b Papa Dog's Blog: Dead Possum Update

Papa Dog's Blog

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Dead Possum Update

The possum’s been decomposing in the bag under the washtub for an entire work week now. (Unless it’s been playing itself, I suppose.) Mama Dog and I have left about four messages now on the animal control line. I am beginning to suspect this animal control line is something like a suggestion box that nobody ever checks. Unfortunately, no human ever seems to answer the line. I assume my best shot at reaching a human would be during working hours, but during working hours I am – yes, you guessed right – working. Even if I had time to wait on hold, the likelihood of my remembering to make the call in the first place is slim. And even if I remembered to make the call, I’d feel weird calling without knowing for sure whether or not the carcass has been picked up. I can’t look out the door and check, you see, because I’m at work. So I come home after work, find the erstwhile marsupial still rotting by my gate, and grow ever more irritated. I’m really starting to worry about the attendant health risks of keeping a dead possum as a boarder.

Last night while walking Doggy Dog, I happened to notice a guy peering into a car window. I didn’t think much of it at first, but then he walked down to the next parked car and peered into the window of that one too. There have been many recent car break-ins on that block, so my suspicions were aroused. When I got home, I called the police like a good non-citizen. I dialled the OPD non-emergency line. I listened to the various menu options. None of them seemed to apply. I was ruminating on another course of action, another number I might call, when the dispatcher picked up. Apparently if you don’t select any options, the dispatcher picks up. As in most areas of human endeavour, the result is that the dull-witted and the confused end up with an advantage. I happily took this advantage, and reported the suspicious behaviour I’d witnessed. The dispatcher promised to send a car out to investigate. I hung up with a little warm glow, knowing I’d done my part to help the man keep the people down. I am so a home owner now.

Tonight when I got home from work and found that the possum was still out there and still dead*, the obvious suddenly occurred to me: the OPD non-emergency number is the exact same damn number I’d been calling to report the dead possum. If I ignored the touchtone maze and didn’t press any buttons, the dispatcher would pick up and I could talk to a live human. I did that, and the lady was very apologetic. She sent a message off to animal control and advised me of the direct line for the Animal Control Sergeant, suggesting I follow up with another call of my own. I thanked her and called the number she gave me. That turned out to be just a shortcut in the touchtone maze, and led to the same voicemail dead end rather than a live human, but I left my most pitiable and desperate message yet. I’m hoping that, coupled with the dispatcher’s message will get us some action this weekend. Wish us luck.

If we’d known it was going to take this long, we would have just driven the thing to the disposal center in Fruitvale earlier in the week. Now it’s been sitting out there decomposing for so long that I’m afraid to lift the washtub off it, let alone put it in our car.
*Better that, I observed to Mama Dog the other night, than packs of zombie possums roaming Lower Rockridge.


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