The Dog Blotter – A Tail of Woe

Laurie at the Scene of the Crime by Len Buchanan

Laurie at the Scene of the Crime by Len Buchanan

Friday, July 9. Straight-up Noon. I’m sitting in my office at HolEssence when my hackles go up. Hmmm, I wonder. What’s going on? I make my way to the back of our building and look out the glass door. There’s a cobalt blue, Pontiac Torrent parked in our small parking lot. All of the windows are down half-way, but there’s no human.

There is, however, a black and white dog with his tongue hanging out. I ask Len to check Google for the temperature outside. “It’s 85.5 degrees outside,” he says.

It’s “Sidewalk Sale” days in historic downtown Crystal Lake., It’s clear to me that someone had a difficult time finding parking on the crowded streets and decided to park in one of our spots – and leave their dog unattended on a miserably hot day.

I head to the basement.

“What are you doing?” Len asks.

“I’m getting a bowl of water.”

“Laurie Jean, you could get bit.”

“I’ll take my chances Mr. B.”

[I don’t actually see this, but I feel Len roll his eyes at me.]

I make my way out to the car, talking to the dog as I approach. He’s a bit skittish as I reach the bowl of water in through the window. He nervously takes a test lick, then eagerly laps several tongue-fulls  Wagging his tail, he thanks me.

My razor-sharp mind quickly deduces that the owner is female. She’s not only been irresponsible enough to leave her dog in a deathtrap, but she’s left her purse on the front passenger seat. I swear I can hear the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz singing, “If I only had a brain.” 

I motion Len outside and ask him to call Animal Control. An officer in a large, white panel van, amber light-bar flashing on top, pulls in. I quickly bring him up to speed. He says, “It’s obvious she didn’t leave any food or water in the car for the dog. You understand that even though she’s left the windows down, it’s at least 10 degrees hotter inside the vehicle, don’t you?”

“Yes sir, I’m aware of that. And I’m pretty pissed. Just to let you know.”

He knocks on the back doors of the closest businesses looking for the perp (that’s short for perpetrator, for those of you who are new to crime).

Not at Joe’s Barber Shop. Not at Material Girl (a fabric store). And not at Le Petit Marche (the local bakery).

The officer gets back in the Animal Control van and calls the police. An officer arrives within 5-minutes. I keep giving Hunter water. When the Animal Control officer returns I say, “I’ve given him a lot of water. Pretty soon he’s going to pee on her seats.”

“It’ll serve her right,” he says.

The police officer is parked behind the perp in the event she shows up and wants to skedaddle. His light-bar’s flashing too. The back side of HolEssence looks like a murder scene, [only there’s no blood, no body, and no crime tape].

More water for Hunter (now I’m secretly hoping he’ll pee on her seats).

The police officer asks me if want to press charges for unlawful parking when she arrives. “Damn straight,” I reply.

Eyebrow raised, he looks at me askance and says, “Maybe you’d better go inside, in the event of an altercation.”

I know full well he’s concerned I’m going to scold the person who’s responsible for this.

Inside HolEssence I pace, looking out the treatment room window where I can observe, without being seen.

Len says, “Mrs. Kravitz, what are you doing?” (Remember Mrs. Kravitz from years ago? She was the nosey neighbor on Bewitched).

“I want to see what’s going on. Ohhhhh, here she comes now!

I see a fashionably dressed young woman (early 30’s) sheepishly approach the car, tail between her legs. I can read lips well enough to see that she’s saying, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t intend to be gone that long.”

I see two officers not taken in by sorrowful eyes—probably batting behind her dark sunglasses—and coy pout.

“Way to go, fellas!” I mentally shout, as I jump and fist-punch the air!

I see each of them hand her a piece of paper. The policeman is undoubtedly giving her a ticket for unlawful parking. The Animal Control officer is handing her some type of citation – hopefully there’s a fine associated with it. 

The squad car pulls away first. The perp’s vehicle is next; followed by the Animal Control van.

As they’re driving away I shout to Len, “Oh crap!

What is it now, Mrs. Kravitz?

“I didn’t take any pictures!” I wail; knowing full well that Kathy Drue, Jeff Stroud, and Terrill Welch would have had her mug shot and fingerprinted by now!

So even though I didn’t catch the real-time action, the photo is of the crime scene—the parking space, the sign that clearly says the parking is only for HolEssence customers, and the water bowl I used to quench Hunter’s thirst.  

The moral of the story?

Never be afraid to take a BITE out of crime!

Listen with your heart,  Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.


I can see from the tag on the dog’s collar that his name is “Hunter.” He looks to be half Dalmatian and half French bulldog. Without my glasses I can only make out a 708 area code. That means the city – as in Chicago. We’re at least 1.5 hours north by car.

30 thoughts on “The Dog Blotter – A Tail of Woe

  1. Looky! I get to be the first to respond to your blog! Wahoo! I am so glad that dog got to meet you. Being from one of the hottest places in the Southwest, I have no tolerance for people who leave any living being in a hot car. Just leave the poor animal at home if you are going shopping! Here’s a High Five for you, Laurie! (smacking of hands). That woman does not deserve a dog. Even when I moved from El Paso to Maryland (about 2000 miles) and had my kitties in the car, I only stopped where I knew I could take them out of the car (they were in their carriers, not loose!). I even made sure I stayed in hotels that accepted pets. That dog is going to remember you forever.

    • Good morning, Barbara. I’m so glad you stopped by today. You’re probably out on the tennis courts as I’m typing this reply. We’ve traveled across country with cats as well — it’s difficult (if your cats don’t like car rides). I made “tranquilizers” out of chamomile, valerian root, passion flower, and ginger for them to keep them somewhat calm.

  2. Laurie,

    You have painted a wonderful canvas for us to view with our imaginations. No real need for photos.
    Once again you lead by example, taking risks, caring for the concern of animals, rather then just complaining under your breath or to Len. You went into action, good for you.
    My dogs don’t even wish to stay outside in this weather, so they are under my feet cooling off in the AC. Yet they seem to be content to run all about when we go for a walk, even in 102 degrees!

    Thank you for your act of caring!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Hi Jeff – I know you’re pedal to the metal right now getting ready for the Big Exhibit — whoohoo! Thank you for stopping by amidst the hustle and bustle. Have a fantastic weekend as you continue checking items off your to-do list.

  3. Geez,you had an eventful day!
    Poor baby! I hope there we two fines!…
    OREOZ is clapping and wagging his tail. She was pretty bold park right there in front of your sign.

    When I park there today hope the crime tape is gone.I am going to read my morning paper now.@ersonally I think you should send your story and picture to the Herald to warn other dog owners about the heat,not to mention parking in a no parking zone!

    Love it Love it!


    • Kim – I have sent my story to historic downtown Crystal Lake in the event they would like to use it in their newsletter. I hadn’t thought of the Northwest Herald. Good suggestion. I’ll send it there too.

  4. Very interesting. I was hoping to read that they made her sit in her car for the same amount of time that “Hunter” had (even though she was not wearing a fur coat), while he received a cooling treatment inside the store or that there was towing at the end of this true crime story. Glad you were there for him, see you tomorrow.

    • Lisa – You bring up an excellent point. In addition to the car being at least 10 degrees hotter (even with the windows half-way down), dogs are additionally WEARING COATS! That really ups the heat index for them!

      I, too, am looking forward to class tomorrow. See you then.

    • Mona – I can just see you doing that, too! With Junior as your invisible sidekick getting a good bite in on her backside, she wouldn’t have known what had hit her.

      In the story, I had originally had the words “bitch slap” where “scold” is now, but thought better of it since I sent it to historic downstown Crystal Lake for possible publication in their newsletter.

  5. Laurie Jean, no Woe in this tale, except we don’t know for sure if Hunter peed in that Woe-mans car, hope he did.
    And now for another Mrs K noticing a lack of water:

  6. Laurie even with the seriousness of the crime, every year pets die from being left in vehicles during hot weather, I laughed until I was holding my sides and tears were streaming down my face. By the time I got to where you “jump and fist-punch the air!” a waling sound of one continuous sound of glee is all that I could manage.

    David was reasonably alerted that I had found something extremely entertaining… so I tripped downstairs and found your post on his laptop and then read it out loud to him complete with body actions. He laughed as hard as I did…

    I’m glad you caught the bad gal and peace is restored on a little street in historic downtown Crystal Lake.

    • p.s. thanks for the mention Laurie… and you have no idea how many great things I have missed because I was too busy in the moment to think about taking photographs… your story is outstanding without them because we create our own images from your engaging words. Terrill:)

      • You’re welcome, Terrill. You and Jeff and Kathy have such photographic skills I feel like I could find any of your homes blind-folded, just using the Braille method.

    • Terrill – I was going for humor in telling the tail — doing my best Dick Tracy-esque “voice.” I’m glad that both you and David enjoyed it as much as I had fun writing it.

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  8. Laurie, I laughed and laughed and then had another giggle just for good measure. You are brilliant! And then had a big frown and private scold for the misguided owner of Hunter. How blessed he is that his mom chose to park in such a seemingly inappropriate spot….. that just happened to be right in front his guardian angel’s place of business!!

  9. I like to take care of animals, and I also try to practice restraining from judging the motives or actions of others.

    I will often speak with those who break the rules, and talk about the rationale behind the rules. It the individual shows complete lack of interest I may bring in the authorities, but that is usually my last resort.

    For me, I will usually try friendship and understanding first.
    For me, rules are guidelines – “for the obeyance by fools and the guidance of wise men

    • Ted – You’re a much better person than I am to be able to show that kind of wise restraint. When it comes to abuse of children, elderly, or animals — I dive in head first and let the chips fall where they may.

    • Ted, the Tao Te Ching (57th verse) says something very similar: Let go of fixed plans and concepts and the world will govern itself…..if I keep from imposing on people they become themselves.

      Very wise man, Lao-tzu and I too believe that in a perfect world this is how it would (and could) naturally be and I’m quite certain that , like yourself, most of us are striving to understand and live this, in our own way….as best as we know how.

      This same wise man said: Bold action against others leads to death but bold action in harmony with the Tao leads to life. Both of these things sometimes benefit and sometimes not.

      There are so many ways to see this wonderful world that we all live in!

  10. Ohmygosh, I missed this from yesterday! To think that all of this happened! Don’t even know where to begin to comment. First, hugs for your caring about a fellow being on this planet who was suffering. Thank you for caring enough to do something.

    Second, I know just what you mean about being too-in-the-moment to remember taking pics. Been there, done that, lived that. (It’s just that after 365 days of taking pictures every day my camera is strapped on. When it’s strapped on and you go to give the doggie water, you just can’t forget!)

    Third, what a funny post! Congratulations, detective, on a job well done! Laughing at the exchanges between you & Len especially.

    What a fun read this morning!

    • Good morning, Kathy. I’m sorry I missed your visit yesterday. I was teaching Reiki Level 2 at HolEssence all day. We had a GREAT class of students. This particular class happened to be all women. Monday (today) is our day off. We’re getting ready to head out the door to a trail that Nan told us about in my previous blog on biking. Her husband, Dave, came with her to HolEssence and gave Len the details, so that’s where we’re off to this morning — CAMERA IN HAND.

    • Good morning, Kim – I quite often incorporate the use of tuning forks with other energy-based therapies. Although, there are some clients who come for an hour “sound bath.” The lay prone (face down) for a half hour while I tune the back of their body (from the top of their head, to the bottom of there feet); and then roll over for the second half hour while I do the same thing to the front side — paying particular attention to the sinus cavities — it feels wonderful.

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