The Times called me last week and asked if I’d be interested in doing a ride-along with law enforcement. I didn’t have to think about it … of course I would. Crime was one of my beats when I started out as a reporter for The Moultrie (Ga.) Observer in 2001, and it has remained something I love to cover. But this assignment was different than previous law enforcement stories. For one, I was one of several journalists dispatched by the Times across the country to do ride-alongs on the same day. We were covering one shift of law-enforcement, from as many officers’ perspectives as possible.
Driving my favorite part of Ga. Highway 83, it’s easy to lose track of time. With only an occasional house or rusted fence to break up the miles of pine trees, irrigated cornfields and rolling pastures dotted with anthills, driving easily takes a back seat to my thoughts.
There was a bit of good news yesterday concerning the stray dogs of Sochi — 10 of them arrived in Washington D.C. and will be ready for adoption in a few weeks. It was the result of multi-organization effort, including Humane Society International and the Washington Animal Rescue League, to save as many dogs as possible from the region. This was especially good news for those of us who feared that the attention and money to save these animals would disappear following the Winter Olympics.
Being a dog lover in Sochi can be painful. It hurts to see many beautiful animals just wandering the streets of this town, sometime still muddy and wet from last night’s rain, looking for the next meal. And it hurts to know that many of these dogs are being put down systematically by a company hired by the local government. This plan has definitely worked … I now see a fraction of the dogs that I did when I first arrived on Jan. 13.