Noe Valley Voice September 2000

Barking Dogs Aid Police


Early this morning [Thursday, July 20], a person was pushed or fell off a balcony in front of a building on Church Street between Jersey and 25th streets. My back yard faces the back of that building, as well as the backs of many of the houses on Jersey and 24th near Church.

Both my dogs awakened me with some loud barking early in the morning, which I dismissed as a visit from a local raccoon or skunk. A few minutes later, they both ran onto my balcony and barked loudly until I came to see what was going on.

I saw a policeman standing on top of a storage shed behind the Church Street building. He asked if I had seen someone in any of the yards. I looked at where my dogs were staring, and sure enough there was a man trying to climb over a fence from the back of a building on Jersey Street into a yard behind a house on 25th Street.

From the officer's point of view, the man was not visible. I told the officer where the man was hiding, and the officer pulled his gun and ordered the man to stop. That was when Sedona and Mitzi and I went back inside.

Apparently the man who fell was pronounced dead, and the alleged perpetrator taken into custody.

Now we have some K-9 heroes on our block!

Lynne Maltz

25th Street

Editor's Note: The district attorney has dropped murder charges against the 29-year-old Noe Valley man allegedly involved in a dispute with a 27-year-old man who fell from his balcony at 1280 Church St. According to police, the younger man, a friend visiting from Florida, had been drinking heavily and most likely fell from the landing by accident. (For further details on the July 20 incident, see this month's Police Beat column, page 13.) However, the Noe Valley man was jailed on an outstanding $20,000 arrest warrant for drug violations in Alpine County, Calif.

Lance's Guide to Life


My name is Lance, and I am a 21/2-year-old yellow lab guide dog. I've been with my new dad (who can't see) for about 10 months. We've come to know each other pretty well so far, but we need some help.

When I'm working with him (which is whenever I have my harness on), I see many people who don't quite know how to respond. Many want to pet me, or call out to me, or even pull my harness or leash. They may be trying to help, but this can be very tough for me because I really need to concentrate on keeping my dad safe. We can get hurt if I am distracted or interfered with.

Other dogs are a big problem, because they don't understand that I can't play or sniff. And if they are off leash, wow... Some people take their dogs aside, or around the corner and let us pass, which is so much better for me at my young age. I love to play, but not with my harness on. Even one bad encounter with a (pet) dog, on or off leash, can permanently upset my ability to work--I'd have to retire, and I'd miss my dad a lot.

If I can't steer my dad around an obstacle, I lead him right up to it so he can feel it, and we work out a way around it. I won't let him get into trouble, but when the clearance is tight, I let him decide what to do. He will ask for help if we need it, but we have worked through many, many situations.

I once ran him into a tree while walking around a car on the sidewalk because someone across the street was yelling "Look out!" I would have stopped, but I turned to see what the yelling was about, and--wham!--my poor dad hit the branch with his head and got a bump and a cut. We had to go in to clean and ice it. I felt real bad and sat by him the rest of the day.

I love to help my dad because he does everything for me. He feeds me, gives me water, cleans up after me, and plays with me. He grooms me every day, and gives me a bath once a month (or more often if I get dirty). He even brushes my teeth!

I live in a nice house with a yard to run around in, my own bed that he got for me (very comfy), certain toys to play with, and lots and lots of love and praise.

He's the best, and I really want to take care of him. He takes me everywhere he goes, so I've been around to many places. I stay quiet on the floor until we are ready to go again. He likes to talk about us to the people we meet, when he can. Sometimes we're running a little late and can't talk, but usually we like to chat with people.

Did I mention play? We play. And play-- at home. We play "get you": he tries to catch me, but I jump back. He can't see me, so I come back up and touch his hand with my chin to let him know where I am. I figured that out all by myself. It's my favorite game. I won't mention the chase around the table with a slipper in my mouth, 'cause I'm not supposed to do that.... Oh, I also let him rub my tummy...a lot.

My school in San Rafael -- Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. (1-800-295-4050)--has a lot of good materials to learn from, and is a great place to visit. They put out a brochure that gives some good tips for meeting a working team. Or check out their web site: Thank you for helping to spread the word.

Regards (lick),


Cesar Chavez Street