Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The dog must've eaten it

This morning on my walk with Rocky, I see my neighbour, R., out with her dog, Marlow. We walk and talk for a couple of blocks until we get to the corner where we have to go our separate ways and we linger there for a few moments to finish off our conversation.

A city by-law truck drives by us and stops a few meters away. I don't think much of it because it looks like it's one of those trucks driven by the garbage police - you know, the ones who look through people's garbage to make sure someone hasn't thrown away jars of anthrax powder or nuclear waste or what not.

R. and I keep talking and then the guy in the truck gets out and walks over and at first I think he wants to say hello to our dogs but he looks kind of afraid of them and as he approaches he slows down and keeps his distance and of course the first thing that pops into my mind is that this guy's a nutter and he's going to do something crazy because that's just the kind of neighbourhood I live in where if a stranger stops his car in the middle of the road and gets out and approaches you even though he's scared shitless of your big ass dog then something's gonna happen.

Then R. says to me in a whisper, "Holy shit, this guy's been stalking me," and now I'm sure he's gonna pull some psycho moves on us but instead the guy just asks R. if Marlow has his dog license and I still don't get it and I think he's just trying to get some conversation going with my friend who he's been stalking and this line iss the best he can come up with and I'm giving him a score of 2 for imagination but 8 for balls for using such a lame line and, of course, still a full up 10 for crazy.

R. tells him that she hasn't had a chance to get the license yet, that she'll do it today and as the guy turns away and walks back to his truck to get something, I realize it's not a pick-up line. He's totally serious.

R. whispers to me, "Yesterday he busted me for having Marlow off-leash. 260 bucks!" and I'm like, "Whah? No, way!" and she's like, "Yeah and now he's here. He must be stalking me," and then the guy returns and gives R. a ticket, except that it's not a ticket. It's just an info card telling people about licensing their dogs.

"Please get that done," the guy says and as he walks away I'm relieved for R. that she didn't get another fine but at the same time, I'm like, "Hey, so Marlow's a convict. Are you a bad dog, Marlow? Are you a baaaad doggie?" and I think that's pretty funny but then the guy stops and he turns around and he looks at me.

"How about your dog?" and I'm like, "What? Who? Me?" as if there are like a pile of other dogs and dog owners around me.

"Does your dog have it's tag?" and I'm all smart like, "Uh, yeah, he's got his tag," and I reach down and grab his numerous tags and start looking for the city dog license tag.

"It doesn't look like he's got his tag," the guy says and I'm like, "Yeah, he's got it. What colour is it?" and he tells me it's gold and of course there's no gold tag on Rocky's harness.

"You know, it must've dropped off. I just washed his harness in the laundry machine last week. It must be in there or something," I say, still fumbling with the tags hoping that a gold one will magically appear simply because I'm willing it to. Anyway, that doesn't work and the guy goes back to his truck and pulls out another info card and hands it to me. It's the same card I see everytime I go into Toronto Animal Services which I never pay attention to because I know my dogs are licensed.

"Your dog has to have a tag on it. If you've lost the tag, you can get a replacement for $3," he says and I'm like, "Look, I can show you the paperwork ... I just live over there," and he's like, "That's okay, just get a tag. It's just $3," but I continue to mutter excuses all of which I'm sure he's heard before. Then he walks back to his truck with a pained "You're just the first idiot in a long day full of idiots I'm going to have to deal with" look on his face.

When I get home, I start searching for the missing tag. After about 30 seconds, I give up. I realize I have no idea where or when it could have gotten lost. Then I look up Rocky's records from the day I adopted him from TAS. His vaccination records are all in order as are his health checks and info sheets. I can't find any city license forms, though. I phone up TAS and ask them if they have Rocky's license on file and as the person on the other end is busy taking down my name, address and phone number - for future use, I'm sure - doubt starts to finally creep in.

"We've got Stella here but no Rocky," the TAS person tells me.

"So I guess that means Rocky's never had a license?" I ask.

"Looks that way," she says.

Okay, so I am an idiot.


DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Well, at least he didn't make you fill in the form and pay right then and there, right?


Anonymous said...

LOL, Fred, you of all people!

The guys should also be coming around shortly to make sure you have smoke alarms. I'm dreading that 'cause the dogs will bark their fool heads off.

Lynn0 said...

You are also a wonderfully delightful and honest person. Not many would be willing to blog their blunder...
especially not on the same day they made it!
Thanks for sharing. I'm really glad we don't have animal licensing here where I live. I'd be out of compliance ALL the time!
p.s. Tag, you're it!