Under different circumstances, this could have been a love story to end all love stories.
Or at least an office romance with international implications.
The love story you are about to hear is true. At least the gist of it, which is all I could get while it is wrapped in bureaucratic red tape. Love has a way of ending up on the cutting board, sliced and diced until all that is left is a memory.
Which is all our European lover has left as he toils somewhere in Canada today. Alone and half the dog he was before.
That's right. Our hero is a canine.
Not long ago he held a noble position right here in Nevada. He was a peace keeper, working with his partner to keep the peace in Southern Nevada's prisons.
The fact that he was a dog made no never mind to him. He was proud and felt his Belgian heritage breed known as a Bouvier des Flanders could match anything the Germans or Irish had to offer Nevada.
Besides, his human handler was a capable fellow whom he'd come to be very, very, very fond of.
One day the Bouvier des Flanders and his handler were told to report for training. It was a great opportunity for the dog to show that he belonged and for the handler to show that he could handle anything, including a muscle-bound Bouvier des Flanders with love on his mind.
According to my source, things were going well until someone decided to have the handler pretend he was in trouble and see if the dog would come to his rescue.
Unfortunately, when this particular Bouvier des Flanders saw his handler drop to his belly and yell for help, he saw it as an opportunity. He allegedly climbed on his handler's back and ... well ... did what came naturally to a dog in love. At least that's what appeared to be happening to the other handlers and canines who were there.
When they finally pulled the love-sick Bouvier des Flanders from his handler's back, they decided it might be better if the handler were on his back, not his stomach, as he pretended to be in trouble.
That only made matters worse, as the Bouvier des Flanders reportedly climbed on his handler's face.
By this time the handler must have been humiliated beyond belief. He worked in a prison, by God, and he knew it was just a matter of time before word of his encounter with his own Bouvier des Flanders circulated.
He could just hear the jokes as he patrolled the prison grounds. The barking sounds. The howls. The panting.
The Bouvier des Flanders, on the other hand, probably didn't understand all the fuss. The love of his life had just dropped to the floor and called him over. What else is a Bouvier des Flanders in love supposed to do?
What the handler did was call the state's sexual harassment hot line.
He determined that European or not, the Bouvier des Flanders was a state employee who had just tried to have sex with his face.
Never mind that the dog wasn't getting benefits, or even a 401(k).
Now imagine someone with the state Attorney General's Office flipping on the hotline tape machine and listening to that one. And then imagine the surprise when they learned the handler was dead serious.
From what I heard, the claim was denied. It was determined that the Bouvier des Flanders was state property, and not a state employee. And we all know you can't be sexually harassed by state property, even if it is a hot-to-trot purebred of Belgian origins.
The handler has reserved his right to sue the state. The premise of his suit might be a double-standard. Assault the dog and he's a peace officer. But the dog assults you and he's a piece of furniture?
The Bouvier des Flanders was reportedly neutered and shipped back to Canada. He's probably wandering the streets of Montreal wondering what went wrong and what he did to deserve such a fate.
Another tragic ending to what began as simple puppy love ... or something resembling puppy love.
Jeff Ackerman is publisher and editor of the Nevada Appeal.