The Mysterious Case of the Dog with the Chicken

A few days ago I was walking Charlie in the early morning--which, for the record, is my least favorite time of day to be outside. I don't mind being awake, as long as I can be in my jammies (that word was just auto-corrected to "jambes"--how dare you, auto-correct) and holding a steaming mug of coffee. Those are my terms. Sadly my dog does not care about my terms. He cares about peeing as soon as daylight breaks through the bedroom blinds. He used to sleep until I chose to walk him because he is the best ever, but now he is elderly and everything's changed.


On the weekends Scott walks him, but weekdays, it's Scott's job to get Henry to school, which leaves me with the dog and his elderly bathroom needs. I definitely have the better deal, but I still whine about it. It is my way.

On this particular day I was stumbling around the block when I spotted a neighbor's dog, rooting through another neighbor's trash. This was unusual--for this dog, at least. We have a couple of neighbors who, if I saw their dogs rooting around unaccompanied, I would not be surprised. Frustrated, annoyed, sure. Those are my favorite emotions. But not surprised. This dog, however, is owned by a family who seems to have their shit together. They appear to know enough not to loose their dog on a city sidewalk with instructions to return when he's done.

This dog is also elderly, and I think either a beagle or basset or some combination thereof, and he was really enthusiastic about the garbage he had gotten into. He was standing in the street, between a couple of cars, where he had gnawed through a garbage bag to get to some garbagey treats. I tried to get closer, but Charlie, being blind and deaf, wanted to continue past him to pee on some things. We had some words, Charlie and I. He didn't hear them. I looked crazy to the people walking by, all of whom probably thought this second dog snarfling through the trash was also mine.

When I got closer to the dog I saw that he had in his possession a meaty chicken carcass. I felt a) sad that someone would throw away so much chicken (I mean, think of the soup that could have been made! THINK OF IT) and also b) sad that the dog could be flattened by a passing car if he moved .5 inches away from the curb.

"I will save this dog!" I said to myself. Not out loud, because I am not that crazy. I called to the dog, which for the record is stupid if you don't know the dog's name. I actually called out, "Here, pooch!" As if this dog would think in its little nut-sized brains, "Why, 'pooch' means 'dog,' and 'dog' is me! She means ME!" Even if I knew the dog's name, dog had a chicken. Everyone knows, when it comes to dogs, if it's you against a chicken carcass, you're going to lose. That's science.

Naturally, the dog ignored me. Charlie peed on a tree while I stood a foot or so away, wondering what to do. I called to him again. I tried different words, like "doggie" and "hey you" because I am extra smart in the early morning, with no coffee in me. Then I looked around some more.

Finally I managed to get over to the dog (Charlie resisted but was then intrigued by chicken smell) and tried to shoo him away from the chicken. The dog regarded me with his wounded bassety eyes and went back to his snack. I feigned anger and shooed him with increased vigor. He then scooped up the entire carcass in his chops, walked past me, and trotted toward his home. This was good because I was not 100% sure which house was his. I followed, and watched him walk right through an open gate and into the open door of a garden apartment in a house a few doors down.

The apartment door was wide open, which was weird. This is not a thing you see in Brooklyn, especially when no one seems to be around. I waited for the people inside to exhibit some sort of confusion--where did this chicken come from?--but there was silence.

I immediately assumed, as one does, that they were all dead. I was going to knock on the front door and call out, "Hello?" and peer in and then I would scream and WHAM cut to me being interviewed by two detectives, one of whom eyes the dog and says to the other, "That's one way to get take-out."

No thank you. I stood around for a few minutes, trying to figure out what to do, wondering why the dog would venture outside for food when surely he could feast on their corpses--we all know that's what our dogs are itching to do, afer all--when Scott walked up. He was walking Henry to school and he gently inquired as to what I was doing, as it appeared I was standing on the sidewalk with a confused look on my face. I explained the situation and he volunteered to be the one to spot their dead bodies (or I think he said he was going to "knock"), which he did--so brave!--but there was no answer. He agreed with me that they were all dead. Or maybe he said it was weird and we should call the police.

Which I did! And did you know? They were more interested in what the dog had in his mouth than anything else. "He had a what in his mouth?" the operator asked me more than once. "That is not the important part!" I said to her, but I don't think she was convinced.

I waited around and fully expected some wise-cracking detectives to come to my door that day, but none did. I heard no sirens. Not even a police radio. I walked by and the door was closed, which was good, I guess? It was all terribly disappointing. Of course I didn't want them to be dead but someone could at least have filled me in. Me, the dog saver!

Yesterday I ran into the man who always walks the dog, and we exchanged hellos and our dogs were like "durrrh" and that was that. His arm was in a cast (mysterious!) but otherwise seemed fine. I considered asking what happened, but really, why would I be asking? Out of concern? Of course not. At this point I'm only DYING TO KNOW what happened. Also how would I start that conversation? "Say, did you notice your dog eating some Mystery Chicken? Heh heh, I suppose I'm to blame! Or maybe take the credit!" Too weird, even for me.