Standing in the Central District Safeway with Rosie on her new long black leash, a well dressed, calm man walked up to my friend Julie and I, said hi, kneeled down on the floor and nuzzled my dog.
"A rescue?" he asked. "Yes, Rosie's from Mexico" I said, and Julie said "Linda rescued Rose and her 3 siblings and mother from starvation in a Mexican graveyard."
Smoothly pulling out his state of the art cell phone he showed us a photo of his three dogs, explaining he had just lost the best dog he ever had, because the dog died of old age. All kinds of love welled up in his eyes.
"Where'd you get these pups?" I asked. "All rescues," the man replied, "you can't really tell their size, they are huge dogs."
Then he added quickly, "I steal dogs."
Oh this is gonna be good I thought, as he launched into his tale.
"First one, the golden Retriever on the right, was my next door neighbor's dog. Kept the dog locked in the garage all the time, in his filth and piss. It was so sad. Just his nose would peek out of the garage, laying on his side, looking at me, asking for affection. Once in a while he'd escape, and we'd go looking and I'd find him and return him.
All summer long this went on. One time my neighbor came home, and the dog welcomed him, by jumping up on him. The owner kicked that dog - so hard I could hear it outside.
So, the next time the dog escaped, I found him, and I just never gave him back. What a shame your dog ran away, you know? Lived right next door.
Next time I stole a dog it was when someone I knew was getting a divorce. His wife took everything, just left him the big Chevy cab, his tools, and his dog. He was a contractor. I went to visit him and the guy was really drunk, spinning wheelies with his huge pickup, knocking the dog around in the open truck. But his big toolkit was loose and kept crushing the dog.
We went upstairs, got really plastered on a bottle of ancient scotch, smoked a big fat spliffy. All great stuff. He complained about his stupid dumb dog this and that.
Really early in the morning I walked downstairs, and took the dog with me as I left [as he said this he smiled at the perfect plan.] Next day that guy stopped by to give me a bottle of Chivas Regal, and a hundred dollars. Hey my big dog is missing - he told me - I think someone stole him out of the truck!"
'Wow, who would do that?' said I, with complete surprise." showing off his great boy-next-door-poker face.
"I am 'The Enforcer.' You mistreat your dog in front of me, he's gone. That was the best dog I ever had." he finished up.
"Excellent!" we both said with glee at his story. "Julie has 22 dogs and more cats she saved in Africa." I told him with a hint of one-upsmanship.
"Yes" said Julie, "there people leave puppies and kittens by the side of the road for God to sort out. So we stand in for God. They die from diseases a lot because of all the stuff, but we do the best we can with what is available there."
"Keep up the great work!" we encouraged him as we split off and continued shopping. "You too!" said he. "By the way, what's your name?"
"Christian" he said.
"Its our pleasure to meet you."
"Christian the dog thief" said Julie as we climbed into the car with Rosie and rocketed off with another random wonderment answered - who would steal a dog? It is the The Enforcer who steals dogs. Hen hen hen.