Column: How to diffuse the drunken Chihuahua situation


How do you handle a drunken Chihuahua?

That’s the challenge cops in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania faced earlier this month when they encountered Maxwell, a 12-pound ankle biter ripped to the gills on Smirnoff vodka.

Maxwell, according to reports from Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 and The Smoking Gun website, was accompanying his 44-year-old owner, who had a vehicular mishap, slamming his car into a fence and pole shortly before 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday. It appears the pair was getting a big head start on the weekend.

Here is a portion of the responding officer’s report:

“As I ran to the vehicle, I located a white adult male, highly impaired, keys in the ignition, turned on, and still in gear. There was a small Chihuahua dog in the car. The driver was just staring at me and failed to respond to commands to secure the vehicle or put it in gear and turn it off. He just turned and stared at me. On his lap was a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka 375 ml. The open bottle was spilled on him and was still pouring into the console of the car. I repeatedly attempted to secure the vehicle but the dog was aggressive and snapping at my hands.”

The human suspect was eventually removed from the car, the vehicle was secured with the dog, later identified as Maxwell, still inside while police questioned the suspect to gauge his level of impairment, which appeared to be around an 11 on a scale of one to 10.

Back to the police report:

“When we returned to the vehicle the dog ‘Maxwell’ was drinking the vodka that was spilled and pooled in the console.”

The situation had taken a turn for the worse – the cops were now dealing with a drunken Chihuahua, a major threat to public safety.

None of the reports explain how the situation actually went down, but here’s how I imagine it did: The police back away, secure the perimeter and the sergeant at the scene sighs deeply and shakes his head.

“Just two more weeks until my pension kicks in and now this happens – a drunken Chihuahua. Get the chief of the horn. We’ve got a Code Red on Cyprus Drive.”

The chief deploys the SWAT team and crisis negotiator, then calls the mayor with the bad news.

“Your honor, we’ve got a Code Red on Cyprus Drive.”

“My god, man. Are you telling me we’ve got a drunken Chihuahua, a major threat to public safety? I’m supposed to give investors from the Sakyahmi Corporation a tour of the city’s Cyprus Drive property for their proposed semiconductor facility at 4 p.m. This will ruin everything. You clean this mess up or I’ll have your badge!”

The chief quickly heads to the scene.

“How do we stand, sergeant?”

“Maxwell’s still holed up in the car, sir. The negotiator approached and tried to pet him and now the negotiator is missing the tip of his index finger. Maxwell just keeps yapping. It’s more of a slurring yap, kind of a shlap. From what we can make out, he wants to go to Taco Bell.”

“Negative. We can’t endanger the citizens’ safety down there any more. They’re already eating at Taco Bell. Hold my coat. I’m going in to talk to Maxwell.”

“Sir, you can’t. It’s suicide. That’s a drunken Chihuahua.”

“If I don’t make it tell my wife I love her. And tell the mayor he can kiss my $@@.”

Out of my imagination and back in reality, police did get Maxwell out of the car and down to an animal hospital. After a night treatment, a doctor told Action News Maxwell “was back to his normal self, not showing any signs of what happened. Looks like a different dog than the dog presented last night.”

For the sake of public safety, let’s hope Maxwell stays off the sauce.

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion and a humor columnist.


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