I spent much of yesterday evening walking around various Hackney housing estates placing ‘REWARD’ ads up on sodden trees looking for the stolen pitbull. I had a hammer in my back pocket, a lonely look on my face and rainwater running down my glasses. My overriding sensation was of profound boredeom and dampness. I had no sense I was doing anything good, only that life was slipping by while somewhere in a trendy bar nearby there was no doubt a group of good looking people telling very funny jokes at an important cultural event that I was not invited too.
Over the fence the grass is always neon green.
Occasionally I walked up to people who had the most aggressive dogs I could see – I figured they would know something. You can always tell those people: trousers are a bit too low, head wear pulled down over their foreheads (cap, hoodie) and one of their arms tugged tight by huge metal chain that is attached to a lump of muscle in the shape of a dog. But aside from the cultural stereotype they were surprisingly genial, chatty almost. They wanted to help my lonely white ass.
But no one had seen anything.
Furthermore, the woman who owned this dog was starting to give the impression she didn’t really care any more about me or even the dog. She had scarcely returned my emails or texts over the last day. When I had written to her asking if the ad I had designed was any good she eventually wrote back saying:
” Eyed sure
Sent from Samsung Mobile “
I had stared at that email for a while wondering what to do. I don’t mind dealing with the precariousness of predictive text when it’s about meeting in a trendy bar for an important cultural event but not when I’m offering to stand in the rain looking for a Pitbull stolen at knifepoint.. I looked at the picture of the dog again – ‘I’m doing it for you’ I thought – even if you are semi-illegal.
I stumbled into the driving rain and started plastering the REWARD poster on to almost anything vertical i could see – a lampost, a front door, I even considered the back of a passing Chinese businessman.
And what about the woman down the street with the swollen eye and bruised forehead with the lost Staffie who’s ‘having a really bad week’? I was still awaiting a picture of her dog so I could make up her poster too
When I got back I did an internet search for ‘dognapping hackney’ to see if there was anything else I could else I could do. I found an article about a girl whose mini Chihuahua had been stolen. The curious thing is that I recognised the dog, it was Carlitos …
Little Carlitos had once met Moose in Hoxton square and they had a fight. Carlitos, who is about 3 inches tall, ran at Moose and took him out. Moose was freaked out that a rat was attacking his face and fell onto his back and started paddling his feet frantically, until it all ended when he accidentally kicked Carlitos who went flying through the air like a furry tennis ball. Even then Carlitos was growling. It was sad to think that this little dog with so much self-confidence had been taken.
I rang the owner of Carlitos after digging for her number online. Turns out she also lived on my street! How many people on my street have lost their dogs? At this rate millions of dogs are getting lost every minute! But the good news is that she had got Carlitos back by offering a reward of £500
‘Two small Asian women turned up in a car and demanded more money than I offered. They had Carlitos in the back who saw me and started crying. They refused to give him to me unless I gave more money. I had my arm through the window and they wound up the glass’
‘Shit. What happened after?’ I asked.
‘A passing taxi driver stopped and threatened to punch them and smash the window. They gave back the dog. He said they should be happy with £500’
‘I say! £500 is a lot’
‘I got people writing to me saying they had the dog but they dind’t. Probably crack heads. I also had someone say they were going to kill the dog. It’s crazy out there’
My God! To think that tiny Vietnamese women are running around taking tiny dogs and crack heads are threatening to kill them – all in Hackney. It really is a jungle out there. When money interfaces with animals things can turn real bad. I’m not so sure its a good idea that I put a ‘reward’ on this poster.
I have to report that at the end of this day of seemingly pointless fly-posting, I felt a glimmer of something. A very strange movement inside me, what was it? Satisfaction? A feeling that perhaps, just maybe I done something meaningful to help. Then again, maybe it was just a bit of wind.