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The Vick of the Valley

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

I’m a scofflaw – I admit it.
I have a dog, and since I can’t remember whether or not I have a license for her, I’m guessing that means that I don’t.
Which means, of course, that I’m subject to prosecution and exposed to a possible one-year jail term.

Living in Virginia – ain’t it grand?


Anyway, cuff me and stuff me – because I’m guilty.

And seriously, I mean, give me the Michael Vick treatment.

Because the state has a right to know that I have a five-pound poodle – you know, in case she gets loose and decides to terrorize the neighborhood.

Don’t laugh – my Benzi could do some major-league damage to, oh, I don’t know, a flower bed.

The missus is always on me to not let the pooch dig in her gardens when I take her on walks in the yard.

I can only imagine what kind of holy hell she would raise if she somehow got away from us.

The state police and sheriff’s office need to have this kind of information at the ready in the event.

Because it’s not about the money – that’s what those in officialdom say when it comes to why we have a law on the books requiring us to get dog licenses.

Question: Do people need to license their cats? My guess is not. I mean, there’s no law requiring you to put your cat on a leash. But dogs … yeah.

That’s the issue that I will raise on my way to the slammer – you’re discriminating against dogs, and … why?

Aren’t they supposed to be our best friends?

And we treat them like criminals … why, again?

Which is why I’m not rushing off to the treasurer’s office to get my license anytime soon.

I’m engaging in some good old-fashioned civil disobedience.

My goals – I have to have goals; it says so in the Civil Disobedience Handbook – are twofold.

One, get the silly license law repealed; or two, if I can’t get that effort off the ground, get cats licensed and on leashes.

In fact, the more I think about it …

Yep, I want to see cats on leashes.

If I have to go to jail, it might as well be for something good.

Chris Graham is the author of Stop the Presses: A Collection of Columns. More information about the book is available online at

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