Our dog Rosco (named for Dukes of Hazzard character Rosco P. Coltrane) recently had knee surgery, but he is recovering well. We have been walking him a bit further day by day. Recently we walked him across the Chicago River bridge for the first time since he injured his leg. As we were coming downhill from the bridge, we saw a runner followed by a bicyclist coming toward us on the sidewalk. Rosco doesn't like runners much, and he hates cyclists (along with roller-bladers, skateboarders, and delivery trucks). I pulled our dogs onto the grassy parkway to wait for the two men to pass, shortening Rosco's leash in the process (our other dog has little prey drive).
As they approached, we recognized the runner... it was Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who lives just a few blocks from us (he stirred controversy by refusing to relocate his family to the Governor's Mansion in Springfield, but he didn't want to disrupt his children's schooling). He was being followed by a state trooper on a bicycle. He said hello to us, and Rosco lunged toward him. Fortunately, I anticipated this. I pulled hard on his leash and thwarted the assassination attempt. Rosco tried again as the state trooper rode by us.
No harm was done, but we were a little embarrassed. As we continued down the street, we realized what could have happened. If Rosco had bitten the Governor, the state trooper might have drawn his gun, and Rosco's $2,700 knee surgery would have been for naught. We further imagined that a veterinarian would perform an autopsy and tell us, "His knee was healing perfectly... until he got shot."
By the way, this weekend Blagojevich will become the first governor to run in the River to River Relay, an 80-mile race across southern Illinois contested by eight-person teams.