ON ASSIGNMENT: QUINCY, ILLINOIS. METH MANUFACTURING AND ARSON (SUSPECTED)

 

A long bye-bye in the Scion xB, yesterday.  My Dad and I were outta here at 7:00 a.m. for the drive to Quincy, IL via the so-called CKC-IL 110 Route, sort of a sneaky way of saying:  I-88 to I-80 to I-74 to US 136 to IL 61 routing.  Quad Cities, Knox, Monmouth, Galesburg…blah, blah, blah.  On the trip down, My Dad found out the hard way that if you’re not paying attention for the little CKC-110 signs, you’re going to drift and add (quite a bit of) time to the drive.  And, a long car ride means something else – HAMBURGERS!

What?  OK.  Jeez, I don’t even get to talk about the fun part of the day.  My Dad just told me to “stay focused and on track.”  OK, Mr. Investigator.  More about the hamburgers in a bit.  But when My Dad starts to, as he puts it, “drill-down,” on an investigation, and he senses some juicy documents with “crucial” information are located in the hinterlands of Illinois, we’re gone, we are hitting the road.  My Dad gave me a partial briefing on the latest miscreant.  The “subject” had a mysterious fire about 30 minutes after leaving his rural residence late one night.  Some on-line inquiries of various county court records revealed some very interesting cases – like an active felony case for possessing the pre-cursors for methamphetamine (METH) manufacturing.  So, off to Quincy to look at the “paper files.”  My Dad often says that the paper file located at the county court house has “interesting” info…all public record.

Back to our hamburger stop.  What?  OK…tell the rest of the story.  Let me make this quick.  My Dad came back to the car with about an inch of documents.  And he found that an “associate” of the “subject” may be the same guy who had a prior felony conviction for “criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.”  Sounds creepy.  But, if you’re the “subject,”  I would think that it is pretty smart to start a new criminal conspiracy with “associates” who have prior experience with meth…right?  Seems like a no-brainer…which is usually what happens after you start using meth.  HA!  My Dad just chuckled on that bit of Border collie humor.  OK, now I can talk about the hamburgers.

My Dad stopped at the McDonald’s in Monmouth, IL…TWICE!  On the way to Quincy, and on the way back.  Plain hamburgers – TWO – at each visit.

Remember, I never sleep in the car?  Things must be monitored, My Dad caught me watching him in the rear view mirror.

Finishing up two McDonald's hamburgers...plain.  Just the meat and the bread.  YUMMY!

Finishing up two McDonald’s hamburgers…plain. Just the meat and the bread. YUMMY!

Just to prove we were actually in Quincy and not making up this whole story.  Quincy College was NOT, directly or indirectly, involved in this investigation.

Just to prove we were actually in Quincy and not making up this whole story. Quincy University was NOT, directly or indirectly, involved in this investigation.  I do not like my picture taken…fyi.

Monitoring My Dad, all the time.

Monitoring My Dad, all the time.

THE WEEDING OUT PROCESS: AGENTS FOR FIGHTING THE FORCES OF EVIL

Many paws have been raised for becoming Special Agents for THE ORGANIZATION FOR FIGHTING THE FORCES OF EVIL (O.F.F.E).  Perhaps my wonderful, loyal, and intelligent followers can provide some assistance in the “weeding-out” process.  Let’s get started with the initial candidates:

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Name: SHARK Breed: French Bulldog Languages: -none-   Skills: Looking interested

 SHARK was named for the appearance of his sharkskin-like coat.  Also a pretty cool name for a Secret Agent for OFFE.  Sort of flighty, a bit too bouncy, a bit too interested in just about everything.  Possible assignment as a bad guy inspector.

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Name: GIZMO Breed: Shi Tsu      Skills: Looking attentive ALL THE TIME!

GIZMO likes to steal my ball, although she has a very difficult time fitting it in her mouth.  She is VERY high energy.  Possible assignment as “bait car” operative.

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Name: MACY   Breed: West Highland Terrier Skills:  Elusiveness, especially when I am behind her.   Languages: Has an Eastern European air to her. Since she is one of my all-time favorite girlfriends, I am thinking a directorship could be in order.  Her accent may work well during coercive activities.

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Name: FLIP   Breed: PUG   Skills: Rumors are, she worked with a Fortune-Teller and used her wide-angle vision for intelligence collection activities. Also, her head is the perfect size to fit in my caboose area, perhaps we can break her of that habit.

Me with the delusional super-sleuth JACK BAUER, and his very tolerant Mom, Danielle.

Name:  Jack Bauer    Breed:  Poma- (something)    Skills:  Can size be a skill?  A wonderful teller-of-tales…some may even be true!

When My Dad let me out a few minutes ago, look who was here!

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What a change of pace! I did NOT run after the departing FEDEX truck…probably because My Dad was doing something with the Scion xB…don’t want to miss a car ride.

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ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH and COVERT ACTIONS WITH JACK BAUER

My Dad and I have had a busy week.  We drove up to Woodstock, Illinois to file the return affidavit on “The BIGAMIST” case.  On US 14, the despised brown cube – UPS- was driving next to us for a long time…see the pictures below.  Yes, I really gave it to him, out the left rear window of the Scion…I know what to do…jeez.

I am going to start a new organization, ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH.  I met with my good buddy OLIVER, yesterday, to discuss the organizational plans.  Oliver, also know as Ollie, did not like the length of the name…he wanted to shorten it up a bit to O.B.E.P … So, the two of us are in a bit of a disagreement over the logo, the brand.  Perhaps my loyal followers could provide some assistance.  My feeling on this is,  WHO is going to know what OBEP means?  Even if it is coupled with an image of a black eye patch being worn by a handsome dog…I was thinking of me…but then again, I really wouldn’t need to wear an eye patch.  But, I am WAY more handsome than Oliver…but that is between me and my loyal, wonderful, intelligent, followers.  I am envisioning T-Shirts, hats, decals all with the slogan and my picture – ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH.  What?  Huh?  You’re kidding?  My Dad just made a poorly-timed comment about infringing on the trademark of the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  I don’t think so…are those two teams made up of dogs (?), all of them with black eye patches…duh.  Dad, you stick to your investigative work, and let me handle the marketing for my entrepreneurial spirit.  So, Oliver (I never call him Ollie, he does not like that name) and I were having a serious discussion about the big plans for the ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH and who comes out of his apartment with his Mom, Danielle?  Mr. Covert, Mr. Spy, Mr. Fighting the Forces of Evil, Mr. Mysterious…the 12 pound Jack Bauer.  Talk  talk  talk  talk  talk.  Jack!  Take a breath…  Ahhh, no…you will not allowed to be a member of ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH.  You will purchase a hat, a decal, and a t-shirt?  Mmmm….perhaps we’ll consider an honorary membership.  By the way, Jack Bauer (that is his real name) is a Pomegranate.  What?  Spell that…oh, ok.  OK, My Dad corrected me, Jack Bauer is a Pomeranian.  Jack is, how do I put this diplomatically, delusional?  He is always telling me about his (covert) adventures (Right, Jack) as an agent for:  THE AGENCY FOR FIGHTING THE FORCES OF EVIL.  Sounds a bit contrived, but I see potential for T-Shirts, hats and a decal.  Jack, Jack…wait up!

UPS...I see you!

UPS…I see you!

The DESPISED cube...UPS...

The DESPISED cube…UPS…

My buddy OLIVER, I bet you get the ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH, now...right?

My buddy OLIVER, I bet you get the ORDER OF THE BLACK EYE PATCH, now…right? or is it left?

Me with the delusional super-sleuth JACK BAUER, and his very tolerant Mom, Danielle.

Me with the delusional super-sleuth JACK BAUER, and his very tolerant Mom, Danielle.

ON ASSIGNMENT: SERVING THE BIGAMIST IN KANE COUNTY

Going bye-bye in the Scion xB is always FUN!  But when My Dad brings me on a (shhhh) CONFIDENTIAL ASSIGNMENT, all of my favorite things happen…barking out the window, hamburgers from McDonald’s, being on the lookout for the despised delivery trucks, off-leash walks in State Parks, and continually alerting My Dad to all road hazards.  We were out early on Thursday for the drive to the Kane County Judicial Complex – to serve McHenry County Divorce papers on THE BIGAMIST.  My Dad had been monitoring his latest miscreant; a sociopath with multiple DUI’s, pending felony charges and the worst…being married to more than one woman, TWICE!  My Dad had given me a full, unadulterated briefing, on Mr. Smarty-Pants.  My Dad is usually a lot smarter, a lot more creative, a lot more cunning, than your average low-grade human being.  So My Dad had developed intel (intelligence) on Mr. Smarty-Pants Bigamist (Mr. SPB) and was aware that Mr. SPB was scheduled for a hearing on one of his felony cases…Thursday morning, 9:00 a.m., Court Room 305. My Dad and I arrived at the courthouse at 8:00 a.m.  My Dad rolled down all of the windows, cracked the (secured) hatchback, so I had ventilation.  He also parked under a tree.  It was pretty cool and overcast that morning, so, no worries about me overheating in the Scion.  I had water, I was in the Scion, I was cool…life was good.  When My Dad returned, he did not have the McHenry County documents with him – SUCCESS!  Mr SPB stepped out of the elevator right at 9:00 a.m.  Just a blank stare when My Dad served him…go figure…

I know, I know…I love to talk about barking out my window in the Scion xB.  Here is some documentation that shows how much fun I have with this activity.  And, a picture of a rainbow from My Dad’s soccer tournament in Lockport on Saturday…just trying to please everyone…   -Cody

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THE “R” WORD

I’ve had a good life, a good run.  Who would imagine a rescued Border collie serving with three Therapy Dog organizations, being invited to play a key role a children’s TV show episode, featured in several newspaper articles, Frisbee competitions, being a diplomat for Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue…AND going bye-bye in the car!?  The second organization I worked with was THE EXTRA MILE MINISTRIES (www.faceofcrisis.org).  My Dad had read about their service at Northern Illinois University…after the shootings in February 2008.  They checked me out, tested my personality, my behavior around other dogs, people, children…I like everyone.  Just don’t try to mount be from behind…that will turn into a teaching moment.  The K9 Crisis team returned to NIU in February of 2009 for the one year memorial and the candlelight vigil, and I was a member of the team.  Yes, you’re right…several Golden Retrievers (they’re sooooooooo laid back), a pointer, a beagle, a black mixed-breed, and me – the only Border collie.  We were all, very COOL.  Yellow vests, well-behaved, and we all got a lot of attention from the students.  That Saturday had been a long day and by the time the Candlelight Vigil had ended, I was the only dog left.  My Dad brought me into the Student Center and I collapsed on the cool, terrazzo floor…I was laying on my side, stretched out, time for a nap!  The students and family members slowly made their way from the candle lit plaza into the warmth and quiet of the Student Center.  My Dad had stepped away from me, I’m sleeping, I’m a good boy, I am always calm, cool, collected. Even though my eyes are closed and I am still, my senses are always working…my sense of smell, my hearing, my intuition, are always processing…I am always thinking, aware of my surroundings, odors, smells, vibrations,  aware of another’s presence.  There is no noiseless environment, even in sleep.  I knew, I sensed, that the chilled grievers, returning from the vigil were approaching me, forming a circle around me, touching me, petting me, speaking softly to me.  There is no need to open my eyes.  There is no need to move.  I know in my heart that the humans encircling me are sad.  I smell tears.  My presence, my stillness, my acceptance of their touch provides them with all that they need…at that moment.

This morning, My Dad and I were out for the second walk of the day.  A new maintenance guy, Tom, for Village Green, pulled up in his older, gray, rusty Jeep Cherokee.  I was sitting on the sidewalk, off leash.  When Tom turned off his engine, I slowly stood up and walked over to his driver’s door.  “Hey, I’m Cody, I’m cool, its OK, to pet me – just do it.”  And he did, he reached out right away, no hesitation.  He petted me, rubbed my head.

“He’s really a good dog,” Tom said from his Jeep.

“He’s a retired Therapy Dog,” My Dad said proudly.Image

HERDING THOSE WHO NEED HERDING

I know…Border collies can be a little wacky.  When My Dad first adopted me we would go for long on-leash walks, and these walks moved to off-leash walks.  But, My Dad soon realized that is was always better to keep me ON-LEASH during walks near the railroad tracks.  Certain moving objects and I have a…how do I phrase this?…a unique relationship.  One night, My Dad and I were walking along the railroad tracks in Glenview…do you know where the train station is, right by Grandpa’s, a local watering hole?  Here comes a freight train, I am OFF-LEASH, and I run right at the train…HERDING required!  Fortunately, I am a good listener…(CODY WAIT!)…so, I stop, look at My Dad and WAIT.  One weekday morning, several years ago, My Dad was buying a coffee and gas at the Marathon Station in Glenview…across from the Audi Dealer…on Waukegan Road…right by the railroad overpass…do you know where that is?  I am in the front seat of My Dad’s Ford Explorer…he was inside getting a coffee…here comes a METRA Commuter train…rush hour, about 800am. I nimbly jump out of the Ford Explorer, border collies are VERY athletic, through the driver’s window, and I am off to catch that train, to herd that train.  Somehow I successfully traverse the four-lane Waukegan Road and make it into the parking lot of the Audi dealership…that is where My Dad found me.  When I saw My Dad, I immediately sat down.  He was very glad to see me.  He picked me up, carried me across Waukegan Road and back to the Ford Explorer.  After that close call, My Dad ALWAYS put the windows up high enough so that a very athletic Border collie with a propensity for herding moving objects would be unable to jump out the window.

A couple of years a go, My Dad announced our mid-day walk, opened the door, and out I went.  I am always out the door first, leading the way, on the lookout for…everything.  I always announce my presence, to anyone who is within earshot, “EVERYBODY WAKE UP, PAY ATTENTION, THE BORDER COLLIE HAS BEEN RELEASED…IT’S ME, CODY!!!”  And guess who has just entered the parking lot?  The brown cube, the despised brown truck, the very annoying diesel rumble of U-P-S.  This is one object who needs some SERIOUS herding, and I am just the canine to accomplish this task.  Without hesitation, I run right at the UPS truck…head-to-head, stop, STOP, S-T-O-P…you will bend to my determination, my resolve, my decisiveness, my obstinacy, my fixedness.  And, the UPS truck did bend to my determined border collie-ness, halted at the sight of my obstructive nature…My Dad simply asked me, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”  (what does it look like I am doing?)

On Friday, another herding opportunity – THE MAILMAN!  That tiny white truck, the blue and red markings, the surprisingly deep rumble of the low horsepower engine…I cannot stand it.  The mail truck has just been parked by the farther set of mailboxes.  I rush this daily source of irritation, charge the mail truck…head-to-head…BARK  BARK  BARK..”Hey Cody, what’s up dude?”  The mail man is pretty cool with me, he knows I am not, and never have been, a biter.  But the mail truck, I really despise the mail truck.

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ELLIE (A Border collie) with her Dad, Carl

My Dad had soccer yesterday.  I was left at home…too warm, too humid, to leave me in the car – even with the windows down.  So My Dad set our apartment air-conditioning to chilly, made plans with his sister Mary to walk me, and left me home alone…sigh.  I just sleep.  I’ve NEVER dug through the trash, wastebaskets, or done stupid things.  Like I’ve said, I am a VERY good Border collie.  My Dad was back about 9:00 p.m.  He was still in his fluorescent green referee jersey.  We went for our last walk of the evening and he was talking about meeting a very cute female Border collie and her owner in a tree-shaded area adjacent to the Glenview Park Center.  The BC’s name was Ellie.  She is a traditional, black-white, BC with a very sweet disposition.  Her owner/handler was Carl, from Northbrook.  Carl has three Border collies and has had Border collies in the family for almost 25 years.  My Dad said he talked to Carl and visited with Ellie for about 15 minutes.  My Dad was very impressed with Ellie…she was a slender, wispy, BC…about 40 pounds, with a very outgoing, affectionate, personality.  She liked to “nuzzle” for extra petting – just like I do.  Carl said that Ellie comes from a long line of exceptional working sheep dogs.

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Say Hello to….”THE DISEMBOWELER”

Early last fall, a new dog moved into the neighborhood.  He was sort of a blocky-headed Border collie…but not quite.  Mostly black, with some tan, a lot of tan ticking on his front legs, a husky sort of dude, probably about 75 pounds.  He looked like a Rottweiler blend, perhaps the reason for the blocky-head?  Anyway, his Mom is Monica, and she warned My Dad and I right away that…what’s his name?……Wesley…that’s his name, did NOT like men and did not get along well with other dogs.  My faithful, loyal, well-informed followers (thank you!) are very aware that I am very calm, very cool, very collected….unless I see a FedEx truck, or their associated vehicles.  I am very well behaved when meeting other dogs….I just stand there, tail up and wagging briskly, and I wait for the dog, strange or not, to approach me.  My Dad and his family, and most of my human buddies have come to the belief that I give off some subtle signal (EFF with me at your own peril!).  On top of my well-mannered behavior, most of the dog people around here call My Dad, The Dog Whisperer…he is pretty cool with strange dogs and they like him as quickly as they like me…but just because you like me does not mean I am going to like you, if you’re a dog…I’m very picky about the canines I am going to interact with.  If I like you, I will know immediately.  If I don’t like you, we will exchange canine pleasantries, CALMLY AND RESPECTFULLY, and I will continue on my walk.  People are another matter…I really enjoy meeting and greeting ALL people.  I am so in tune with being a Therapy Dog that I will go out of my way to say HI! to a person in a wheelchair – really!  Where were we?  What’s his name, Wesley, the blocky-headed BABY…he is SUCH a baby…he whimpers when he sees My Dad, he wants to hang out at our place, AND he is a toy thief!  He has taken my toys right from My Dad’s unwilling hand…gently, but with authority.  And then, after stealing MY TOY (one time it was my two-tone green squeaky crocodile or alligator), Wesley immediately heads for home.  His Mom, Monica, says he takes the toy home and DESTROYS it.  Jeez, some of my toys have lasted months…even years!  I pretend I’m being rough with them but they’re still intact.  Wait…what?  Oh, yeah…My Dad just reminded me that I have a reputation for popping those play-balls, and there are also times when toys, plush toys, squeaky toys, deserve a good pull-apart…especially those toys with the white fluffy stuff inside of them.

Which brings me back to Wesley.  My Dad and I ran into Monica and Wesley this morning.  My Dad had two-tone green squeaky alligator with him.  As soon as My Dad saw Wesley cruising in, he hid the green alligator at the back of his shorts.  Wesley knew there was a toy…somewhere…but was too polite to knock My Dad to the ground and search him for the toy (I hope).  Wesley likes to insert himself into our walks and really likes to hang out by our door.  Then, My Dad, the wizard that he is, brought out a small Angry Birds plush toy that was given to me as a gift…MY TOY…although I must admit that it was not a toy of great interest.  So My Dad offers the toy to Wesley…Wesley opens his teeth just a teeny bit and takes the Angry Birds plush toy with a slow pinching movement…I thought that was sort of WEIRD.  Wesley then lays down and begins treating Mr. Angry Bird like he is a fresh kill…pulling the outer layer from this poor toy little bits at a time.  And then, Wesley gets to that white stuff, inside Mr. Angry Bird, and very deliberately, almost surgeon-like, begins making a pile of white fluff to THE RIGHT (and only the right) SIDE of Mr. Angry Bird.  Here check out the photos of THE DISEMBOWELER at work…

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And something else about Wesley…something I can identify with…HE DOESN’T LIKE HIS PICTURE TAKEN!  He started giving it to My Dad, barking at him…”Don’t take my picture during a disembowelment!”  You’ll notice I stayed in the background.

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FEDEX INTERCEPT and PIGGIES UP

Before we get to the BIG EVENT of the day, my faithful, loyal, followers have been asking me to give an example of “piggies up.”  I checked with My Dad and signed a consent form (just kidding) to have my photo taken while demonstrating “piggies up.”Image

 

Pretty simple, straightforward…almost a trick (a simple trick for a BC).  My Dad says, “Piggies up,” I place my front paws on whatever object I need help with, and My Dad places both arms (very gently) under my tummy and caboose, and lifts me gently.  Easy stuff.

But like I said earlier, during a very chatty moment, the Scion is back.  My Dad took me to the vet to get my Adequan injection.  The waiting room was empty, no stories about bulging eyes, drooling, or dogs thinking of biting me.  We were in and out pretty quickly…almost…  My Dad came up with this really poor idea to get my nails clipped.  Every dog I have chatted with says that they DO NOT like to have their claws trimmed or their feet touched.  Our feet are VERY important – that is how we get around.  I did NOT like it, I was struggling with the two vet techs, but we got through it.  Gives me the shudders…

Our next mission was a drive to the Glenview Post Office…check the P.O. Box.  Now for the good part!  My Dad, bless his human heart, intercepted a FedEx delivery truck.  I really let the FedEx guy have it…”I SEE YOU…YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYBODY…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU.”  Surprisingly, My Dad was ready with his Sony 20 megapixel camera and documented this encounter.

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We stopped at the bank and the car wash after the FedEx intercept.  My Dad took me inside the car wash…no one was interested in petting me…sigh.

I am feeling wonderful about getting my car back.

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THE RETURN OF THE SCION (xB)…JOLLY GOOD SHOW

Time for some celebration, some serious barking, some serious bye-bye in the car!  My Dad’s Scion xB, with it’s very comfy rear seat and cargo area….AND my own window to bark from, has returned!  As my wonderful, loyal, faithful followers will recall, My Dad switched cars with his sister, Mary.  Mary had surgery, didn’t have full use of her arms, and My Dad offered the use of the Scion xB (automatic transmission).  I know, I know…  I gave My Dad “the look” the first time he said “piggies up” for our first ride in the Mini Cooper (a six speed) a couple of weeks ago.  (really?  this is cramped!  there is no rear window to bark from! really?  you’re a bit jerky on the shifting.  I am not comfortable…sigh)

In fact, I do believe I had LESS rides in the Mini Cooper because My Dad knew I was unhappy with the rear of the Mini Cooper.  Yes, I was VERY unhappy.  The Scion xB is luxurious, at least from a 62 pound Border collie’s perspective.  I can lay down, I can lay diagonally, I can stand up, I have TWO windows to bark from, I can easily watch out for delivery trucks, and auto carriers, bridges, tunnels…blah, blah, blah.  I am feeling very chatty.  My Dad certainly thought he was Mr. Suave, Mr. Jolly Good Show, Mr. British Gran Prix in the Mini Cooper.  Yeah…that was a real “jolly good show” when you were trying to come off the light (in fourth gear) as the 2003 Honda Civic with the exhaust amplifier zipped away….didn’t think I noticed that, did ya’?  Like I always say, “Border collies notice EVERYTHING!  Such a proud moment!  Or, how ’bout the Dundee Road straightaway, through the Forest Preserve, that one mile stretch where My Dad usually hits 70 (I watch the speedometer, too).  Yes, Jolly Good Show at the next traffic signal, at Sanders Road…My Dad effed it up with the clutch, killed the engine and all of the slow-pokes caught up to us.  I was embarrassed, no barking for about 15 seconds.

My Dad made a purchase of several car magnets from Cafe Press.  My Dad thinks it’s pretty cool to have me in the car.  Yes!  These are Border collie magnets – WOOF, BORDER COLLIE, DOGS HAVE OWNERS, BORDER COLLIES HAVE MINIONS.  My Dad was asking me very nicely to look happy when he took my picture.  See below for the results of THREE takes.  I DO NOT LIKE MY PICTURE TAKEN….jeez.

 

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