By Janet Tappin Coelho
A stray dog, caught on security camera stealing a paperback from a bookstore in Brazil, appears to have made a shrewd choice because the novel swiped off the shelf was called ‘Days of Abandonment’.
Now the mutt’s days of living alone on the streets are over because a rescue home has taken him in after hearing about his cheeky escapade.
The adorable pup, who has been named Kustelinha, will be put up for adoption by Ampara Animal Shelter after he’s gained some weight on his thin frame and has received all his vaccinations.
The clever pooch was filmed last Friday (16 March) entering unnoticed into the Infinity bookstore on the Feevale University campus in Novo Hamburgo, south Brazil.
The images show the dog hanging around at the shops’ entrance before casually walking inside while looking around as if deciding what his next step should be.
To the surprise of thousands of social media users who have watched the footage, the ‘educated’ mongrel trots purposefully over to a book shelf to his right. After taking a few seconds to select the publication of his choice from the bottom shelf, the little tyke picks out Italian author, Elena Ferrante’s novel ‘Days of Abandonment’.
The 2002 edition tells the story of a woman who experiences ‘devastating emptiness’ after her husband of 15 years abruptly leaves her for his lover. The protagonist owns a dog.
With the tome gripped firmly between his teeth, the canny canine is recorded scampering out the exit. But moments later the book thief is stopped by a passerby who manages to grab the work of fiction from the poor pooch after he drops it.
Naiara Pilger, 23, who was serving on the till when the incident happened, said: “A man came into the bookstore with the book and said he was returning it because he believed the dog outside had just stolen it from the shop.
“He said everyone outside was laughing when they saw the dog with the book in its mouth. The animal dropped the book but couldn’t pick it up again. That’s when the guy retrieved the novel which has teeth marks all over it.”
Bookstore manager, Jairo Oliveira, said: “The dog has been in the area for about a week before this happened. We caught him sleeping on the rug outside the shop and he has been inside before.
“He isn’t the only mutt that has wandered into the store unannounced to hide between the aisles. But he is the only one that has had the wit to steal a book.
The bookshop plans to keep the ‘autographed’ teeth marked copy as a souvenir.
Fátima Ferreira, a volunteer from the animal home said: “The little dog is very calm and affectionate. We called him Kustelinha because he’s so thin, and the pet name means your ribs are sticking out.
“He has been showered and had some photos taken and he’s going to a vet this week to have a thorough check up.
“He will be neutered, vaccinated and fed a healthy diet so he gains some weight. Once he’s ready he will be put up for adoption,” she explained.