Thursday, September 9, 2010


Sometimes, you just gotta do what you feel is right, regardless. I must admit, I would've handled this differently now, but at the time, it seemed the way to go.
My dog, Nipper, had no leash or collar, or a licence. I figured, he faithfully followed me everywhere and behaved himself, so what's the use of binding him up? As far as the licence, I saw it as just more Big Brother interference.
Anyway, one day he and I are at the store along with Ralph, the beagle from next door. The three of us are walking back when I spot this low-slung, dirty blue city truck-THE DOGCATCHER! I shout, "RUN, guys", and we take off for home, Ralph racing up on his porch, Nip and I ducking in our front door. Thing is, the Kraut saw us, and came straight to my house.
He couldn't take Nip; we were in the house, and it was a first offense, but he issued me a citation, to appear in court the following Monday.
So, there I was , before the Honorable Valentine Toth, explaining why my dog didn't need any of these things, and why I, as a citizen of this great country, didn't believe in them. Judge Toth listened patiently, then explained to me how, my beliefs notwithstanding, the law was the law, and I was fined ten dollars.
At the time, I didn't have ten bucks, nor was I inclined to hand it over anyhow. The Judge said, "Mr. Hopewell, you may pay the fine, or spend a day in jail." With the strains of "One Tin Soldier" ringing in my ears, I stuck out my wrists for the bailiff.
The worst part was all the razzing I took for going to jail over a dog. Thing is, Nip was my friend, and sometimes, you make the hard choice for a friend, and for a principle.
Y'know, had I a friend like Nipper today....I might do it again.

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