Noe Valley Voice October 2000

Dog Sleuth Finds Owner's Stolen Car

By Alissa Hauser

In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, Aug. 12, Mary Fahey's car was stolen from 21st Street along with bags full of dirty laundry ready to go to the laundromat the next day.

Fahey is the owner of Chattanooga Pooches, a Noe Valley dog walking service. Without her car, she would be unable to pick up her dog clients and transport them to the many wonderful doggie havens in the city. Without her laundry, she'd have to wear the four clean things she had left in her closet.

But remembering how she'd mouthed the words "I hate you" to her car when she'd parked it the night before, Fahey resigned herself to her fate. She figured "it was God's way of saying, 'Go buy a minivan and get some new clothes.'" So she promptly rented a car and looked into purchasing a new minivan.

Two weeks later, Rudy, Fahey's 6-year-old pitbull, was awaiting his 5 a.m. walk. As Fahey typically does, she let Rudy lead the way on the walk, while she dragged behind him, half asleep. Rudy insisted on an extra-long walk that morning.

Starting at Chattanooga and 21st streets, he walked down the hill until he stopped at a silver Toyota Camry parked on Fair Oaks and 24th streets. Rudy began sniffing the car. It was a dark and hazy Noe Valley morning, and the car was buried in the murk. "No, Rudy, that's not our car, our car is gone," Fahey sadly informed her dog detective. But Rudy persisted until Fahey looked in the car and saw her laundry strewn all over the inside.

"The stolen car had been ransacked, stripped, and then parked six blocks away," said an astounded Fahey. "Rudy had found my car two weeks later!"

While stroking his fur, Fahey reveals that Rudy was abandoned as a puppy five years ago at Candlestick Park (a co-worker had found him). "Since then," says Fahey, "Rudy has taken charge of my life. He's my best friend, he helped me start my own business, and now he's even found my stolen car. As far as I'm concerned, he can take the lead wherever we travel. Who knows what he'll find next!"

When Fahey reported Rudy's discovery to the police, they told her that Rudy was well on his way to earning his own police badge. Good dog, Rudy!