The image today of the calm Reflecting Pool with the Lincoln Memorial in the distance reminds me of a time many years ago when I first visited Washington DC. My buddy Troy had taken a job there and the trip was in part for him to take me around to see our country’s significant tourist sites. One of our first stops was the Pool.
Now I don’t remember all the details, but somehow his two labs that were with us at the time, got loose and decided to go for a swim (it was a hot day). Actually, I think it was more the cute little ducks they were after. Very soon after they jumped in, the Pool erupted in quacking birds and barking dogs. Police were notified and began to make their way to the scene. One of the first to arrive – without hesitation – informed us that it’s a federal offense for dogs to attack ducks in the Pool and both labs would need to be destroyed. We were incredulous, destroyed (that was the word he used)?
So Troy jumped in the Pool, grabbed his dogs, and made his way to the other side for a rapid escape. The officer on the scene soon realized what was happening and radioed for help. At this point there was more commotion, people looking on, and one officer on a horse galloping off in the direction Troy was running. I didn’t stick around either.
Before I tell you the outcome of that fateful morning, you should know the image also reminds me of another aspect of that first trip. It was my introduction to the country’s most important historical tourist sites, and I was grateful my buddy Troy was the one who showed me around. Except a week later, he was visiting Portland and we happened to catch the movie A Few Good Men. If you remember this Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson drama, you will also remember that it took place in DC. And as the movie unfolded, I began to see all these major tourist attractions that somehow my buddy had missed! Scene after scene I nudged him, how could we have missed that!
To sum all this up, the image today is in memory of Gabby and Coco, the two dogs that managed to escape a federal death and go on to lead long happy lives due to Troy’s heroic efforts that day evading a swarm of officers. But let me be clear, the image does not honor Troy’s dismal ability as a tour guide! He did, however, go on to have a long and successful career as a Walmart greeter.