I'd just come back from my morning beach walk, a three mile jaunt up the beach topped off with a series of stretches. I usually come inside and begin to write but this morning I made my second cup of coffee and went outside to read, facing the beach and the incoming tide. The old stone pier that usually launches boats was empty except for an old man and a dog. I glanced and glanced again; sensing something wrong with the picture. The Mexican man was disheveled and dressed in clothes that didn't fit him. The dog was a purebred springer spaniel, well fed, obviously cared for and expensive. The picture didn't fit. I continued to watch as I grew more nervous. The dog was constantly looking afar as if expecting someone to come into view. He was not at home with the man in charge.
Eventually the man grabbed the long chain attached to the dog and walked past, crossing in front of me. I continued to watch him jerk the dog as he faded out of sight. About 45 minutes later I heard someone yelling and went outside to see him pass by again. This time the chain was replaced with nylon fishing rope and he was pulling the recalcitrant dog along. He had a new red baseball cap on; the dark kerchief around his neck was gone. He stopped and yelled at the dog and beat him with a stick as my stomach turned.
No more benefit of the doubt. I ran inside, grabbed my camera and snapped some shots of the man and dog as they made their way down the beach, then I went to the Islandia Office. "Marta," I asked, "If I lost my dog where would I go for help? Who would I call?" She told me the police. I told her the story, showed her the pictures and she picked up the phone. The police said they would check it out.
I plan to be relentless.