Monday, November 17, 2008

An interesting morning in East Grand Rapids...

Deirdre and I have settled into our routine with Samson, aka Handsome Boy. With my full time job working for the General, and Deirdre working at the Kingdom, our mornings go by something like this:

0540: Alarm goes off
0545: We are both dressed and out the door with Samson for a walk
0610-0615: We are home
0610-0615: Dee makes herself some coffee
0610-0615: Paul feeds Samson

Repeat daily.

Today was no different. We were out the door at 0546 and we had a brisk walk with Samson around the block. East Grand Rapids is known for its quiet homes and streets, and it is also not very well lit. Consequently, whenever we take Samson out for a walk, we put a flashing light on his collar, one of us wears a reflective belt, and the other carries a Maglite. I also carry a small pouch to carry the poop bags as we pick up after Samson (it is the law in EGR). We had a good walk with Samson and we returned home at about 0615. We went inside the house using the customary side entrance. Samson needed to be fed and Deirdre needed her coffee.

I put some kibble and wet food into Samson's dish and he immediately went to work, devouring each morsel as if we fed him but once a week. And then it happened. "Knock, knock, knock" was heard coming from the side door. Normally, the only person who ever knocks at our side door is our neighbor Mark when he needs to borrow some spice or sugar or eggs. It was way too early for that kind of visit, plus he always calls before he comes over. I was perplexed. I went to the side door, with Samson behind me and I turned on the outside light and opened the door. Much to my surprise, there was an East Grand Rapids police officer at the door.

Thankfully, I not only answered the door, but I was home. I know that both events are mutually inclusive, but if Deirdre were alone and some police officer showed up at her door at 6:20AM, she most likely would have assumed that the cop was there to tell her that I was dead. Given my previous line of work, that was a distinct possibility. I had to make such notifications during my career and they were never pleasant.

Back to the police officer at our door. The conversation went like this:

Me: Good morning officer
Police Officer: Good morning. We had a report that a couple of people walked into this house with tools and they did not come here in a car. Did anybody walk into the house, recently?
Me: Yes, officer. My wife and I just walked into the house after walking our dog.
Police Officer: Are you sure that nobody other than you and your wife are the only people in your house? Are you the owner of this house?
Me: Yes, officer. Nobody has come into the house other than me and the wife and we are the owners. I think that whomever reported people coming into the house mistook the flashlight I carry when we walk our dog at night, as well as the bag where we keep bags and puppy treats.
Police Officer: OK.
Dee (as she pops her head into our Mud Room): What is going on ?
Police Officer: Ma'am, we had a report that a couple of people coming into the house with tools. Other than your husband, are you alone in the house?
Dee: Yes. We just got back from a walk with our dog. We had a pouch and a flashlight with us.
Police Officer: OK, Whomever reported this must have mistaken you. Can I get your name, please.
Me: I'm Paul Kratochwill, etc.

I proceeded
to give the officer my name and address of the house and he wanted to know my birth date. I thanked him for his work protecting us (and his partner who was just a few feet away) and he left for his squad car. I am certain that he went to his car and "called it in" to conform that I am indeed Paul Kratochwill and that this is our house. While it was a little weird to have a police officer at our door before 0630 in the morning, it was comforting to know that East Grand Rapids finest are are out there protecting us and keeping us safe.


Lisa... said...

Keeping you safe from...YOURSELVES. Which is no small feat, I might add!

Glad you're safe!


Big Johnny said...

My morning ritual is more like:

0515: Alarm goes off
0515/0525/0535/0545/0555: Snooze button
0605: MAYBE crawl out of scratch...shower

Morning people piss me off....

Paul's Blog said...

I suppose I do need protection from time to time!

Big Johnny said... update since Monday


Cameron Ted said...

Nice blog.... Once I was upstair at our home in Des Moines and the dog barked at the door, I walk down pnly to see to officers in my living room... They say "We had a 911 call from here" I said, "Don't think so just me and my wife." They ask to see her, she comes down says everything is great. They chalk it up to "a mistake in the phones" Strange to see officers in you home with their hands on their weapons, glad they weren't drawn...

And thanks for you service in the navy.