another health check on Sunday and then Lamont will be good to go.”
“Lamont is really an excellent boy,” I said. “He and I are a team. He is all love and smooches.”
The officer smiled and got up. “ Actually, you and Lamont can do whatever the Hell you want. Just don’t let me see you doing it until the quarantine is over,” he said.
“Goodbye Lamont,” he said. “Nice meeting you, buddy.”
Officer Daniels winked at Lamont and off into the night he went.
Even the Feared Dog Secret Police couldn’t resist Lamont’s Charm Offensive, falling under the considerable powers of the Great Lamont.
The battle of wills was over, Lamont having emerged victorious, single pawedly disarming the forces of injustice in one fell smooch.