"The police state goes to the dogs"
A tall woman, perhaps mid-forties, is having a casual Saturday morning conversation waiting for the bus from Garberville to the Summer Arts Festival. Her accent is all east coast, Maryland I would come to know. She lives in Garberville and has for twenty years, volunteering at the Summer Arts Festival the past few.
She asks, “What’s your initial impression of Garberville?” I reply, “They don’t much like poor people here.” She adds, “They don’t like poor people anywhere.” I chuckle, “Indeed and a sad measure of our society as a whole.”
She tells me she knows why homeless travelers carry dogs – “The police can’t put dogs in the cruiser, so they can’t arrest them.” I add, “What happens is, they impound the dog, the animal goes one way and its owner another. When they are released from custody they have to go and retrieve their dog from the pound.”
She says, “Most of them don’t even bother to pick them up and just leave them at the pound unclaimed.” I answer, “They most certainly do. They love their dogs, they are family. She replies, They don’t even deserve dogs.”
She isn’t hateful, nor shouting, just brimming with a calm high-browed attitude of someone confident in her views. Wow!
I expound, “The homeless love their dogs and treat them wonderfully, more so in fact than many that are housed. Dog and master are inseparable, living together outdoors in nature. A charmed life for any dog.”
She replies, “Thank you for sharing, it’s good to know there are homeless people treating their dogs well.” Her forceful abrupt delivery leaves little doubt her objectionable view remains. “Homeless people don’t deserve dogs.”
A California Highway Patrol car goes by and the conversation shifts to the police. She says, “I don’t care for cops, even though I have never even had a ticket. I don’t like the police state we have become.”
I refrain from sharing with her how jarring her juxtaposed dislike of our police state is after she fecklessly cast a category of people as lawless characters using pets, they don’t deserve to have, as a mechanism to skirt the full force of the law. Welcome to the police state and the warped views that have propelled us here.