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I Know Jack
Dog reporter debuts
June 14, 2007

‘m a dog. A reporting dog. My beat is the real story behind the story. Having four legs and a cold nose gives me an advantage in this kind of work.

And something else too.  People talk to dogs.   They tell us things when they think no one else is listening.  Frankly, people are not that hard to figure out.  Raising a paw and cocking my head sideways kinda cute-like will liberate a snack from a human in seconds.  Works just about every time.

So, I know people. 

I know my work.

I know Jack.

I was prepared to agree with some of it
Recently, I was pawing the local weekly paper and found an editorial rather critical of my owner. Now, I gotta admit, I was prepared to agree with some of it.   This is a guy that sits at the table eating fresh fish from Fulcher’s Seafood, but thinks I should be happy with a bowl of some dry brown chunks called kibble. He could do better. I’ve been meaning to have a "Come To Jack" talk with him about it.

But this weekly newspaper publisher – she says he’s worse than that.  She says my owner is a really bad guy.   He puts up web cams. She says they are bad. In fact she says my owners web cams are "spy cams" or "surveillance cams."

So, chasing down the real story behind the story being what I do, I decided to take a look myself.

I went to this harbor cam web page.  I saw a couple of sailboats — I’ve met the owners of some of these sailboats and some of them are good for a piece of hamburger now and then so I didn’t mind seeing pictures of boats.  Then there is the floating dragon, and the occasional shrimp trawler.

But a good dog reporter has to check all the facts. So to get the story behind the story and to be fair, I went to one more place on the computer: that weekly newspaper’s web site.

And… whoa… what’s this? First thing I see on the front page of that publication’s web site is an ad for a web cam. Hmm.  I’m thinking.  "This is strange.  I thought the paper thought web cams were bad, bad, bad."     But even stranger is… it isn’t my owner’s web cam they’re talking about in the ad.  It is the paper’s own web cam.  I stared at it for a long while to make sure I was seeing this right.   A dog likes to get his facts straight. 

It was all beginning to come back to me.   When I first showed up in town a couple of years ago someone else was trying to make a web cam work.   I remember hearing that  the newspaper was laying claim to it as their web cam.  Of course, in this line of work, you want more than the recollections, you want proof.   And that’s what I was seeing in the ad right before me. 

Now word on the street (dog reporters are good at picking up word on the street) is that the newspaper publisher couldn’t make it work, and she gave up trying. I went to the Internet Archive and found the old site – it says they will have "a web cam, a weather station, and lots of fun." Gosh Sherlock, does that sound like a site you already know?

So, lets get this straight. The newspaper publisher puts up a cam, can’t make it work, and now decides to criticize my owner – because he does make his cam work. And at the same time she is still running an ad promoting her now defunct web cam.

Also, it doesn’t take too smart a dog to notice that if the paper runs it it is a "web cam", but if my owner runs it they call it a "spy cam."

Hmmmmm. Research pays off. I was a happy dog.  I had this case almost all wrapped up.

But before I could call this case closed, there was one more detail.  One thing that was escaping me.  A word.   Like a squirrel up a tree, it was just out of reach.   But I knew where to look.

For this, I put the computer aside and I turned to my trusty friend.  In this tough world, man’s best friend may be dog, but a dog’s best friend is a good dictionary (it is a friend that not all area media may have).

Case closed.

Do you know a story that needs the work of a super sleuth Dog Reporter like Jack? Email jack@towndock.net with news story tips.
When Jack isn't out reporting, he is an auxiliary member of the Oriental Police Dept. His main assignment is enforcement of the 15mph speed limit on Hodges St.