The Trials and Tribulations of Bessie Buemiller – Chapter 31
“Sheriff, read my lips. I do not want any part of the K-9 unit.” Bessie was speaking.
“I know that, but I also know that you have to do this. Deputy Reed is going to be out of the office for a month with hip surgery. I need you to take over his patrol. Bessie, I wouldn’t be asking you, or rather telling you, if I didn’t need this to happen.” The sheriff said.
“Damn it, Sheriff, why do you always call on me for the shit details?” Bessie was mad. She didn’t want anything to do with the K-9 unit. She had never owned a dog, she didn’t want to fool with a dog and she certainly did not consider a dog to be her best friend.
“Bessie, I promise if you will do this I will see you get an extra week of vacation. I swear you will.” The Sheriff was desperate.
Bessie looked at him with a doubtful smirk on her face and said,
“You swear? Put it in writing. Right here on this notepad write the following: I, swear, Deputy Bessie Buemiller will get an extra week of vacation if she agrees to take over the K-9 unit while Deputy Reed is out sick. Write it down and sign it.” Bessie ordered.
Smiling the Sheriff did as Bessie instructed. Then he handed her the keys to Deputy Reed’s patrol car and said, “Come on I want you to meet your new partner.”
The Sheriff and Bessie walked out to the K-9 Units patrol car and the sheriff called on his radio, “Deputy Reed, bring Max out here to meet his new partner for the next month.”
Bessie was expecting a big German Shepard Dog, but to her surprise Officer Reed brought out a big black Standard Poodle. “Well, I’ll be switched.” Bessie said. “I had no idea we had a prissy dog in our K-9 Unit.”
“Don’t let his looks fool you, Deputy. This dog can be vivacious. They were bred as water retrievers. They are smart and make great guards.”
“Oh, ask me if I’m impressed.” Bessie said scowling. But, she walked over to Max and rubbed his head as she said, “Well, hello Max. Looks like you and I are stuck with each other. You’re probably no more impressed with me than I am with you.”
Max just looked at Bessie and wagged his tail. Bessie said, “If you’re going to use this poodle why don’t you have him groomed? He looks like a wooly bear with all that hair.”
“I don’t have him groomed ‘cause I don’t want the entire Sheriff’s Department to laugh at me and Max. If I had him groomed they all would make fun of us.” Deputy Reed explained.
“Well, I think he’d probably like have a little poof here and there.” Bessie laughed.
She took the dog from Deputy Reed and ask him what the dog ate, if he was house broke etc. etc. The deputy assured Bessie the dog was well trained, he said, “He understands his commands, which I will make you a list of and he will obey you and do as he’s told once he realizes you are now his master.”
“Oh, really? Well show me something.” Bessie said.
Deputy Reed turned to Max and said, “Max, on guard.”
The dog immediately went into a stance of complete stillness. He stood staring at the deputy, waiting for further orders.
“Now,” the deputy said, “if I was to tell him attack he would take the next person he saw down. I mean, down to the ground and stand over them until I told him, ‘ease off.’ He’s a wonderful partner, Deputy Buemiller. You and Max are going to become best friends.”
Bessie had her doubts about that, but she took the dog home with her along with the K-9 Unit patrol car and a list of commands she had to memorize. She made the dog a bed, put the water and feed bowl where he could find them easily, and then set about to learn more about dogs used in law enforcement.
The next day Bessie and Max set out on their patrol. The dog rode in the back and Bessie caught herself talking to him as though he was another officer. She laughed at herself, but she noticed every time she stopped the car Max waited for her to tell him what she wanted him to do. Maybe this was not going to be such a tough assignment after all. She kind of liked the dog.
The next day they were patrolling the streets when a call came in that a drunk driver was out on Interstate weaving in and out of traffic. Bessie 10-4 the call and headed to the Interstate. She had no more than pulled on the highway when she saw the car ahead of her weaving in an out of the traffic. This had to be the one she was after.
Bessie floored the patrol car and Max perked his ears up when she turned on the siren. When the car finally pulled over to the shoulder, Bessie pulled up right behind him, ran the tags through records and wanted and exited the car. She told Max to stay. The dog immediately set back on his haunches and watched.
When Bessie walked up to the car she could tell the driver was very drunk. She said, “Sir, could I see your driver’s license and proof of insurance?”
He fumbled around muttering under his breath and finally handed them to her.
Bessie read his name, Albert Finny and his address was in Hawkshaw County. She said, “Mr. Finny, would you get out of the car please.”
He did as she asked and stood by the door. “Sir, do you have any weapons on you or in the car?”
He answered he did not and then she said, “I stopped you sir, because you are weaving in and out of the traffic. I believe you are drunk and I’m going to ask you to do some things for me.”
He nodded his head an almost fell down. Bessie called for Max. The dog jumped out of the car window and came to her side. Bessie said to the dog.
Max immediately was on duty. He stood by the man looking him in the eye, daring him to move. Bessie said, “Sir, I’m going to ask you to do a breathalyzer test for me. You stay right here until I get the equipment out of my patrol car.”
The man agreed and as Bessie walked back to the car the man decided he would open the door and set back down in the car. That wasn’t happening on Max’s watch. Immediately, the dog started growling and Bessie turned just in time to say, “Max, stay.” She chuckled because she knew had she not stopped him he would have knocked the man down and then stood over him until Bessie could get there.
She got the breathalyzer and told the man, “Sir, just breathe into this.”
The man complied and he blew a .19 which meant he was extremely drunk.
Bessie told him, “Sir, I’ve got to take you in for DWI. Please walk back to my patrol car.”
When he started to move, Max blocked him, Bessie said, “Easy.”
The dog backed off and let the man go back to the patrol car. Bessie opened the door and let him get seated and then she walked around to the other door and told Max to “Guard,” again.
Bessie knew she wouldn’t have to worry about the man trying anything, because Max was in the back seat with him. Bessie was starting to like her new partner.
When they got back to the jail, Bessie turned the man over to the jail guards and went inside to write out her report. Max was right on her heels. When they got inside the office the dog looked around and while Bessie was writing out the report he lay with his head on his paws not moving.
“Are you sure, Deputy?” The dog groomer was talking to Bessie.
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m paying for this out of my pocket, so don’t worry about what the county is going to say.” Bessie said.
“I know Deputy, but this is a male dog. You want him groomed with puffs around his legs and a top knight that’s fluffy and then you want him to have ribbons in his hair, right?”
“Blue ribbons, he’s a male, so yes, blue ribbons and bathe him in that good smelling shampoo.”
“Very well, deputy. He should be ready by about four this afternoon.”
“Thanks, I’ll see you then. Should you get through earlier, give me a call. Here’s my card.”
“Yes, Ma’am I surely will.” The groomer answered.
Bessie went on about her patrol hoping she wouldn’t need her partner until after he was groomed. She had said nothing to the Sheriff or anyone about having Max groomed. Since they weren’t paying for it Bessie didn’t really think she needed to ask.
Fortunately, the afternoon was relatively quiet and when Bessie’s cell phone rang it was the Dog Groomer.
“Max is ready, Deputy Buemiller.”
“Thanks,” Bessie said as she turned the patrol car around and headed for the dog groomer’s.
When they brought Max out you could tell he was so proud of the way he looked. He pranced up to Bessie as if to say, ‘look at me.’
Bessie bragged and bragged on Max and told him how pretty he looked. He wagged his well-groomed tail, now with a pom pom at the end, and all but smiled at Bessie. She swore sometimes she just knew that he smiled at her. She was falling in love with this dog. Something she thought she’d never do.
The next afternoon, Bessie and Max were patrolling the south side of Hawkshaw County when a call came in that a bank robbery had occurred and they had the suspect cornered and they were engaged in a gun battle. They requested that Bessie get there with the dog.
Bessie whipped the patrol car around, flipped on the lights and sirens and headed for the location. When she pulled up she could see that the robber was inside the car and would fire his pistol every now and again randomly at the officers. She assessed the situation and walked up to the Sheriff.
“Do you want me to have Max get him?” She asked.
“Do you think he can take him down?”
“Without a doubt.” Bessie replied.
“Then, do it.” The Sheriff said.
Bessie walked back to the car and told Max, “I need you to take this man down, Max. Take him down.”
She opened the back door and a black streak was all that could be seen as the dog covered the ground between the patrol car and the suspect with a speed of lightning. He cleared the car door, went through the window and had the robber screaming for help within seconds.
When Bessie and the others walked up to the car, she had to tell Max to ‘hold,’ as his teeth were just above the suspect’s throat. Max was growling a low gurgling growl that meant, ‘I’m going to tear your throat out.’
The robber was visibly shaking and begging them to call the dog off.
Bessie walked up to the car and said, ‘easy, Max.’ The dog backed off until another officer got the cuffs on the man and then Max started wagging his tail.
“Good dog, Max. Good dog,” Bessie said.
After the suspect was in a patrol car and on his way to jail the other officers in the group started laughing out loud. Bessie turned to see what they were laughing at. The only thing she saw was Max standing beside her. Bessie looked at them and said, “What?”
The Sheriff had joined the others in laughing, he said, “Bessie, when did you have that dog groomed?”
“Because he looks like a sissy with those blue ribbons in his hair and his pom pom tail. He looks like everything but a vicious dog.”
“Well, Sheriff, you know what they say about looks. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. And imagine what that robber is gonna have to tell his friends,
“Yeah, a big black dog with blue ribbons in his hair and smelling like French perfume, jumped through the car window and had me by the throat before I knew what was happening.”
“Don’t you just know he’s aching to tell that tale.” Bessie laughed.
They all rolled with laughter and Max just stood there, smiling.
If you enjoyed this glimpse of Bessie and Max, read more of their adventures in The Trials and Tribulations of Bessie Buemiller Volume 1