Big thanks to Rhon for keeping us all up on this now happy story! Rhon was good enough to bark in when the news first hit and has kept us all apprised as the story went from heart-breaking to heart-warming!
And isn’t Clementine just darling!
This article comes from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Unlikely ending to this puppy dog tale
November 18, 2006
BY TOM McNAMEE Sun-Times Columnist
Clementine the puppy is home, thanks to a Chicago Sun-Times reader. And her human family’s faith in people has been restored, thanks to many more of you.
“A stranger called and burst into tears, he was so upset,” said Mary, the mom of the family. “Another man said he had 150 people praying for us.”
“Everybody seemed to care,” said the boy of the family. “The police came over today just to see how Clementine’s doing — and me, too.”
Clementine is doing fine, though she’s awfully tired. Who wouldn’t be?
Click to enlarge image
16-week-old Clementine is reunited with her owner.
(John J. Kim/Sun-Times)
Who would steal a 13-year-old’s dog?
And the boy’s doing much better than fine. He’s doing great.
“When we got her home, she fell asleep first thing,” he said. “I’ve just been petting her.”
A brazen robbery
In the scheme of things, it wasn’t a big story. Nobody died. But sometimes it’s a little story that can make us feel like the world’s all wrong.
As I reported in Thursday’s Chicago Sun-Times, a 13-year-old boy who lives in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood was walking his 12-week-old puppy Sunday evening when a man approached.
“Hey, what kind of dog is that?” the man asked, reaching down as if to pet Clementine.
The boy, whose name I have agreed not to print, sensed trouble. “Oh, it’s a bull terrier,” he said quickly, and he tried to scoot Clementine along.
But the man had a grip on the puppy’s neck. He was unhooking her leash. And when the boy tried to stop him, he shoved the boy away.
“Hey, that’s my dog!” the boy cried.
The man scooped up the frightened puppy, walked to a truck where another man waited, and drove off.
Two days later, when I heard about this, I asked the boy’s mom how her son was doing.
“A lot of tears,” Mary said. “A broken heart.”
‘I’ve got your dog’
In my Thursday story, I included a number people could call. The Sun-Times even ran a cute photo of Cleme.
But this is Chicago, not Pleasantville, and I never gave that puppy a chance. Even as I typed, I imagined Clementine chained in a basement, being jabbed by sticks to make her fighting mean.
And then on Thursday, a man called the number in the story.
“I’ve got your dog,” he told Mary.
“What?” she said.
“I’ve got your dog,” he repeated. “I saw her picture in the paper.”
The man described Clementine exactly as she is, right down to the freckles that peek through her fur.
You see, he told Mary, he had bought the dog for $200 from a stranger on the street. He could tell the other guy wasn’t the dog’s owner, he said, and was concerned for its safety. The dog seemed upset, which upset him.
And then, he said, he saw the picture of Clementine in the Sun-Times and immediately called.
Wait, I said to Mary. This guy told you he bought the dog from a total stranger? He handed over $200 just to be a hero to dogs?
You believe that?
“Let him be the good Samaritan,” Mary said simply. “Maybe that’s what he was. That’s what I want him to be.”
A joyful reunion
The next morning, Mary and her husband, escorted by a police officer, drove down to the caller’s house on the Far South Side.
When Mary saw Clementine in the living room, she scooped the puppy up. Her husband cradled the dog into his arms. Clementine squirmed with joy, nibbling his ears and licking his face.
As compensation and a reward, the couple paid the man $500.