Tough Dog?

Photograph of an old typewriter (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)




The following story was submitted by RCMP Veteran  Jim Bramhill (Reg. #17848). “I must preface this story by stating I love dogs.





In the summer of 1967, I was transferred for two weeks to Fort McMurray Town  Detachment while the N.C.O. i/c was A.O.D.  At Edmonton another senior constable, Mike, joined me.

Mike and I arrived on the Fort McMurray airstrip about 7:30 a.m., but I was not able to unpack my bags or go to bed until 3:00 a.m. the next morning.  What a shock for me coming from a relatively quite detachment to a town bursting with activity as a result of the new tar sands development.  The most senior constable at the detachment had only three years service, and each member worked over 310 hours a month.  The only time a member got a “day off” was when he escorted prisoners to Edmonton. 

Eventually, Sunday morning came and everything was quiet —– so I thought.  While I was checking through the pile of complaint forms for the week, a very junior constable reported a member of the Metis settlement along the river bank wanted him to shoot his dog because it had become quite vicious.  I told him to be sure the owner signed a note of permission and that he tie the dog up before shooting it.

About a half hour later, a young boy ran into the office yelling, “Mister, mister, there is a dog bleeding all over its head in the parking lot(of the shopping centre)and a policeman is running after it with his gun out!”  Just as I was taking my hands off the top of my head, the young constable rushes in to report he had lost the dog.  He explained he had tied the dog up and shot it, but then it broke the “rope” and ran along the river bank where he shot it again.

I then realized this situation demanded the attention of a senior member, so I instructed Mike to find the poor dog and see that it was destroyed. Satisfied this unfortunate situation was now “under control”, I got back to checking the complaint forms,—– but not for long.  Mike ran in to explain he had also lost the dog after shooting it three times as it cowered under the  steps of the community hall.  After absorbing the third bullet, the dog darted out from under the steps to disappear in a large field of tall grass.

Now I was the senior member who had to attend to this debacle. I went out looking for the dog with the help of some excited children who found the suffering creature.  I then placed the sixth shot where the first one should have gone, right behind an ear. This immediately brought the dog’s misery to an end.

Later when I was attaching the blood-spattered note of permission to the complaint form, I asked myself, “Was that dog so tough it could survive five bullets, or was our .38 calibre ammunition that inefficient.”  It was then, for a brief moment, I wished we were equipped with the first firearm issued to me —– a .455 calibre  cannon!”    

Photograph of a Smith & Wesson Model .455 Caliber.

Photograph of a Smith & Wesson Model .455 Caliber.