Sep 8, 2016

"Ray" and Rommel...

When I was building Huntsville's first skateboard park in the late 1970's, I hired a local policeman (Let's call him Ray) to be a night security guard when he was off duty.  He had been an early K-9 patrolman, and when his trained patrol dog was ready for retirement, the Huntsville police department had allowed Ray to adopt him as his personal dog.  Ray would bring Rommel to help protect the park at night.

Ray told a story about the dog that I still remember.  He lived in an apartment and had lots of friends.  Some of those friends had been given keys to Ray's apartment over the years.  At some point, Ray began seeing indications that someone had "visited" his place while he was at work.  Certain things would be moved, or items would be missing from the refrigerator.  Little inconveniences, perhaps, but Ray didn't like the idea of someone coming into his apartment when he wasn't there.

Eventually, the invasions got more serious.  At one point, someone short-sheeted his bed.  On another occasion, newspapers were taped over all the windows and most of the kitchen.  This had to stop, and Ray wasn't exactly sure who the culprit was, though he suspected an old girlfriend or one of her cronies.  He came up with an idea.  So, one day he started leaving Rommel in the apartment as a "greeter."

A few days later, Ray came home to find the kitchen door open, and Rommel was sitting at the door, patiently waiting to greet his master.  There were a few shreds of cloth on the floor and a couple drops of blood.  The greeter had done his job.  And Ray had never again had a problem with uninvited visitors.

The other night I met a new member of my men's bible study group.  He was introduced as a retired Huntsville P.D. detective.  I asked him if he had ever known "Ray."  He had indeed.  I told him this story and indicated that Ray had never figured out who the visitor had been.  The gentleman smiled and said, "Oh, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he knew all along who it was."  We had a good laugh at the notion of some poor perpetrator being surprised by that enormous greeter...