Years ago a little Brazilian shop opened up next to the place I do yoga. The owner happened to live down the block from me and I would see her and her little black and white dog, PePe walking to the store each day. He was a blocky little Chihuahua mix that liked his freedom. He would wander behind his mom, following his nose, and then run to catch up to her. PePe spent each day at the store. Saying hi to customers and wandering freely in and out of the door to sniff at trees and trot up and down the sidewalk directly outside.
Then one day on my way to yoga I saw a missing poster for PePe, taped to the door of the Brazilian shop.
“He’s just disappeared.” The owner said to me, her eyes red rimmed from crying.
I told her how sorry I was and said I’d keep my eye out for him. But I knew that this was a thing that happens in cities. Terrible people scoop up little dogs and they’re never seen again. And that is what happened to PePe. The shop owner never saw him again.
A few months later she sold her shop and moved away. I felt terrible that San Francisco had betrayed her and stolen the love of her life. Every time I walk by that shop I still feel a pang thinking of PePe. I wonder where he went, how his life turned out. But I mainly wonder how his mom survived her broken heart.