Behind the Badge

Is that coffee?

One of our Police dogs which worked on my shift had a sense of humor. His name was Erich and he was a German Shepherd. He got to be one of the guys. He would come into the office every night while we did our reports. He got so he knew and liked all the Officers on my shift. The Deputy who was his handler helped this by bringing Erich around anytime we all got together.

Two or three of us would stop each night for coffee at a convenience store. This store had plate glass windows. Erich's handler would back his patrol car into a parking space right in front of the window so that Erich, sitting in the back seat, could look out the rear window and look at us.

Erich was almost totally black, and if a person was not looking he might not notice him in the back of the car. There were metal screens covering the rear windows in the patrol car. These were in place so that the windows could be kept down but Erich could not get out and people could not stick their hands inside.

Erich would sit there in the back seat and watch us inside the store. If someone walked by the car going into the store he would not bother them, but on their way back out was another story. If they came back out with nothing in their hands Erich would ignore them, but we noticed that if they came out of the store with a soft drink or a cup of coffee Erich had a surprise for them. We saw many people come in buy a soft drink or a cup of coffee and walk back out as if they didn't have a care in the world. Erich would wait until they were right next to the rear window screen. Then he would jump at the screen barking and growling. More then one drink went up into the air as its owner ran for his car.

As soon as the person would run, Erich would stop and look at us through the rear window. You could see him grinning, waiting for our approval, which always came in the form of laughter. It seemed like the more we laughed the more he would do it.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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