Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – The Dog Snitches

Walk On The Wild Side with Ben Trovato – The Dog Snitches

After a surf at Huletts the other day, I went to Bruces for brunch. I like both locations because whoever named them was disinclined to get the grammar right. Lifes too short to fanny about with apostrophes.

There were more dogs than people, which was fine with me. Some of my favourite people are dogs. Being locals, they were disdainful of my attempts to get to know them better. One deliberately wee’d against my car just because it was a Subaru.

I have often wondered who are the real snitches of the dog underworld. The informants. The impimpis and the impuppies. The dogs that feign loyalty and then turn on you when you least expect it. I am not talking about pit bulls, an unpretentious breed that is unashamedly candid about its predilection for tearing your throat out the moment you bend down to pat it. I am talking about dogs that collaborate with the police. Man’s worst enemy. The dogs, not the police. Although it can pretty much go either way in this country.

Police in the Western Cape are asking people to donate unwanted thoroughbreds to its K9 unit. K9 is code for Canine. Cunning. Not many could have worked that one out. This is probably classified information and I expect that by Wednesday I’ll be doing 15 years in Pollsmoor.

In their advertisement the police were generous enough to warn us which dogs cannot be trusted to keep a secret. Here they are: Border collies, German shepherds, Labradors, Belgian shepherds, bloodhounds and Rottweilers.

Labradors? Unless the criminal is smothered in Peck’s Anchovette Fish Paste, a Labrador won’t even bother getting up. I once owned two Labradors and both were far more interested in sniffing out potential food sources. In fact, considering how many times they raided my kitchen, they are the ones who should have been arrested. And Border collies only work properly if the crooks are behave like sheep.

The police’s criteria include that the dogs should be able to walk on a leash and not be afraid of people. What the hell kind of dog can’t walk on a leash? I suppose one with no legs might have trouble. And anything that isn’t scared of people is a damn fool. These dogs are going to meet gentlemen who will try to stab them in the kidneys and shoot them in the face. If they are not scared after that, they should be sent for psychiatric evaluation.

The dogs will be used in units that include patrol, narcotics, explosives, tracker, protected species, fire detection and search and rescue.

My dog Julius Seizure can do all of that stuff but I am not going to donate him to the police because his epileptic fits are more entertaining to watch than anything on television. The other dog is a girl. Her name changes on a daily basis depending on how much trouble she causes. She would make a fabulous narcotics dog if it weren’t for the fact that she has developed a fondness for certain pharmaceuticals.

I imagine all sniffer dogs develop a habit at some point and I don’t think she should be singled out and condemned for it. She also has a tendency to blow things up and start fires in the most unlikely of places. She can track a mongoose when she’s not high and loves making a show of rescuing people who don’t need it, although anyone who thinks they don’t need rescuing these days is clearly delusional and should be locked up for their own good.

The K9 unit is experiencing a shortage because they insist on accepting thoroughbred dogs only. The SAPS need to lower their standards on the canine front and rather give us a police force that accepts thoroughbred humans only.

See you all soon.

Ben

• Ben Trovato is the author of thirteen books, although you wouldn’t think so if you had to see his living conditions. With a background in print and television journalism, Trovato’s popular newspaper columns have earned him a wicked reputation and a fatty liver. He can often be found surfing instead of meeting his deadlines. Trovato lives alone with two regrets and a hangover.