A few hours ago, while driving home, I came across a business man standing in the middle of a busy Southern California street. His car angled half hazardly in the bike lane. Noticing how he was frantically punching numbers on his iPhone, I realized he was in shock. But why is this man distraught over car trouble? Then I looked down.
An elderly German Shepard was lying in the middle of the street.
Rolling down my window, “do you need some help?”. The gentleman couldn’t answer me. Right then, I knew he was a dog owner. While pulling over, I told my middle man to watch the movie on the DVD player and eat his still hot corn dogs/fries/milk shake. In my mommy mind, I had 15 minutes maximum. “Wait here honey, Mommy needs to make sure everything is okay”.
“I never even saw him”, “he jumped out right in front of my car” was what he shared frantically. He was doing his best to stay calm, but these types of things weigh hard on the pet loving kind. This sweet man, who could have been my Daddy, became a “deer in the headlights” right before my eyes. Objectively paralyzed.
With a soft smile, I reassured him that is was just an accident. “We need to see if we can find the dog’s owner”. The gentleman shared he had called animal control, his voice broke. Cars began to whiz by, way too fast. I asked him to redirect and slow down the oncoming traffic. Being put to task was what he needed. He kept me safe, even raising his fists at cars to change lanes and slow the heck down. He was venting his frustration while I did what he could not.
Turning to the Shepard with a grey muzzle on the hot pavement, he was panting with eyes dilated. A well-loved collar was around his neck with silver tags almost out of sight beneath him.
Now here’s the thing friends. When a large unknown dog is in pain and you approach; you need to be careful. I’ve lived with dogs all my life. A dog in pain is not going to behave rationally in any canine sense. Coming from the beagle house, I hoped this Shepard could smell I was a friend, and here to help. Ever so gently, I maneuvered his collar to get a glimpse at the tags. Please have an ID tag, please – please. Only a license. Why, oh why, did he not have an ID tag? An ID tag with a phone number to call his owner and a name to call this hurt fella laying at my feet.
He whipped his head around to lick his hip. Broken. Then lied back down. He didn’t even know I was there. Crouching down I stroked his fur, told him he was a good boy, and a few minutes later, he passed.
The business man and I picked him up and moved him to a cool place on the grass in the shade. My heart broke for the family that would later be contacted by Animal Control. Informing them of the sad sequence of events.
I shook hands with the business man. He stoically said he was going to stay until Animal Control arrived. He thanked me as our eyes filled with a tear or two. I don’t even remember his name.
I returned to the car and my middle man said, “you did good Mama”.
So I share with you tonight:
1. Help a stranger in need.
2. If you are a pet owner, buy an id tag. Maddox, Buddy and Daphney insist.
3. Love what you have today, it may be gone tomorrow.