On November 25th, 2014, at approximately 19:20 hours, Sgt. Fairburn was driving a marked police unit west on Esquimalt Rd when he observed a sudden and dynamic series of events at the intersection of Sitkum Plc. This incident would soon lead to the overpowering odour of wet dog in his police vehicle.
Sgt. Fairburn briefly caught a glimpse of a full-grown stag bounding as fast as it could northwards across Esquimalt Rd in the dark, heavy, rain. In hot pursuit of this tasty venison snack was, what appeared to be, an American Brittany who was trailing two things; a black extending lead with no owner attached, and a large flapping pink tongue. Of course, she could have been a French Brittany but due to the darkness and heavy rain it was hard to tell.
A vehicle, heading east, slammed on its brakes to avoid colliding with the deer and its front left tire came to a stop on top of the dogs lead handle, missing the dog by approximately one foot. The dog, now spooked by the screeching of the car’s tires and the looming brightness of its headlights, leapt with a renewed vigour northwards behind the buck.
A second vehicle, heading west, on Esquimalt Rd. swerved to avoid the deer and steered directly toward the sprinting and soaking wet canine.
The dog and the vehicle were now set on a collision course.
Sgt. Fairburn braked hard and braced himself to witness the demise of one of man’s best friends.
This, however, was not to be. Miraculously the lead, still trapped under the first vehicles front tire, snapped taught, and the dog came to a sudden, violent, and immediate stop barely inches from the front bumper of the second, still decelerating, vehicle.
The dog, later identified as “Zoe” hunkered down in the middle of the road panting, scared, and wet… very wet.
Sgt. Fairburn approached the dog on foot and, utilizing his advanced communication skills, entered into a rather one sided negotiation with the dog to gain her compliance.
Zoe slowly decided to trust Sgt. Fairburn and did not run when he picked up the lead, now released from under the tire of the first vehicle. Zoe seemed happy to follow Sgt. Fairburn towards the police vehicle. However, once at the vehicle Zoe appeared to realize “hey, he’s going to put me in the back of that cop car!” and, like so many people before her, she didn’t like the idea.
A brief physical and mental struggle ensued. Sgt. Fairburn, no stranger to wrestling with wet dogs, drew on his vast array of empty paw control tactics. Zoe, obviously skilled at escaping such benign human attempts, easily wriggled free from the first several holds.
Sgt. Fairburn persevered and finally managed to get a good grip of Zoe’s harness and lifted her up off the ground and, as gently as possible, tossed Zoe into the rear equipment compartment of the police vehicle.
Once confined Zoe appeared to realize that the “gig was
up” and her deer chasing was done for the night. She made several circles of the vehicle interior and then lay down on the rear seat.
Luckily, Zoe’s loved ones had equipped her with all the necessary contact information to allow for her safe return. They met Sgt. Fairburn a few blocks away and Zoe was very excited to see them and say goodbye to Sgt. Fairburn. She seemed to be in quite a hurry to get inside her home.
As Sgt. Fairburn drove away he felt warm with the knowledge that Zoe had been returned to her loving family… then it dawned upon him that a rather large portion of his lunch was missing.
No charges considered at this time.