A full-bodied rottweiler who rose from the humblest of beginnings to head up the toughest all-bitch biker gang ever to patrol the streets of downtown Kirkland, Wash., Mirage perished this past July 10 after a lengthy bout with colorectal cancer. She was 80 (in dog years).
Mirage was the youngest of a litter of 11 baby rots abandoned by their housekeeper mother, Plimpy, on the mean streets of Kansas City just before the Great Depression. Their absentee father was rumored to be a lifelong ketchup bottler for Heinz. Left to fend for themselves, the pooches developed hardened exteriors—often wielding tommy-guns and sticking up area Woolworths. Notorious for wearing a black bowler hat with lace covering her face, as though she were set to attend her deadbeat mother's funeral, Mirage soon became burnt out on western Missouri's sweltering summer heat, and hopped aboard a boxcar bound for south central Colorado's Ruffskin Valley, a refuge for dogs of libertarian beliefs. There, Mirage and the Valley's fellow canine inhabitants staged a 15-day standoff with FBI agents (J. Edgar Hoover mistakenly believed Valley dogs to be of communist stripes).
The experience rekindled a renegade spirit in Mirage, who boosted a Harley and fled for the northwest Canadian border. But when her hog broke down in Kirkland, she became smitten with the lakefront Seattle suburb, which was still rather sleepy at the time of her arrival in the '80s. As the area exploded, Mirage, who fixed her chopper and had taken to cruising the Eastside streets with a group of similarly gritty female dogs, became quickly annoyed with what she viewed as a "new breed" of downtown Kirkland denizen that treated women as little more than meat.
If Mirage or one of her sisters-in-chrome noticed a woman getting harassed at a local watering hole, they would swiftly intervene—using force when merited. At first, these tactics got Mirage and her crew crossways with local cops. But the lawmen, to their credit, quickly saw the wisdom in Mirage's crew's approach and, from that point forward, treated the dogs as auxiliary officers—protecting Kirkland's shores from overzealous womanizers countywide.
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