I walked to work this morning as I have been the past two weeks. When I rounded the corner near an elementary school, a large skinny black lab, obviously a stray, ran up to me. He made like he was continuing on the other way…but then stopped and started following me closely. He was friendly, fixed, was once someone’s dog. I walked steadily as he trotted nearby. This was fine by me….perhaps he would lose interest and run off…
He didn’t. We walked together until I came up to the large community hospital. Decision time. Do I call animal control or keep walking?
I couldn’t keep walking. There was a busy main road to cross up ahead, then onto the college campus. I stopped. He stopped and sat down by my side. Quickly I got my cell out, called hubby for the animal control number. The dispatcher didn’t come onto shift until 8 am. So we waited, together, on a grassy coridor on the backside of the hospital. I got through to the dispatcher. Then we waited some more.
My backpack was on the ground. I alternately sat, knelt, or otherwise stayed near the dog I called, “Buddy.” He was getting nervous. I prayed hard he would stay nearby. He was awfully scrawny. He would have a chance of being adopted if he had no serious illness.
He stuck by me for 45 minutes until the officer came with two dogs already in his truck. All that time, about 100 cars at least passed me there on the street corner. No one stopped…or even slowed and yelled out to see if I were ok. One gentleman (if he could still keep that distinction) is a VP at our university. He knew who I was…but kept driving his little sports car. I guess it was a weird sight to see a woman in a pink cape dress, headscarf, and backpack standing with a skin-and-bones dog right by her side. Jeff left work and waited with me for the last 10 minutes….but still….
No one seemed to care.
If I had had the opportunity to ask the officer (who was the nicer one I’ve dealt with in this town), I would say, “Do the same people call you to pick up strays? Are they the ones who make the time to care?”
Its d— hard to report stray animals, especially ones who are obviously doomed to the gas chamber. Yet…it is a mercy to grant them a quick death than to let them be starved or hit by a truck. If we had a home with a yard, I would not have blinked twice before taking this particular dog home long enough to get him healthy and find a forever home for him.
I had a dream just before waking up this morning. In it, Jeff and I stopped along a highway to pick up a beagle and a border collie, even though we could not keep them in the apartment.
When I saw “Buddy” running towards me…I knew….I had to make the time to care.