Pedro lived on the outskirts of a nice upscale small town on a dusty, dirty, little acre of land. At the end of a long dusty driveway filled with holes and debris, was Pedro’s humble house of gray cement. It appeared Pedro did not have a lot of friends. Was Pedro’s lack of friends due to his anger at Darla? Darla, who was Pedro’s closest neighbor, had won last months beautiful yard award. Perhaps Pedro was angry the yard committee avoided considering his yard for an award. My guess was Pedro was short on friends and un-invited guests due to the birds nest of a barb wire gate at his driveway or perhaps it was due to him selling a lot of cocaine.
I would drive or stop near Pedro’s house a few times a week, at various times of the day, to gather intel for the upcoming search warrant. I watched Pedro’s house with the aid of binoculars from the only good spot in the area, about a quarter mile away. From what I could tell Pedro had a couple of skinny cows, mangy goats, lots of dogs and some chickens. In the mornings I saw Pedro’s daughter, a clean, nicely dressed third grader with a happy disposition and Hello Kitty backpack, leave out the front door, briskly walking a ziggidy zag pattern through the yard, down the driveway, to the gate. Hello Kitty then slipped in and out of the barb wire maze without a scratch, to wait on the shoulder of the road for the school bus.
Pedro had sold a undercover police officer enough cocaine to get him a few years in prison. We as a drug task force just had to introduce him to some law enforcement and a judge. When search warrant day came, the young girl’s skipity do da walk to the bus became very clear. After waiting for little Hello Kitty girl to catch her bus and depart the area, the search warrant team drove over the barb wire gate up the driveway and digested the nightmare unfolding in the yard. The brownness of yard, devoid of any living vegetation, gave a desert tumbleweed horror feel to it. The numerous chained up bony dogs had pounded any hope of green growth, which kept twilight zone type of dusty haze on the property. Even with the help of Neapolitan Dynamite and a spirited “Vote for Pedro” campaign, he was not going to win yard of the month in this toxic wasteland. The Mean looking starving dogs were scattered strategically through out the yard, held with ship anchor quality chains to discourage visitors. The dogs were angry mix of pit bulls, ugly hounds and mangy mutts. What was unique to the hungry dogs were the decorative chicken necklaces. Apparently the dogs were not being fed and killed any chicken that came within their chained circle of death and solitude. Pedro in his wisdom, tied and wired the killed chickens to necks of the dogs to teach them not to disrupt the wonderings of these highly intelligent fowl. Pedro was going for the free range, non GMO status for his chickens at the peril of the dogs. If you were a lucky dog you sported a fresher and a more colorful, less smelly chicken. Freshly killed chicken jewelry made it easier to identify what kind of decaying carcass had been attached. The older necklaces were more artistically abstract, being displayed as a gooey decaying zombie mass with protruding bones and feathers. The death necklace was wearing holes through the dogs fur, leaving oozing open wounds.
The search warrant team stacked up and walked towards the front door for a formal meet and greet with Pedro. Pedro’s daughter had already found the most efficient pathway to avoid the dogs in the yard, so I also followed the Hello Kitty trail towards the house with the search warrant team in tow. Guarding the front door was a well-fed pit bull with a chicken necklace and a cow carcass dog house. I could see the dog had eaten a large gapping hole through the holsteins innards with the rib cage providing both roof and floor for dog abode. From the cow remains it was apparent the dog had started its house excavation from the soft south side, the cow tail parted to the side like a decorative door handle. I pondered whether eating through the south side first was for taste or convenience. From the cows butt, the pit bull tunneled a cavern through the ribs and exited north. The dog had tunneled out a gapping hole in the throat or if you were eating at “Famous Daves” the tasty brisket area. The cows neck and head were intact, torqued in a grotesque posture, its eyes searching the sky for why its destiny on earth was to be turned into a dog house. Dragging the ship anchor chain through the cow carcass allowed the dog to have sticky access to dirt in the front yard and the company of other dogs where they could discuss the merits of dog jewelry. The visual delights of a full size dead decaying cow in summer was in par with the smell. My eyes watered, I could not tell if it was from the smell or the scenery. Was the cow at the doorstep, Pedro’s evil plan to distract Police? Maybe Pedro was a visionary, could he see beyond normal social behaviors and visualize the numerous benefits of a cow carcass dog house. As the team stacked up on the front door, stepping over the cow remains, it was obvious the mean depressed pit bull was not a threat. The only concern would be the dog attempting to disarm an officer so it could promptly commit suicide.
Once inside the house, it was apparent that Pedro did not subscribe to Martha Steward Living. Pedro was more of a home design minimalist. Within his unpainted cement barricade home, there were two mattresses on the floor, a couple of chairs, a small table for eating and a coffee table for his two pounds of cocaine, scales and packaging. Simple living at its best. In the kitchen area was a 50s era fridge and freezer. Inside this retro fridge was a couple of gallons of milk, a open pot of dried out refried beans, stiff tortillas and various peppers. The freezer was filled with iced over frozen meat, possibly a Wooly Mammoth or some other late Pleistocene period mammal. I concluded that Pedro was not a vegetarian and not concerned with his cholesterol levels. Did our Hello Kitty girl have toys or a nice play area away from the cocaine? Of course not, what kind of father-figure do you think Pedro is.
Is there a happy ending to this story? Happy is a stretch. Adequate resolution? Pedro was arrested in the house without incident, although it was unfortunate for us he did not resist. Hello Kitty girl was picked up at her school from child social services and sent to live with other family members. The dogs were removed by Animal Control and taken to the local no-kill shelter. The other animals were dispersed to other farms in the area. Code enforcement condemned the building and yard as un inhabitable. Go figure? After displaying the pictures of Pedro and his macabre zoo of death to the judge, Pedro got something like three years for dealing cocaine and an additional 5 years for animal cruelty. Pedro came to the United States illegally from Mexico and after doing his prison time he will be deported back to his homeland. Once in Mexico Pedro can resume his visionary training techniques and make more animal shelters, maybe a dead llamas dog house for chihuahuas. Happy?
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.