My Dog Is A Fugitive From Justice.

My dog is on the lam.

My dog is living under an assumed identity.

My dog is being shielded by others at great cost to themselves.

My dog is an asshole.

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While Boyfiend (formerly Brother In Beer) and I were spending a nice few days in the Pacific Northwest, watching Der Alter Jo get hitched, Mongo The Magnificent (aka ThugDog) was being dogsat by a very nice woman who keeps pups in her home and charges very reasonable rates.

He had a lovely time. I have more than sixty photographs of him running through the woods, swimming in the lake, chasing ducks (aka Water Squirrels), and sleeping on the nice woman's couch. In most of those pictures, he's side by side with her foster dog. Her foster dog is sweet, ancient, and tolerant.

The last day he was there, on his last outing, he got upset with Dogsitter's Dog and snapped at him. Dogsitter's Dog of course retaliated, because even at ninety years older than dirt, he still has some self-respect. Dogsitter tried to break up the fight. Using her hands. Near the dogs' heads.

And got bitten. Not intentionally, not badly, not in a mean-spirited way, but she had to go to the ED when her hands started to swell. And the ED, following the law, called the cops. All dog bites in this county have to be reported.

(Which brings up the following conundrum: if a burglar breaks into my house and Mongo bites him/her, and then said burglar is taken to the ED for treatment by the cops, does that count as a reportable incident? Or do the cops simply wave their hands and say "Eh"?)

Anyway, things started going Keystone Kops in the ED. The salient point in all of this is that I live in one city, the dogsitter lives in another, and the bite took place in a third, very small, city, just inside the city limits. The first cop--one from my town--showed up, decided it wasn't his jurisdiction, and left. The second cop showed up, the dogsitter refused to give him any information about me (more on this in a minute), and he left.

And the next day, in succession, the dogsitter had the police from four different cities show up at her door with animal control trucks, ropes, lassos, dart guns, and various other implements of distruction. They pounded, she said, on the door. In succession. And she refused to answer the door. (Here I have to credit her heart and cut her some slack for being flustered. If cops were pounding on my door, I would hesitate to answer it as well, for fear that the dogs in my care would be taken away in the paddy wagon, with nobody sorting the good dogs from the bad ones.) Anyway, she said squat until they showed up with a warrant.

(I don't know what the police from the fourth city were doing. Maybe it was a mistake? Maybe a show of moral support? Maybe they had to run to the store for a few things and just dropped in on their way? I dunno.)

When they showed up with a warrant, she called me. I had known she had gotten bitten, but had figured things would work themselves out in the noiseless-tenor way that they normally do. I mean, I had no idea she had bucked the police.

I had to get on the horn with three successive animal control and sheriff's divisions before I found the person who could deal with my problem, only she had left the office about ten minutes before.

So tomorrow, I am staying home from work. I will call my vet, explain the problem, and ask for a quarantine cage. It's the law here that any dog who bites a human has to, if its vaccinations are up to date, be quarantined for ten days. I can't quarantine Mongo at home, since it wasn't a family member who got bitten.

Then I will call the third city sheriff's office and say, "My dog is a fugitive from the law, and I am calling to turn him in." And we will go from there.

No, it doesn't feel quite fair that Mongo has to be quarantined because somebody got in the way of his teeth. On the other hand, I can see the dogsitter's problem: when you see two dogs going at it, the immediate instinct is to shut that shit down, any way any how.

And while it was accidental, I can see the reason for any-skin-break-is-reported. If I asked for an exception, they'd have to make exceptions for every blockhead with a truly dangerous asshole dog, and then where would we be?

So, the upshot is, Mongo gets another vacation. Not as much fun, and not as heavy on lakes and ducks, but another vacation.

And I have to figure out whether to outfit him in a striped outfit, an orange jumpsuit, or just put an ankle bracelet on him and write "LOVE" and "HATE" on his paws.