09 Mar 09
The Little Chow Pup (by Shane)
Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations.
Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.
“Stop feeding that mutt!” the guard yelled at the dozen convicts sitting in the dirt, where a small furry puppy had cautiously accepted some cold-cut sandwich scraps and hurried out of reach long enough to hungrily swallow the food and creep back for more on his belly in a submissive, frightened manner.
“Fuck you,” one convict responded.
The guard dismissed the comment and walked away.
The small black, gray and brown puff of fur was a chow pup that had just appeared one day in the rock quarry the Arizona Department of Corrections used as a disciplinary sanction for unruly convicts. Since the quarry was only used by ADOC and nowhere near any populated city, town or residences, we all assumed a guard or prison staff had dumped the poor guy off out there.
The guards paid him little mind at first. Only the stomp of a boot, shout, or toss of a rock to chase the pup away when he was too close. After observing the hardcore convicts feeding the little guy to the point where when he was really brave we could pet his head briefly, the guards seemed to become callous and even cruel.
“Back to work! Lunch break is over!” a guard yelled from a group of six others sitting in lawn chairs next to a large ice chest, eating their lunch.
As we picked up our sledgehammers, wedges, and pry bars and went back to work, the pup moved to where the guards were, hungry I’m sure.
Working hard at breaking up large pieces of flagstone and stacking them into piles to be loaded into a dump truck at the end of the day, we paid no attention to the guards, while hearing their hysterical laughter. Looking up from my work, feeling the sweat droplets cooling in the breeze as they made their way down my bare chest and tattooed arms, I was shocked and instantly angry at what I saw. The guards had crumpled up a small ball of aluminum foil, smothered it in mayonnaise and tossed it to the puppy, which quickly snatched it up and began choking on it as they laughed.
Another convict noticed the cruelty, and raised his voice, “What the fuck are you doin’?” He began walking towards the guards.
The pup coughed up the foil and ran off into the nearby bushes, as the group of guards stood up to confront the approaching prisoner.
Seeing the guards stand, the rest of the convict crew dropped their tasks and fell in behind the other guy in a mob and began their own approach. Panicked now, the only two guards armed shotguns with bean-bag rounds, picked up their weapons, and said “Come on, guys, it was just a joke. It doesn’t have to get serious,” backing away from the still approaching mob.
“Check this out, cop: that’s a helpless dog. He’s hungry. He ain’t hurtin’ nobody. Let him be!” the first convict told the guards, emphasizing his last words and pointing a finger in the face of the nearest guard.
“You hurt that dog and you all get fucked off!” another convict yelled form the crowd.
We all went back to work, and the guards sat in an uneasy silence the rest of the day.
The puppy was never treated badly after that day. In fact, Ms. G. (the same Ms. G. from a previous guest blog here) went to the quarry after her shift a few weeks later and relocated the little fur ball to her parents’ ranch home.
Like my own disgust for people who abuse women, children or animals, the convicts on that work crew weren’t tolerant of guards abusing a helpless puppy, and would certainly have resorted to drastic measures to stop it.
Sometimes I wonder where they find some of these guards who act like this or worse.
If you were on the prison work crew that day, would you have stood up for the puppy?
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Shaun P. Attwood