By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Just about the time Animal Control Officer William Beard thinks he’s seen it all, something new will come up.
Beard, whose main job is supervisor of the Cemeteries and Parks Department, was called to the police station on North Main Street Tuesday, March 24, around 5 p.m. The dispatcher told Beard that a caller complained of a dog in her car that wouldn’t get out.
Beard radioed that he would be there as soon as he could. Because of his regular city job, he can’t always respond immediately unless the situation is an emergency. The dispatcher responded that the caller was on her way to the station and would meet him there.
Meanwhile, Lasha Hollowell and some family members had arrived and were sitting in their car waiting. Hollowell wasn’t going anywhere. She had a medium size Pit Bull sitting in her lap refusing to move.
She said that the dog climbed into the car with her as she and family were preparing to leave City Park on North Main. The dog wasn’t aggressive, mostly just pushy. He apparently wanted to go “bye-bye” with Hollowell.
The dog had been in the park with no owner in sight. Speculation was that he either got loose or was dumped by an irresponsible owner.
The Herald reporter arrived and approached the car. Like many, the dog eyed the reporter with suspicion. After a few minutes of “come here, fella” and “aren’t you a pretty boy,” the dog became bored, yawned, turned his head, and ignored the reporter, again like many.
A few more minutes of coaxing finally got the dog’s attention and he jumped from Hollowell’s lap. He rolled over on his back and let the reporter rub his belly. Hollowell looked relieved and shut her car door.
Beard arrived and was able to pick up the dog and place him in a cage for transport to the city kennel.
Beard smiled and repeated a comment he uses often, “All in a day’s work.”
While all of this was transpiring on the north side of town, there was much concern at the Johnsey resident on the south end. The family pet, Chino, had gotten out of the house and was missing.
Kandy Johnsey said that Chino, a blue and white pit bull, loves the outdoors and tries to get out as much as possible, sometimes without permission. He has been known to follow some canine troublemakers who have led him astray. This time he wandered about two miles to get to City Park.
Johnsey and her 11-year-old son, Justin, spent most of the night cruising around looking for their pet. “Justin was riding with his head stuck out the window in the rain calling his name.”
The next day the family got word that Chino was in the city pound. He was released from the doggie hooskow after his fine was paid.
The family keeps a close eye on Chino now that he has a criminal record. “I go out with him when he wants to go outside,” Johnsey said.