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Charlie Carillo

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A Pit (Bull) Stop on the Subway

Posted: 04/17/2012 12:06 pm

I'm on an "A" train rumbling deep into Brooklyn when suddenly a young guy gets on board with a pit bull on a chain.

Not a leash -- a metal chain, with links big enough to support the anchor to the Intrepid.

The good news is, the dog is wearing a muzzle.

The bad news is, the muzzle fits around the sides of the dog's jaws, and does nothing to shield all those teeth.

The worst news is, there's not a cop in sight.

The guy holding the chain is wearing quite a few chains himself, and a baseball cap cocked at an angle, and shorts that hang below the knees.

I'm not the only rider who's leaning back as far as he can in his seat. It's a situation, all right.

This is clearly not a seeing-eye pit bull, so his presence on the train can't be legal -- can it? Isn't anybody on this train going to say something?

Yes indeed! Another young guy dressed in the same style as the pit bull owner walks right up to the panting dog, determined to speak up. Good for him -- but his words aren't exactly what I imagined he'd be saying.

"That's a beautiful dog," he begins. "How much you want for her?"

This I can't believe. He wants to buy the dog, on the spot!

The pit bull owner pulls on the chain, brings his beloved dog closer. "She ain't for sale."

"How much?"

"I told you, she ain't for sale."

The dog knows something strange is up. She's panting away, looking quizzically from her owner to the bidder. Now I see something I hadn't noticed before -- she is indeed a beautiful animal, the light brown color of a cappuccino, with bright eyes that can only be described as friendly. Her owner strokes her head.

"She's my baby," he continues. "I'm gonna breed her. Got the daddy picked out and everything."

The bidder's eyes light up. "She's gonna have puppies? How much you want for a puppy?"

"Three hundred fifty."

"I'll take one!"

"Gonna be a while, though."

"That's okay. I'll wait."

The bidder takes the owner's phone number. They shake hands on the deal, and the bidder gets off at the next stop.

"Remember, save me a puppy," he says over his shoulder, and he's gone.

By this time everybody on the subway car is aware of the dog, oohing and ahhing. A woman asks if it's okay to pet her, and the owner gives his permission. The dog seems to like being stroked.

"I thought pit bulls were mean," somebody says.

"Pit bulls ain't mean," the dog owner insists. "Their owners are mean. That's where the meanness comes from!"

"That's right!" somebody else says. "You tell 'em!"

I reach my stop and get off the train, and I'm laughing. Why am I laughing?

Because I've just been reminded of why I love this crazy, remarkable city. Because every time I think I've seen it all, it shows me something new, something I've never seen before, something I never could have dreamed of in a million years.

Charlie Carillo is a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition." His novels "Shepherd Avenue," "My Ride With Gus" and "Found Money" are available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. See his latest video here.

 
 
 

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