Bubba Cop couldn't solve my problem. He called me "little lady" and I knew.
By Marilyn Mackenzie
It was a typical day. I traded a disappointment for a blessing. That often happened.
I set out that day, just knowing that the customer who called asking for more information about joining the sales force would do so. Wendi was her name. Wendi realized that her own sparkling personality and her enthusiasm for the products helped increase the sales at the party demonstration she hosted in her home. She also pushed her friends, cajoled them, even embarrassed them into booking a party in their own homes, as well or better than any sales representative could have done. Wendi knew that.
Still, as we sat in Wendi’s living room, I realized that she had probably already changed her mind. She wasn’t going to join the sales force after all. There was the disappointment. I loved recruiting and training and motivating more than I enjoyed selling. Oh well. Before I left Wendi’s house, I received a blessing in trade. Wendi booked another home party demonstration, then called three of her friends and talked them into having parties too. She would have made a great sales rep. But Wendi was an excellent party hostess too, and our business needed great customers as much as great sales reps.
Before I could drive more than a few blocks, my thoughts were whisked from the business mode to one of animal protector. There, wandering in the busy street, was a confused and very large dog. I’ve never been very good about recognizing different dog breeds, although this one did seem familiar. It might have been the kind I’d seen in some comedy movies. It was a huge, drooling, and overly friendly kind of dog. And it was going to be hit if I didn’t do something – fast!
I braked and put on my flashers to alert other drivers that I was probably going to do something out of the ordinary. Then I leaped from the car to help the dog. "Super Dog Lover" to the rescue!
I remembered to pull the keys from the car, and to take my purse, just in case someone might try stealing the old junk heap while I was in pursuit of the dog, trying to keep it from being hurt on that busy street. But I left the car door open. That was a mistake. A big mistake.
The dog’s eyes focused on that open door. He sped past me and jumped into the front seat of the car, leaning on the horn. His huge body took over the entire front seat. As I made my way back to the car, other drivers slowed down to stare and laugh, but no one stopped to help.
Standing at the car, I tried to talk the big doggie out of the car. His only response was to growl. As I tried sliding into the driver’s seat, he growled louder and bared his teeth. And drooled all over the dashboard and steering wheel. He smelled as if he’d been romping in the local garbage dump. Phew! The whole car was going to need aired out or cleaned after he left. If he ever did.
Drivers continued to slow down and stare and laugh at the spectacle we created. They pointed and guffawed. I didn’t see anything funny in the situation at all. Finally, some kind soul stopped and offered to call the police. It was just before everyone started carrying cell phones. That kind person had to go home or to pay phone to make the call.
As I waited for the police to arrive, I discovered that my new friend loved being rubbed just behind his ears. He’d relax and close his eyes as I ministered to him. But, as I tried easing into the front seat of my own car, friend turned to foe instantly. He snapped to attention, put his paws protectively over my steering wheel, and growled and drooled. We were certainly at a standstill.
The police finally arrived, and I knew instantly what the first words would be from the plump one who emerged from the car.
"What seems to be the problem, little lady? Guess your dog didn’t like the way you were driving, so he took over?"
Funny. "No, officer, that’s not my dog. He was wandering in the middle of this busy street, and I thought I could get him back on the sidewalk and maybe find his owner."
"And you put him in your car?"
"No, officer, the dog ran to my car and took it over. I can’t get in or get him out."
"So, you want me to arrest him for stealing your car?" said the bubba cop, laughing.
He reached in, thinking he’d just grab the dog’s collar and pull him out. Doggie thought differently, and growled and snapped at the cop. I hid my smile behind my hand.
"You want me to shoot him?"
"Of course not! I was trying to help this dog live."
"So whacha want me to do, then?"
While this stupid conversation was taking place, the officer’s partner sat comfortably in the patrol car. I looked in his direction, and he just shrugged.
"Maybe you could call animal control to come and help?"
"They’re not on our radio frequency. Don’t have a phone in the car. How you want me to do that, little lady?"
Was this cop for real? "Uh, officer...do you think you could ask your dispatcher to call for us?"
"Sure, little lady. I’ll do that for you."
He went back to the patrol car and talked with the dispatcher, laughing all the while. I didn’t think any of this was funny. As I looked into my own car, it appeared that the dog was smiling at me, and I smiled back. I imagined he was thinking that the cop was no match for him, and he was right. Boy, was he right.
Bubba Cop asked me if I wanted them to wait with me, and I just waved them off. What good were they?
The animal control officers arrived about ten minutes later. Doggie still commandeered my car.
As the dog catcher approached my car, Doggie took one look at him, then glanced at the truck filled with a few whining dogs already, and made a quick decision. He darted from my car, across the street, and ducked behind some bushes.
The animal control officer, Ralph read his badge, said, "Well, I guess your dog friend has gone home." Drool hanging on the leaves of the bush behind him told me differently. But I kept Doggie’s secret as he watched. Ralph asked me for a quick summary of what had happened for his report, and I explained, trying not to be too disrespectful of Bubba Cop.
As he turned to go, Ralph inquired of the pin I wore on my jacket. It read, $50 free, ask me! As I gave him a quick explanation of my business and the products, Ralph smiled.
"Gimme one of your catalogs for my wife. She loves having those parties. And when she has a bunch of ladies over, I have an excuse to play cards with they guys. Then we’re both happy." I obliged, and gave him my catalog and business card.
Getting back into my car, I tried to remember the location of the closest car wash. The car stunk from Doggie’s visit; there were multi-colored dog hairs all over the seat and sticky dog drool all over the steering wheel and dashboard.
As I pulled away, Doggie emerged from behind the bushes, wagging his tail, something he hadn’t done before. It was as if he were saying good-bye, or saying thank-you for making his day more fun, more entertaining. For him, maybe.
Yes, it had been just a typical day. One filled with both disappointments and blessings. And I had a new friend.