I sling my catch-pole on my shoulder and rap my knuckles on the partially blue door trying to avoid splinters in my hand. “Animal Control- This is Officer Sandhu.”
The shirtless old man with a grey mustache peers from behind the door. “You again? Now what?”
“Your pitbulls got out again from your yard, Sir.”
“I don’t care. You can take them dawwwgs.”
I take a deep breath. “Your dogs are your responsibility, Sir.”
“I said I don’t care.”
“They killed 2 kittens this time. Along with the old blind boxer they killed last week. This makes 7.”
“Those dawwwgs are mean. I don’t care.”
I bite my lip. “Do you care about the inconsolable 9 year old girl who just saw her 2 kittens in this condition.” I push my camera in his face.
He glances at it and laughs.”They ripped that fucking pussy.”
I flip to the next picture in the hopes of eliciting some emotion.
He smirks.”I can’t help what those daym dawgs be doing. I’m 74 years old.”
“You made them this way, sir. You breed them, keep them tied up, starve them and sell them to dog-fighters.” I push my clenched fist in my pocket.
“I don’t care.”
I flip the ticket book I’ve assigned just for him and issue him his sixteenth citation this week. I don’t need his license. I know the address, date of birth and D.L # by heart.
He signs the dotted line and when I hand him his yellow copy he pretends to wipe his ass with it and stomps on it, a toothless smile on his face pock-marked with age-spots.
I remind myself of the first rule of a customer service job- BE PROFESSIONAL, NEVER LET A PERSON GET TO YOUR PERSONAL FACE. “Sir, your dogs are still in someones yard and the police have just taken 2 shots at them. They missed but they are warning…”
“I don’t care. Let those damn pigs keeeel those dawwgs.” He slams the door in my face.
Yep. I get the message- loud and clear. He doesn’t care at all.
All my life I’ve hoped I never become a dirty, lecherous, sloppy, grumpy old man. But today I have a new wish- I hope I never become that old man. A man who doesn’t care about anything or anyone or any life.