The neighborhood pawn shop is one of those small businesses that opens late in the day. I discovered this fact after I finally decided to see what the store had to offer. I arrived after 11:00 AM, the same time as the proprietor and his medium size dog.
After the owner unlocked the door I headed towards the glass display cabinet. The owner described what people usually bring in to pawn and what paying customers usually buy. During his monologue he brought out guns. Lots and lots of guns were stored in a safe in the back room. Many of the automatic rifles were the type that have been getting press coverage over the past several years.
Also during the owner’s descriptions, his dog had been rubbing against my leg as if he was a cat. I instinctively reached down to pet the dog. The owner noticed this and cautioned me that “Chet” is a trained guard dog and that he can do “great damage” to anyone who is up to no good.
Meantime, Chet became friendlier with each passing minute. While I tried to examine the merchandise in the display counter, the dog wanted to hog my attention. I couldn’t pet him enough. It was hard to believe that this outgoing, friendly canine was a fierce animal.
Eventually, Chet had warmed up to me to the point that he stood on his hind legs and parked his forelegs on my chest. Clearly Chet wanted to lick my face. I didn’t want that to happen so I distracted the dog by rubbing his cheeks while we looked into each others’ eyes.
The pawn shop owner finished filling up the racks with rifles and handguns. That’s when he noticed how well the dog and I enjoyed each other’s company. He explained that Chet is a purebred Belgian Malinois. The breed is known for being very protective of their owners and can be trained to be very effective attack dogs. He grinned and remarked that Malinois can also be quite affectionate to certain people. He told me that Chet would recognize me the next time I visit the store.
There was nothing I wanted to buy, so I headed towards the door and said my goodbyes to the owner and Chet. The dog had a forlorn look on his face as I left the building.
The pawn shop dog came to mind early this morning while “Orange” the cat sauntered by my house for his regular visit. I’ve always gotten along well with other people’s pets.