It could have happened to anyone. A dog owner was walking his pet on Park Boulevard the other night, when three men came out of the shadows and robbed him. The dog, Theo, must have been traumatized because he took off running and wasn't spotted until the next morning.
What happened next is a testament to the goodness of Oakland neighbors, who spent the better part of the morning trying to catch the frightened pet. According to reader Gael Sapiro, a motorist saw Theo and stopped his truck in the intersection of Park Boulevard and Grosvenor. The little dog darted under the pickup and then wedged himself in the wheel well. "For the next hour, many neighbors tried to lure Theo out without success," Sapiro says. They even made a barricade around the truck, but Theo skirted through it and sprinted up Park Boulevard and under a second -- and then a third vehicle.
"Miraculously, a woman appeared who volunteered to reach under the car and just grab the scared and snarling dog," Sapiro says. "She did and he was wrapped in a blanket and taken to our nearby home."
Sapiro contacted Oakland Animal Services and learned that the man who lost Theo had been checking the shelter, along with his daughters. But she says it was shelter Director David Cronin who reunited the little dog with his owners.
"It was clearly a labor of love for him to get Theo back with his family," says Sapiro, who adds it was hard to say who was more overjoyed at the reunion -- Theo or the three children who loved him.
Around town: Montclair's "coffee corner" is getting a new teahouse. Sophie's Cuppa Tea is opening in the vacant shop next to Art Loft on Antioch Court. The owners, John Brown and Xiaobei Wei, say they've spent three years studying Chinese tea culture and will be carry teas rarely seen in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Montclair children's apparel shop A Little Peace of Heaven has reportedly signed a new five-year lease, despite the fact that it's rarely open. Daniel Swafford, of the Montclair Village Association, isn't pleased.
"There are a lot of talented, creative, entrepreneurs in this city that could use that space to add to their livelihood and to the life of Montclair," he says. Let's hope the owner has a new business plan going forward.
Finally, thanks to Mike Levy for being one of my "moles" in the Village. In addition to ferreting out the two stories above, he says landlord Ray Silver plans to give Kotobuki sushi a new facade on La Salle Avenue.
On stage: Looking for a new way to vent? The play "Twenty-Four Angry Jurors" is an anger management class-turned-performance art this weekend at Oakland School for the Arts. The adaptation of Reginald Rose's classic "Twelve Angry Men" takes place in two onstage boxing rings. Check it out at www.oakarts.org.