Be Like Bob

Posted on Quora by Karin Muller, for the Bangor, Maine police department:

In December of last year, one of our officers was sent to break up a physical fight between two family members. They were both men, and words had become heated during a discussion about this or that.

I cannot say that alcohol was involved, but there are times when you make assumptions. Assumptions are acceptable. I mean, while the humans of the world love to spout-off that assumptions make an ass out of u and me, the truth of the matter is that reaching that conclusion requires the speaker to have made an assumption.

Our cop pulled his cruiser into the dooryard because the caller was reporting that the men had taken it up a notch by stepping outside to "take care of the business at hand."

Our officer, to remain nameless, pulled up, approached the scene, and began to address the men in the manner that they needed to be addressed.

Now, you've seen cops wear leather search gloves, but those gloves are also be used when you place someone under arrest. You wouldn't believe me if I told you about the myriad of substances that people have on their skin. Certainly, there are concerns about body fluids, and in a pandemic, these can be scary.

Humans are a walking petri dish, but sometimes they also can be covered in whatever substance was handy to their opponent during a donnybrook that starts in a kitchen. It seems that mealtime—often at a table—is where people come together and disagreements begin. I cannot tell you how much mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard I've had to fight through in order to put the habeus grabus on an offender. Outdoor cookouts are an event that seems to mix strong drink with strong opinions. You can imagine the outcome; you've been to a family cookout.

This was not one of those days, but our cop was carrying his personal protective gear—in the form of leather gloves—in a thigh pocket of his uniform pants. You are probably expecting a story about condiments and a never-ending fistfight, but you are wrong. See, you made an assumption. I am not upset.

I want to tell you about a Golden Retriever named, Bob. Bob is not the dog's actual name. I think that the privacy of Golden Retrievers also needs to be protected. You assume they aren't mad or upset when we identify them, but you don't really know.

Bob, who was probably sick of the bickering between his housemates, observed that our officer's gloves were sticking out of his pocket. Bob is a retriever. It is apparent that Bob is a good one.

Bob ran up to the officer in order to receive his SVAS (Standard Visitor Applied Scritches), it's a thing. Cops like dogs, and dogs—like Bob—are always a treat to run into during serious social situations.

The two men had stopped physically whacking each other as they watched Bob work his magic with the new kid on the block.

Bob then noticed the black leather gloves in our cop's pocket. The rest should have been captured by video. Bob did what dogs do and retrieved the gloves and changed the tenor of the entire event. Bob ran away from the officer with the gloves in his mouth. Bob then stopped a short distance away in order to give peace a chance. Well, he taunted the officer hoping that a chase would ensue.

By now the combatants were no longer combatting, and cop was no longer copping. The peacemaker was now the center of attention. Bob had the gloves and he was not prepared to return them.

Seeing that the fight had stopped, and Bob had his gloves, the cop was able to focus his attention on the dog. Bob was not prepared to give up the gloves.

Each time our officer approached, the Golden purveyor of peace would make that move that dogs tend to make. The fake-out. Big brown eyes would look left while furry paws pushed off to go right. You get the idea because it's happened to you. It probably has not happened to you when you were sent to break up a fight between two family members, and you can imagine our cop's embarrassment as he tried to retrieve his personal protective gear from a retriever.

One of the former fighters—because that show had been preempted by Bob—realized the dilemma of the cop and he went into the house to grab Bob a treat.

Bob was bribed, and being naturally benevolent and bullish on biscuits, he bequeathed the bargaining chips back to boys without so much as a bark. Bob had done OUR job.

A peaceful conversation ensued while Bob watched and chewed.

Disagreements were discussed, and our officer walked away without needing the gloves at all. Sure, they were wet with Bob's saliva, but they would dry.

Be like Bob.

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