Putting My Values to the Test – Crime, Cops and Union Canines


The burglary was the last straw.

As I’ve mentioned before, my dog Daisy is an amazing athlete, but she’d been getting crazy cooped up in our backyard all be herself for long stretches at a time and she had stated snapping at people on walks. Finally, on the advice of friends, I began taking her to doggy day care a few days a week while I was at work so she could re-socialize herself and have more interaction with other canines. Good idea, right?  

Well, my house was broken into while my guard dog was enjoying a play date with her friends at the local vet. Great.

The burglars took just what they could carry in their pockets. Luckily I don’t have much jewelry. In the end, it was only stuff, but I still felt violated. The police (union members) came by and took a report. They told us that with economy in the state it’s in there’s been a big uptick in the number of property crimes. It was troubling, but in any case Daisy was going to have to start doing her job around the house. 

My husband and I sat down and we decided that Daisy needed a friend.

West_Valley_Animal_Shelter_Sculpture_IIThat weekend we drove down to the West Valley Animal Shelter—a city-run, union-staffed shelter—the same place we’d gotten Daisy three years earlier. We had a few dog names and photos in-hand that we’d gotten from our online search of the local animal shelters. (Yes, you can shop for a dog or cat online!) 

During the election Meg Whitman had practically defined public employee unions as cancers destroying our state. Well, there I was at our local animal shelter and it was union-built and it was union-staffed… and it was really nice. They’d finished the remodel since the last time we’d been there. It had a very pleasant modern design. Sure, it was noisy with hundreds of dogs barking, but it was clean. The employees were trained professionals, all helpful and knowledgeable. And the fees were even reasonable. It didn’t feel like those ratty shelters I remembered. It was well landscaped and had room for the dogs to exercise.

I’m a firm believer in the value of the mutt. Other people can waste their money on purebreds, but there is no more loyal, lovable dog than a good old-fashioned mutt rescued from a shelter. Seeing all the sad dogs with their puppy dog eyes staring at us wasn’t easy. If I could I would have taken them all home, but one just reached out to our hearts—a happy, tail-wagging Beagle/Gordon Setter mix. We knew we wanted a boy to get along better with Daisy [two girls can get rather catty together] and Dexter fit the bill.

So, we adopted him into our family. To our surprise, it took less than a day for Dexter and Daisy to become friends. Daisy’s happy. Dexter’s thrilled to have a home. And we’re happy knowing that if some burglar tries to break into our house again, they’ll have two jaws to deal with now instead of none.

Now, about that pet food bill feeding two dogs instead of one…

There are lots of other needy dogs at the pound looking for great homes.
Each year Los Angeles County Animal Control processes 500,000 animals, only a quarter get adopted. So, if you’re interested in expanding your family, you might want to consider a loveable, grateful union dog from your local animal shelter.

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