So here it is, told by Romaine:
I like shiny pretty things so needless to say I am a big fan of Christmas decorations and Christmas lighting. Every year I put up lights around the front of my house. This includes a Christmas sleigh with reindeer and a Christmas doggie.
The Christmas doggie is by far my favorite of all the decorations. He is about the height and width of my own dog Luka – who is an 80 pound Rottweiler, Doberman and Husky mix. The Christmas doggie is smartly dressed in Santa attire with a red Santa hat and cape. He is made out of light-weight metal and covered in brown glittery metallic material. He lights up from the inside.
Every time I see him it puts a big smile on my face because he is so goofy-looking and kind of reminds me of my own sweet boy Luka.
On the Sunday morning before Christmas I opened my door to a most upsetting sight. The decapitated head of the Christmas doggie was sitting on my front steps staring at me. It was a scene right out of “The Godfather”. His body was nowhere to be found. I was appalled by the sight and really angry that someone would violate my home and my poor little holiday pooch.
Below is a picture of the dreaded sight that I awoke to that Sunday morning. The picture is kind of blurry – but I was so upset when I took the shot that I didn’t even notice.
The woman police officer that I spoke to was very kind and spent a good long time on the phone sympathizing with me about how horrible this was. She was also a big fan of Christmas lights and fully sympathetic to my upset.
We discussed ways that I could deter would-be Christmas dog assassins in the future. She told me about this motion-sensitive device that you can hook up to a hose that will spray water when it detects movement. I was thinking that I could plant the device in my front yard and find a way to hook it up to a can of red paint so that it would spray out paint instead of water -thus marking the would be vandals with garish red paint. But then it occurred to me that this could lead to a rash of red-spotted birds, raccoons and squirrels in my neighborhood who would be innocent victims of my plan to foil the despoilers.
The next day as I was walking Luka around the neighborhood I saw the body of my Christmas doggie sitting on the front lawn on my neighbor’s house which is on the corner adjacent to my house.
I ran up to their door to find out how my dog’s body ended up on their front lawn. I thought maybe they were also the victims of a Christmas prank. It turns out they found the headless
body stuffed into their re-cycling bin and decided to add it to their front lawn Christmas display.
Only in Portland would a vandal be righteous enough to dispose of the evidence of their crime in the appropriate re-cycle bin. Perhaps this was an act of eco-terrorism performed by one of those anti-Christmas light people that protest the use of energy for holiday lights.
Once I got Ichabod back I replaced his head and brought him inside. I considered leaving him outside again and wrapping barbwire around his neck, but decided that would really up the ante for the next time the vandals decided to raid my property.
You might be wondering what kind of a neighborhood I live in where this type of vandalism occurs. I live in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Portland. It’s urban, close to downtown, walking distance to a fancy grocery store, numerous restaurants, many shops, bars, and coffee houses, a beautiful park and a library. As you can image, there is a lot of foot traffic in my neighborhood and my house happens to be listed in the “Walking Tours of Portland” guide because it’s one of the few older homes with a garage.
I love living in this neighborhood – but I also feel exposed.
There have been instances of vandalism and car break-ins on my block. Even our gardens aren’t safe. In the spring our front yard flowers get picked and in the summer our fruit trees are
raided. My neighbor has a front-facing persimmon tree that was full of fruit. She came home one day to find every piece taken from the tree.
I’ve been pan-handled while gardening. My neighbor once found a passed-out drunk sleeping it off in her backyard. I once had to call the police because I found a passed-out man on my
neighbor’s front lawn.
The joys of city living.
You might wonder why we all stay. I think each and every one of us does love living in the city.
Besides the vandalism, pan-handling and occasional drunken body to deal with it’s a gem of a neighborhood and we like living here.
Guess it all just goes with the territory.