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Adventures with Wally, Police Dog of the K-9 Corps

K-9Sgt. Chalmers knew that Wally had a very sensitive nose, but he didn’t realize that, to Wally, the sergeant smelled like a cheeseburger. Wally had to remind himself not to attack and throat his police officer, no matter how much he wanted to. Throat meant that Wally would grab a suspect’s throat in his jaws and wait for further instructions. Wally learned to throat people in K-9 corps school.

There were two kinds of throat and two kinds of humans. The first kind of throat was called soft mouth. With a soft-mouth throat, Wally got to clamp his teeth on the suspect’s throat, but gently. If the human was a good guy, then Sgt. Chalmers would say “release”, and Wally would let the human free. But if the sergeant said “go!” Wally got to go to town because that kind of human was known as a bad guy. The second throat is called a critical throat because usually the bad guy, if he lived, was in critical condition.

When Wally heard “go!”, he closed his eyes and growled and sank his teeth deep into the perp’s throat. A perp is a suspect who is found guilty by Sgt. Chalmers but who hasn’t had time to consult with the judicial system.

One day, Sgt. Chalmers brought Wally to a Vietnamese restaurant. It was called the Lily of Saigon, but the owner and his wife didn’t want to pay Sgt. Chalmers and Wally for protecting the restaurant. Sgt. Chalmers thought that was not very good business sense. Sgt. Chalmers said that there were plenty of places that he protected and nothing ever happened to them — not while he and Wally were on the job.

When the owner told them to get out of his restaurant, the sergeant told Wally to lunge. Lunge means that Wally should knock over the man and take him to the ground. That wasn’t difficult because the man wasn’t very big. He went over like a one-legged nightstand in Justin Bieber’s hotel room. Then Sgt. Chalmers told Wally to throat. He asked the owner if he was going to pay the money now.

Wally did a naughty thing before the man could answer. Instead of maintaining a soft mouth, he clamped down enough so that the man couldn’t answer. It was apparent to Wally that the man was trying to say that, yes, he would pay, but what did Wally care about money? Wally didn’t care whether Sgt. Chalmers’ lake cabin had a satellite dish or not. But Sgt. Chalmers cared, and he was very angry when he thought the owner still was refusing to pay, so he told Wally to go. And Wally did go. He went to town with a critical throat.

Wally did such a good job that Sgt. Chalmers took him to the airport as reward. “There’s a plane coming in from Jamaica today,” he told Wally.

Wally wagged his tail. Lots of bad guys came from there, and they always had scooby snacks in their luggage. A scooby snack is illegal contraband that Wally liked to sniff and eat and Sgt. Chalmers liked to snort or smoke.

Wally liked scooby snacks so much that he forgot all about sniffing out bombs. Suitcases with bombs don’t have scooby snacks. All Wally got for sniffing out bombs was a bronze medallion. What did Wally care about bronze medallions? He liked scooby snacks in bad guys’ luggage. Airports are fun. When they got to the terminal, Wally pulled on his leash, dragging Sgt. Chalmers down a row of suitcases, sniffing each one with his super-sensitive nose.

Sgt. Chalmers introduced Wally to one little boy from the arriving flight. “What are you sniffing, Wally?” the boy asked. Wally wondered if the sergeant wanted him to lunge and throat the boy, but the sergeant simply patted the boys head and told him to stay in school and not to eat too much candy.

Finally, Wally smelled a scooby snack in a big red suitcase. It was a really good kind of scooby snack. Wally barked twice and wagged his tail. A nervous-looking bad guy started to run, but Sgt. Chalmers pointed and told Wally to lunge. Wally knocked down the bad guy but airport security came and took the perp away before Wally could get a throat on him. That made Wally angry. He and Sgt. Chalmers did not like airport security. Sgt. Chalmers called them numb-nuts because they always made getting scooby snacks more complicated.

Sgt. Chalmers confiscated the suitcase and pretended to write a report so that the numb-nuts would leave him and Wally alone. Then, they got back in the K-9 squad car and went back to the sergeant’s house. Sgt. Chalmers cut open a plastic bag full of white powder. He said that they should investigate the evidence and laughed.

Wally and Sgt. Chalmers sniffed the white powder and it went up their noses and made their heads crazy. Whenever Wally sniffed the really good kind of scooby snacks, something very strange would happen. He could talk, and Sgt. Chalmers would crouch in a corner with his hands on his head and listen. Wally would say all sorts of wacky things about his life: how he hated hand rails because his leash almost always got tangled on them; how there wasn’t much television targeted at dogs (at least not intelligent dogs); how he liked scooby snacks and the way bad guys tried to run away. Sometimes the sergeant would speak, too, but he would say really stupid things like, “wow” and “no way”.

Something kept Wally from mentioning to his police officer how much he liked cheeseburgers and how much Sgt. Chalmers smelled like a big juicy cheeseburger. Ideally, Wally thought, the sergeant would realize what a horrible and empty existence he was leading and would want an honorable death. He would command Wally to lunge and to go at his own throat. That would be the right thing for Sgt. Chalmers to do, so Wally supposed that’s what he was waiting for.

Wally mentioned that he liked the little boy at the airport and was torn between wanting to play frisbee with the boy or to toss the little boy like a frisbee around the airport terminal. The sergeant laughed and tried to steady his nerves with a slug of Mad Dog 20/20. That’s when another officer kicked open the door. It was one of the numb-nuts from airport security except he was wearing city blues, which means his nuts weren’t as numb as everyone thought.

“So you got a talking dog, eh? Maybe he’ll talk downtown. You’re going away for a long time for all that cocaine, Chalmers,” the other officer said as he cuffed Sgt. Chalmers and led him away. Suddenly Wally’s entire life changed. He was no longer a part of the k-9 corps. Instead, he was a material witness in a trial against his former handler.

The trial was hard on Wally. He had to wear a jacket and tie all day long because his attorney told him to. He was also instructed not to throat anybody, no matter what. Wally was very sad. At night he went back to his room at the Sheraton and was forced to watch whichever station the maid previously had on since he had no thumbs and could not use the remote control to change the stations.

When the time came for him to testify, three men came and lead him into the court room. They had earpieces on and moved very cautiously down the hallways as if they were receiving instructions every few steps. One of them exuded a definite cheeseburger bouquet, but Wally did not lunge at the man and he did not throat, no matter how much he wanted to, because Wally was all about obedience — unless he got angry.

There are four things you shouldn’t do in a courtroom. The day he testified, Wally did them all.

First of all, you shouldn’t pee on the carpet, but that really wasn’t his fault since his new handlers only went outside to smoke and never thought to take Wally with them.

Secondly, don’t eat the Styrofoam shell on the court microphone. Someone will spank you and then you’ll vomit in the hallway and it will taste like the time you ate matches out of the ashtray when no one was looking.

Thirdly, don’t lunge at the judge and knock him flat on the dock, which leads nicely into number four: don’t throat the judge and just randomly critical him until he’s dead. But that was hardly Wally’s fault since the judge had referred to him on several occasions as “Sgt. Chalmers’ pet”.

That was a load of hooey. Wally and Sgt. Chalmers were co-workers with scooby snack benefits.

The trial got a new judge and began again. This time, Wally had to wear a shirt, a tie, and a muzzle. A muzzle is something that keeps dogs like Wally from going to town on perps or shih tzus. A shih tzu is a rat that eats dog poop and that people pretend is a dog.

The prosecution really wanted to make Wally talk. He almost spoke up to correct them when they called him a Rottweiler, even though he was a full-blooded German Shepard, just like you or me. Finally, the frustrated prosecuting attorney brought out exhibit B, which was the remaining scooby snack from Sgt. Chalmers’ house.

“Oh, boy,” Wally said, wagging his tail.

No one in the court believed their ears. The court recorder asked the bailiff to ask the judge to have the phrase repeated. Wally responded a second time with “Oh, boy!” and he wagged his tail again.

The prosecution asked to approach the bench. The judge and attorneys for both sides whispered to one another. Then the judge ordered the bailiff to let Wally go to town on the scooby snacks of Exhibit B. The bailiff gave the bag of white powder to Wally who happily sniffed it and chatted up a storm about the shortcomings of commercial television and how, if he had a thumb, he would be watching “The Walking Dead” like the rest of goddam America.

Speaking of having thumbs, it turned out that the judge was under the thumb of the powerful remote-control lobby. He did not relish the thought of a class-action discrimination lawsuit brought against the industry on behalf of thumbless animals. It was time to sweep this whole Wally thing under the carpet.

Sgt. Chalmers was found guilty of stealing scooby snacks from the airport security numb-nuts. He was executed by excessive ear wax removal. Wally was given a very special remote control surgically attached to his tail. When Wally’s tail wasn’t wagging that meant he was bored, and the remote control automatically switched to a different channel until Wally’s tail started wagging again.

Wally liked Wendy’s commercials and the shows when little kids were victimized by their soccer coaches. When Wally’s new handler, the man pretending to be an airport security numb-nuts, brings scooby snacks home from the airport, Wally can click through all the channels with his happy, happy tail.

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About chaunce.stanton

Author of Luano's Luckiest Day, a coming-of-age magical realism novel.

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