What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Since I’ve been working as a substitute teacher, and for years was taking almost any job that came along, I’ve caught myself asking that question regularly.  Like the time I had an afternoon job teaching high school Health.  I was there a bit early, at the end of the period before I was to take over, and I walked into a classroom full of CPR dummies.  Fortunately, there was a paramedic there to explain the CPR lesson.

That’s how I met Officer Bruno.  I’d had a high school job on a Friday morning, and a social studies teacher wasn’t feeling well, so I was asked to stay and take his afternoon classes.  The lesson was a guest lecture by three police officers.  The officer I distinctly remember was Officer Bruno, because he had four legs and titanium teeth.  He was a Belgian shepard police dog and yes, legally he was a police officer.  He represented a substantial investment, so his main asset — his canine teeth — were coated with titanium.  He was a normal dog in the classroom because he realized where he was.  Put him on the street, and it was a different story.  Of course, being a dog had some disadvantages.  He wore a shock collar because he could get distracted (“squirrel!”) in the middle of a chase.  When it was time to retire, his handler was pledged to take care of him for the rest of his life.

That day, I think I learned more than anyone else.

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