"She lost it. She's pissed off," her owner said. She's a pleasant young woman that I often see at the field.
When I got to the field, I noticed a fellow in a bright orange/yellow shirt several hundred yards away, running with what appeared to be a golden retreiver.
At one point in the field, there is a small split-rail fence. There was a canvas bag there hanging over one of the posts. I thought somebody must have gone off and forgotten it. At the bottom of the post there was a little black bowl filled with water. I didn't make the mental leap that they had been put there by the guy who was running at the far end of the field, a few hundred yards distant from where he had been when I got there.
When I was at the fence, my dog was 20 or 30 yards behind me. I walked on. My dog is a notorious laggard. She doesn't keep up with me. In fact she's well known among us dog-park regulars as "the dog least likely to be anywhere near her owner." She's a daydreamer.
So I walked on another 20 yards or so, and I turned to see my dog drinking from the water bowl. Hot day, free water. Dogs will do that. But I called to her. I kept walking. A few minutes later, she ran up to me all excited with a black frisbee in her mouth, and I laughed.
What had happened was, the "black water bowl" was a frisbee. Again, I didn't make the connection. I thought she had found a lost frisbee in the field, and I figured it was probably Annie's. That happens from time to time. People leave dog toys behind, especially tennis balls, but sometimes frisbees or other such things. So I began playing frisbee catch with the my dog. She was having a ball, but she chewed it a few times.
Well the yellow-shirt guy runs up, steam coming out his ears.
"Is that what you do here? Just help yourself to other people's stuff? What the hell? What the fuck? What kind of dick are you?"
He was at least ten yards away, and it took me a minute to realize that he was talking about the frisbee, and that the frisbee was the water bowl.
"Hey I'm sorry," I started to explain, "I didn't see my dog grab it. She just ran up to me with it. . "
"Shut up you fucking asshole. Don't come near me. Just throw it to me. Walk away. WALK AWAY! Peaople like you disgust me. Just take your shit. What kind of people?"
I tried again to explain that I thought it was abandoned property and he said, "Blaming your dog?? BLAMING YOUR DOG????? What are you, 12 years old? Walk away, get out of here!"
He started talking to his dog about how my dog had ruined the frisbee, there were teeth marks, etc.
That was when he noticed that I was wearing my Tisbury Tower 1 firefighter "duty shirt" -- in fact, I had been on two calls already that day.
"You're a firefighter? What town do you work for? Tisbury? I'm going to call the town manager! You think you're a local, so you can just take people's shit. Fucking locals think they're entitled to anything!"
And I was thinking (a) I don't work for any town as a firefighter. I'm a volunteer, (b) how the hell would I know whether any frisbee I found in the field was a local frisbee or an off-island frisbee?
"How would you feel if somebody just took your things?" he yelled at me. "How about if I just took your pager?"
I was thinking, "well, I wouldn't just leave my pager out in the middle of the field." And I was also remembering the time I found a passport lying out in the middle of the field, and I took it to the Oak Bluffs police station and turned it in.
But I was also feeling kind of bad that my dog had ruined his frisbee. I knew that I didn't have any cash in my wallet but I was going to offer to buy him a new one.
I started again, saying "I'm sorry, a misunderstanding, I'll buy you a new one. . ."
But he said "A misundestanding? What's to misundestand? You steal people's stuff and first you blame your dog and then you claim it's a misunderstanding? You really are a dick! What a shit head. Walk away!"
So I put my dog on her leash and walked away. I went back to the lot, put my dog in the car and drove home. I noticed a red SUV in the lot. It had Red Sox decals and Colorado tags.
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