Of the many mysterious and unfathomable things that exist in our world, one of the oldest and most cryptic is the Light Pole. Stories of canines finding themselves stuck around a light pole with no means of escape have been a part of canine culture for as long as anyone can remember. Across almost every breed of dog you will find similar origin stories about the tall, metal pole that can magically ensnare an unsuspecting canine as it walks by. The Labradors say it was erected by Caticus, the ancient god of the chase, so she could foil the god Rover, as he pursued her through the neighborhood. The Great Danes call it Shiny Pole and claim it was put here by aliens who visited Earth ten to twenty years-ago. Still others, like the Mastiffs, Chihuahua’s and most of the Terrier and Hound groups, believe that the Light Pole has always been here, formed at the very beginning of creation as a warning to canines, of the dangers of this world.
I recently took a visit to the pole, located on a slight curve, as Willow Street intersects Birch Drive and spoke with some of the canines about their first-paw experience with the Light Pole.
“Yeah, I got my leash wrapped around it one time,” said Lil’Rudy, a Chihuahua living two houses down from the famed pole, “I was pure panic man. That thing came out of nowhere and next thing I know I couldn’t get unstuck. Thank God my master was there. If she hadn’t performed her powerful magic, I would still be wrapped around that thing.”
Jake is a black Labrador who has had multiple encounters with the pole. “I don’t like to walk that way, but my master likes the girl who owns the Chihuahua named Lil’ Rudy, so I have to. Hey, you don’t mind if I lick my balls while we’re talking do ya? Good. Anyways, we always walk that way and I always get my leash stuck. It’s scary man. Hey, what's that? Oh, that's my tail."
I visited the home of Penny a Cocker Spaniel and Idaho, a Dachshund-Bulldog mix. Their front window looks right out on the Light Pole. I asked them to tell me some of what they’ve seen.
“Well we see everything,” said Penny as she barked viciously at a man walking by, “Jesus, did you see that man. He was going to murder us if I didn’t bark.”
“I don’t like to stare too long at it,” said Idaho moments before smashing his face into the window, snapping and snarling at a plastic bag as it blew past. “Holy crap, I just saved this whole house from that alien.”
Realizing that this was just too dangerous of a place to conduct an interview I traveled to the local Obedience School, to speak with Professor Barksdale, a gray Weimaraner who holds a PhD in crotch sniffing and couch destruction. I asked him his thoughts on the pole.
“The pole is something of an enigma. How can something so incredibly complicated be so simple in design and structure? I mean, look at it, it’s a pole, yet no dog has ever been able to unravel themselves once they get wrapped around it. According to legend, there is some secret combination of left-right turns you have to take in order to get unstuck, but I think that’s just bark. It’s impossible. Hold on we got a crotch heading this way.”
After speaking with a few more canines about their experiences it became clear to me that the Light Pole was a puzzle that would probably never be solved. Before I left town though, I got word of a Boxer named Ron, whom claimed to know the secret of the Light Pole. Intrigued, I moved my flight to later and met him at the pole to see for myself.
Ron wrapped his leash around the pole three times and then proclaimed to me that all he had to do to get unstuck was to keep traveling around the pole in the same direction. It failed miserably and he became even more stuck. I peed on the pole and left.
Will canines ever be able to unravel the leash from the pole? Perhaps, but I can tell you, this canine reporter won’t be walking near it anytime soon.