It's a dog-eat-dog world. But while this story in no way involves a canine actually consuming another canine, it does involve a dog. And a diamond ring.
Michael McCullough has been in Colorado for two months, having moved here from Michigan, where he attended Michigan State and at some point probably uttered the phrase "Go, Spartans." Mike lives out near the Tech Center but recently found himself wanting to explore downtown, no doubt tired of watching worker-bee secretaries stuff their gopher faces with T.G.I.Friday's fried mac-and-cheese balls before gargling them down with Ultimate Strawberry Daiquiris, all the while pining for the days when they were still attractive enough for their bosses to sexually harass them. Unfortunately, Mike's conception of downtown Denver is Colfax and Pearl. It's an easy mistake -- the Capitol is very close to there, so it might seem like a good place to visit -- but unless a tourist asked you something like, "Hey, do you know where in Denver I can see a homeless guy fuck a dead homeless guy while another homeless guy masturbates to it and then someone shoots a hooker?," you're probably not going to recommend Colfax and Pearl. But, whatever. Mike was there, and something attracted his attention on that strip -- maybe it was the Office Depot, maybe it was Tom's Diner, Mike can't recall exactly -- so he dipped into a store for about twenty minutes. He had brought along his three-month-old golden retriever puppy, Aspen, for the downtown jaunt, so he tied Aspen's leash to a pole before heading into the shop.
When he came out, Aspen was gone.
"At that point," Mike says, "I honestly didn't think I'd ever see her again."
Seized with panic, Mike frantically asked anyone and everyone in the area if they had seen Aspen. Everybody had some story for him. One guy went so far as to tell Mike that he knew the guy who took his dog and would drive him to him, but after a few minutes in the car with the guy, Mike realized he was a total scam artist, trying to milk him out of cash. Finally, after eight hours of searching, Mike got a solid lead and headed to Club 404, the glorious Broadway dive where the suspect was reported to be a loyal customer. Mike chatted up the bartender, and together they figured out who the guy was, and the bartender told him that the next time said fella came into the watering hole, if he had a retriever with him, she would call Mike on his cell, and he could either confront the dog thief or she would sneak Aspen into the alley, where Mike could reclaim her.
The next day, Mike got a call from the 404, but it wasn't the bartender. It was the dog thief himself. As if nothing in the world were awry, he informed Mike that he had his dog and that he could come pick Aspen up. Now if I were Mike -- and I want you to bear in mind I am not Mike, okay? My name is Adam -- this is the point at which I would undergo an awesome Rocky-theme-music-narrated training montage in which my rippling abs are prominently highlighted, then go into that bar and kill the dog thief with one super-awesome kung fu death chop to the larynx. But not Cool as a Cucumber Mike. He thought better of it, because, as he put it, "If this guy is crazy enough to steal a dog, who knows what else he will do?"
So Mike went and picked up his dog, then headed back to safer Tech Center parts, his loyal companion Aspen in tow. Dog lost, dog found.
If only you could say the same for rings. Although "$6,000 ring hurled out the window of a car in a fit of rage" is not technically lost.
The police report for the lost "size 5 platinum three stone woman's ring," filed by Ann Last Name Withheld Upon Request (it's Dutch-Irish), reads, "I threw it out the window when I was mad. Can't remember the cross street. But it was on Broadway heading towards Downtown Denver."
I called Ann Last Name Withheld Upon Request, and she informed me that the ring had a lot of meaning to her, as it had survived a house fire in 2003 -- but that she was fighting with her husband, and in the heat of the moment hurled the $6,000 heirloom out the car window. God, if this Ann wasn't already married, I would get down on my knees right now. I like that kind of fire in a woman.
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"I feel kind of stupid about it now," she says.
So far, the ring has not turned up, and Ann is not holding out much hope, as such a find is a pretty good payday for the transients of the area, a find some might even consider better than a golden retriever. Ann's resigned herself to the reality that the ring is probably gone forever.
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.