The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Crime and punishment, doggie style.

It’s never good when a police cruiser appears in your driveway. Just sayin’.

So yesterday afternoon, the second day of Spring break, when I was hanging by my last nerve, trying to gather three uncooperative kids to run to the grocery store, the last thing I needed was to deal with the Po-Po.

Frankly, I knew we were living on borrowed time.

But let me back up a bit.

A few weeks ago I became acquainted with a charming new Internet friend, Erin. I commented on her blog, she commented on my blog, yada yada yada, and the next thing I knew, I was devouring information about the all-natural Shaklee cleaning products she sells. The stuff sounded incredible and I just had to have some. An order was placed. A box was shipped.

Enter the courier.

But wait, there’s something else you need to know.

I have a very entertaining and artistic dog named Ike.

Ike is a 6 year old Black Lab.

Black Labs are very loyal dogs.

Very loyal dogs like to protect their people from threatening things like noisy delivery trucks and strangers dressed in brown uniforms carrying large boxes.

For legal reasons, I cannot divulge any details, but long story short, the courier beat Ike in my front yard with a long black stick and Ike allegedly bit the courier.

I do not know what happened first, the biting or the beating.

I only witnessed the beating, not the biting. And it was a horrendous sight and sound to behold, let me tell you.

But it doesn’t matter in the eyes of Animal Control. It doesn’t matter that the courier was inside my invisible fence line. It doesn’t matter that she was beating my dog with a large stick and that he was yelping in agony with every whack.

All that matters to Johnny Law is that Ike (allegedly) bit someone. Period.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let the record show that Ike has never bitten anyone before this alleged incident.

The following photo is graphic in nature and intended for mature audiences only. Please look away if you do not have a strong constitution.

This is what it typically looks like when Ike attacks:

Help! Help! A dingo is eating my baby!!!!

Luckily I was there to save that poor child from being licked within an inch of his life.

Here is another example of Ike’s aggressive behavior (with a slightly less appealing angle):

Help! Somebody save me!!!

The courier sought medical treatment due to the alleged dog bite and did not go to work the next day. I know this because I made numerous phone calls to inquire about her well being. My family and I certainly hope that she feels better and are praying for her speedy recovery.

But apparently, anytime someone seeks medical attention for an alleged dog bite, the authorities are summoned.

Hence the unannounced visit from the Sheriff’s department yesterday afternoon.

There was a lengthy interview. I had to write a statement. The deputy took photographs of my yard, the “Invisible Fence” sign by my mailbox, and of Ike.

I was apprised of my rights and of the county laws regarding dog bites. Shockingly, even though Ike’s rabies vaccination is valid until 2013, the law states that he must be quarantined for 10 days, at my expense.

I had until 5:00 PM to surrender him to the authorities.

The kids and I loaded Ike, his dog food, and a favorite blanket into the van and drove him over to our vet’s office where he will be closely supervised in solitary confinement until the end of his quarantine period.

Turning him over to the vet just about broke my heart in two. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time.

I felt like I was walking him down The Green Mile.

Not to condone a dog bite, but there’s something just not right about a good dog doing ten days in the hole for the crime of protecting his family.

And as my kids’ friend Justine informed me a few minutes ago, 10 days to us is really like 70 days to a dog. Damn. That’s a stiff sentence for man or beast.

Please keep Ike in your thoughts and prayers during his time in the pokey. For as much as I complain about that boy, I sure am missing him.

with a heavy heart,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

33 Comments

  1. Dang. Sorry. If it helps for me to offer, I’d gladly hand over my dog to them so you can have yours back. They don’t even need to return him. Really.

  2. Oh Iris, poor Ike! Would it help at all if I baked him a cake with a file in it? From what I know about Ike, he would most likely just eat the damn file, and that would entail surgery and further expense. How about ‘Free Ike’ or ‘Ike is Innocent’ bumper stickers? He might at least become a celebrity. You could run him for Governor of Georgia!

  3. Did you ever see the Brady Bunch when Mrs Brady was in the fenderbender. The defendant came to court wearing a neckbrace- which they all knew was bullshit. Someone threw a briefcase on the ground to shock the person and he/she swiftly moved his/her head to see what the noise was proving there was nothing wrong with the neck. Poor Ike! It’s one thing when it is on the street, but he was doing his job protecting his house. And, if he really bit her he would continue to go after her with each whack of the night stick. Hope he comes home soon. Sorry girl.

  4. I don’t even know what to say except I’m so sorry!
    (btw he wasn’t by chance sharing a cell with an in-neutered make named BIG JOHN is he? Gosh I hope not. 10 days at your expense, that’s a lot of gggs!)
    Knowing GA you’d have been better off if u shot her in the leg with a pistol. That was not a joke.

  5. Shelly Strickland

    April 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Man! That’s just not right! Poor Ike! He was defending his yard against the UPS lady and now he gets 10 days! I hope she’s taken off of your route too.

  6. Oh Iris, I am so sorry. My daughter’s little terrier bit a neighbor who was running down the street, well he was running, but decided to stop and start waving his hands and yelling at Lola, at which point she bit him….. I feel your pain. Lola is ultraprotective too. Can you at least visit him in prison?

  7. I’m sorry for your family and for the UPS lady. I’ve always wondered what would happen if someone was bitten inside an invisible fence line, please let us know how this turns out. Can you go visit him on the inside?

    Good thing Ike is a boy so he doesn’t end up as some other dog’s bitch! Hang in there boy!

  8. That’s rugged! What IS it about a UPS uniform? Do they weave something into the fabric?

    Sorry for the UPS lady and sorry for Ike and his family.

    Join OOA. (Ordering Online Anonymous.) Tell the judge you’ve done so.

  9. Oh I feel so bad for Ike and your kids. I was on the receiving end of my neighbor’s super affectionate American Bulldog this past summer. It was dark and I was cleaning up the yard after my son’s birthday party and he came bumbling and stumbling at me to give me some kisses. Unfortunately he ended up giving me a couple fractured ribs and a goose egg on the back of my head. I just asked his owner to get an electric fence as our fears were that he’d jump on the kids and hurt them. I felt bad about the incident but didn’t want to cause trouble as I knew he meant no harm. I probably would not have handled the situation good if I saw some one beating my dog with a stick. I hope Ike holds out in cell block 9. UPS bitch!

  10. Oh, this breaks my heart. I’m a hard core LBL (Lover of Black Labs). I had to put my sweet Phoebe to sleep last year at the age of almost 14. She was so wonderful and I miss her terribly. I am so sorry for your family and for Ike. I’m not especially sorry for the UPS lady – beating a dog with a stick?? Really? Seems a WEE bit unnecessary.

  11. I am so sorry to hear what happened. That just sucks! At least it’s at your own vets office and they didn’t take him off to doggy jail. I’m sure your vet would be ok with having you visit. You’ll be in my thoughts ::sigh::

  12. where did she get the long black stick from?

    • The Bearded Iris

      April 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Hi Melissa. Thanks for asking. It looked like a self-defense weapon that I assume some mail carriers and delivery people wear on their belts in case they are attacked by a dog. It was a telescoping stick… about 3-4 feet long, made of black plastic or metal.

      Interestingly, I just found this on another blog:
      “A friend who used to work for UPS told me they have rules to follow regarding dogs. They look for signs of a dog around the yard, and if they think there may be a dog threat, they are not supposed to get out of the truck. They are supposed to honk the horn until the client comes out. Avoiding confrontations and bites is stressed. If they get bitten, they may be “written up” and if there are more incidents, there will be counseling and possible loss of their job.”

      That gives me a little comfort. We are making arrangements to have our invisible fence rerouted so that Ike no longer has access to the front yard, for everyone’s sake.

      • i think in some states those are considered concealed weapons and require a special permit to carry. just trying to help you find a loophole here 😉

  13. I feel your pain, my dog bit/niped our tenant who was going to sue us, my husband was able to talk him down.
    Our UPS guy, actually our old UPS guy, would throw a dog cookie out the window in the neighbors yard in one direction and DUMP the package out the door on the other side and peel out the driveway backwards. I still see that driver around, just not on our route.
    I hope the vets office sees Ike as nothing but the sweet and gentle dog he is and come to his defense if need be.

  14. It sounds like the stick she used was an asp. Lots of police officers carry them as they collapse into a stick about 4-5 inches long and are easily carried.

    Perhaps a call to UPS is in order to explain your side of this situation.

  15. I am jumping up and down! What kind of UPS driver has a stick all ready to protect herself? Between seeing the dog ( hard to not notice) and the invisible fence sign
    (granted perhaps a bit harder to notice) why couldn’t she have honked the horn for you to come out and get the package if she was so frightened? I do acknowledge that perhaps her job could be a potentially dangerous one, but I would forgo carrying a big stick as standard equipment and let YOU the homeowner and package recipient take the box from her, rather than she risk life and limb to deliver it , if she was so scared for her life. I thought it was only the post office that says, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”… Poor you… Poor kids… Poor Ike not knowing what is going on… My heart is aching for you all. Ten days and counting till the best reunion story in all of blogland, paws down! Can’t wait! Love you!

  16. Awwww!!! Poor Ike!!! Poor family!!! I suppose I should say poor UPS lady… but, *stomping foot* she came into his ol’ yard!!! He was doing his duty! And Labs take their duty very seriously!

    I got the ‘snickers’ reading the posts about visiting him in the ‘pen’…. wondering if he was a dog that tends to do obnoxious things to people’s legs & wondered if you should ask if he could have conjugal visits…. hahahahaaa…. oh sorry…. just struck me funny….

    Not so funny to know that he’s stuck there & will be missing you as much as you miss his little ‘grub stealin’ face’…. I know we would feel lost if we were missing furry family members for a long incarceration…

    Hugs to you all… (High fives to Ike from Jack – the Jack Russell & Jill – the Feist)

  17. Oh Iris! That is just terrible news! I am a dog lover and have 2 dogs. We don’t have a front fence and if a parcel is delivered the dogs just about knock the front door down, barking at the delivery person. My two dogs are really small but they’re only doing their job. I hope the 10 days goes really quickly for you all and Ike is home safe and sound. xx

  18. This is bullshit. The UPS shrew is the one who should be in quarantine. Have strength, Ike!

  19. Beat your dog????? I think it’s time to get out of the South

  20. O my God, I cannot believe this ridiculous story! What an effing imbecile this UPS driver is! I was getting ready for a cute encounter… whoa! Our dog is in love with all UPS drivers because one of them would bring her treats (hello, anybody ever heard of THAT approach?!?!). I’m so sorry, Iris, for you, for Ike… perhaps for the UPS driver, although she really brought this whole mess upon herself, and you! What an incomprehensible dolt. No, sorry, I don’t feel a thing for the UPS driver. XOXO to you and poor guy Ike!

  21. I know this is not a funny situation but I’m not sure what made me laugh harder – your post or your followers comments!! I say lay a spike strip out in the road the next time that bitch drives by…

  22. Kris the Colts Fan

    April 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

    That really pisses me off. You’d think the police would have other things to pursue….like robberies, homicides, drug dealers, child molesters. Your town must be pretty peaceful.

  23. Nooooooo! Poor Ike!!!!!!!!! I hope the next 10/70 days go quickly for everyone.

    (Can you tell me how the cleaning goods turn out? I’ve been seeing them all over blogland and wondering – and I’d like to know from someone not selling!)

  24. What kind of asinine law requires quarantine for a dog with a current rabies vaccination, an owner, and a vet? You need to move. I understand some people can feel threatened by dogs, but there’s a world of difference between an aggressive dog and say, an approaching dog. Use the stick to separate yourself from the dog, not beat it, and certainly not MORE THAN ONCE. F-ing shrew.

    If you need moral support for court, say the word and I AM THERE. I will also happily post your bail should you moon the judge or something similar…

    FREE IKE!

  25. OMG!! I totally feel for you and Ike! We have a 4-yr old black lab (well, he’s really a lab/golden retriever mix but he looks lab) and he sounds just like Ike. (Is Ike a little nuts? Cuz ours still acts like a 6-month puppy. Anyhow.) My kids can roll all over him and that dog just sits there, but if a little weiner dog walks by, you’d think we are housing a wolf instead of a friendly lab. I think that black labs are discriminated against, they are treated differently than yellow labs. Poor Ike! Can’t wait to hear that he comes home.

  26. Damn. I can’t believe I missed this earlier this week.
    Hugs Iris. That’s insane… Poor pup. Having a dog myself, and an addiction to Amazon Prime- UPS visits my house often… I hope to never have to deal with what you guys did.
    I can’t believe that douche bag did that to Ike. I hope he lays a fresh steamer for her next visit.

  27. Don’t forget to send him a bag of Snausages that he can trade for favors, a rock hammer, and a big poster of Benji.

  28. Good News: By the time I read this, Ike’s home!

    • Thanks for reading it, Bart! Now we just have to stand trial in his defense and hope the county doesn’t try to label him as a “dangerous animal.” Keep your fingers (and fake turds) crossed for us.

  29. May I make a suggestion here since taking care of precious furs is what I do for a living and I have helped a client or two out of this kind of bind–not that is will ever happen to you again….get angry (not yelling) just really angry at the person who claims they were bitten. Do not claim any responsibility, do not ask how they are. . .I know it goes against who we are as nice people. Threaten to call the cops yourself. Do not ask how the person being bitten is–do not acknowledge the bite at all. Being nice and seeming responsible more than likely will not reduce the quarantine time if it is going down that way. One caveat if you really do have a mean dog (which Ike is not) stop denying and solve the problem or you are in for some really serious trouble. This advice is for the dog who does not bite and was provoked. God help the person that ever picks up a stick to one of my dogs on my property. The meter man cometh no more..and mean, very mean lady is written in my file.
    Poor Ike. I know he is free, free at last. A stick for God Sake….one of a lab’s most favorite things in the world. A STICK. That sucks.

    • Thanks Katybeth! Wish I had this advice in my pocket right after the incident happened, but now I know for future and so will any readers who stumble upon it.

      For anyone else who finds this and wants to know the outcome: Ike was pronounced “NOT potentially dangerous” by our county! The hearing board agreed that he was clearly provoked and was acting in self defense. Suck it, dog beater. Stay out of my yard.

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