"Stray Dog Strut" is the second session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
- Michiko Yokote
- Spike Spiegel
- Jet Black
- Abdul Hakim
- Pet Shop Owner
- Tattooed Man
- Hoodlum A
- Hoodlum B
- Hoodlum C
- Man A
- Man B
- Man C
- Gate Announcer
- Gate Announcer
- Hiroshi Takeuchi
A serial pet thief named Abdul Hakim unwraps his bandages, after having plastic surgery done to his face, in a dirty public restroom where a group of scientists with guns corner him. Hakim knocks them out easily and leaves carrying a large briefcase.
While in hyperspace near Mars, Spike Spiegel watches Big Shot and hears about the bounty information on Hakim, showing an outdated face on his mugshot. He is said to have stolen an innocent lab animal from a research facility and is worth 8 million Woolongs alive. Jet Black walks by as a doctor and friend of Spike calls the Bebop and offers a picture of Hakim post-plastic surgery for 280 Woolongs, as well as a few details such as a suspicious briefcase, though he doesn't know what was inside.
Once on Mars, Hakim contacts someone with his cell phone. He then goes to a juice bar where he is distracted by an old man long enough for his partner, a younger man, to grab Hakim's suitcase and run away, escaping on a truck. The Bebop does a water landing on Mars and Spike flies off on his Swordfish II, confident about catching the bounty. He goes to a pawn shop and after impressing the clerk with his knowledge of a pair of nunchucks, Way of the Dragon model, he is told to go to Animal Treasure.
There, the younger man with Hakim's suitcase tries to sell its contents to the storeowner. Spike catches him at gunpoint thinking the man is Hakim after another plastic surgery job. Spike forces the storeowner to open the case, and she finds a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy; she says the dog, henceforth named Ein, is worth about 200 Woolongs. Spike, convinced he is not Hakim, decides to leave. However, he passes the real Hakim on the street without noticing. Hakim catches the younger man at gunpoint and tries to grab Ein, who growls and runs away. A shot goes off, drawing Spike back to the shop and witnesses Hakim. Scientists in a van from the research facility, who have been searching for Hakim, are now passing by and see Ein. The chase is on, Hakim after Ein and the two scientists and Spike after Hakim close behind.
Ein reaches a bridge where Spike and Hakim meet on opposite ends. Spike reveals he's a bounty hunter and they fight until the dog jumps over the bridge and onto a boat. They jump after him but Ein jumps off the boat and onto Spike's head. Hakim falls into a barrel of crabs in the boat and Spike is left in the water holding the dog.
Back on the Bebop, Jet outfits Ein with a collar that has a tracking device back to his computer. Spike is angry that the dog isn't worth much, and receives a bite for his finger-pointing. They decide to use Ein as bait to draw Hakim out into the open. To do so, Spike is forced to dog walk on the streets of Mars while Jet monitors his location. Meanwhile, the scientists continue to drive around searching, and worrying about the loss of what they call a "data dog" to the police and the public.
Hakim escapes the river and makes contact with his buyer again, confident it is only a minor setback, however, his contact refuses to postpone their meeting. He walks down the street when an old man on the street stops him, insisting he knows Hakim is searching for something and that his bird, Peeko, can find it. Hakim stops.
The scientists decide to use a high-powered dog whistle in their van to attract every dog in the city to them. Ein hears the sound and escapes from Spike. The van, followed by a pack of dogs including Ein, drive past Hakim, who promptly gives chase. Hakim steals a newly-wed couple's car to keep up, and is then able to knock over Spike, grab Ein, and spray him with a sleeping agent.
Spike gets back to his ship and finds Hakim driving out to a causeway. He tries to crash Hakim's car by hitting the roof but the scientists' van catches up, fires on Spike and harpoons Hakim. Ein then wakes up, pushes a button to open the doors and jumps out. Despite hating critters, Spike makes a conscious choice to go after Ein and save him from falling into the water. He is forced to land and watch as the harpooned Hakim crashes into an ISSP precinct along with the scientists' van.
Big Shot reports on the crash, saying that the dog is a "data dog" and was engineered in an illegal research facility. The scientists along with Hakim were arrested by the police without Spike getting any reward, and in the end, Spike and Jet end up keeping Ein.
- “Well here’s another great moment in the legend of Spike, famous bounty hunter and dog walker.”
- — Spike Spiegel
- “Seems that way.”
- — Research Scientist 2
- Tank! (TV Edit) – Opening Titles
- The Egg and I (percussion only) – Session title, plays through the Bebop in flight sequence
- American Money – "Big Shot"
- Pot City – As Spike looks for Hakim
- Want It All Back – Spike chases Hakim who's chasing Ein
- Doggy Dog – Eyecatch I card
- Bindy – Eyecatch II card
- Cat Blues – Spike has Ein on a lead; Hakim phones "Snoop"
- Bad Dog No Biscuit – Spike and Hakim chase Ein and all the other dogs chasing the dog whistle
- American Money – "Big Shot"
- Kabutoga ni kodai no sakana (The Horseshoe Crab, the Ancient Fish) – TV commercial on the pet shop TV
- American Money – Big Shot theme, while Spike realises Ein is now a fixture on the Bebop
- The Real Folk Blues – Closing titles
- Black Coffee – Session preview for Honky Tonk Women
Homages and References
- Abdul Hakim himself bears a resemblance to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who played the antagonist from Bruce Lee's 1972 martial arts movie Game of Death. It is worth noting that in the session Spike is seen playing around with nunchucks, a weapon symbolic of Lee.
- The title of the session, "Stray Dog Strut" is a reference to "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats, the most popular song from their 1981 album.
- During the phone conversation Hakim goes by the code name Snoop which is a reference towards gangster rapper Snoop Dogg both named after dogs.
- Spike uses the line "A fist full of Woolongs" (English dub only); this is a reference to the 1964 Western film "A Fistfull of Dollars"
- The dog catching van has a vanity license plate that reads "NC-1702," which may be a reference to the registry number of the Starship Enterprise.
- The Martian city in this session seems to have a very large Chinese population, for Chinese elements are constantly depicted: the announcement at Astral Gate is in Mandarin; the various street signs are all written in Chinese (not Japanese Kanji); the bartender that Abdul Hakim interacts with speaks Cantonese; the group of civilians that block the scientists in their pursuit seems to be playing a Chinese chess called Xiangqi; Spike and Jet also joke about having Peking duck throughout the session.