Dog, The Friendly Stranger
My son Calvin and I take a walk every morning before breakfast. Our usual route includes a few stops, usually Shipe Park and the fire station (to say hello to the big red fire truck). After an uncharacteristic summer rain, we decided to take a new route through a different Hyde Park neighborhood. As we were heading back up 45th St, we saw a woman standing outside her car with a dog. Because she was right in our path (and I can never resist saying hello to a new dog), Calvin and I stopped to say hello. It turns out the woman, Julia, was not the owner of the dog. A homeless man had just left him with her and walked away from the situation. Dog (I can't remember the boys name, so we'll call him Dog) was micro-chipped, tagged and collared, and just about the sweetest creature you'll ever meet. His German shepherd lineage must have crossed paths with a grey wolf at one point or another, because Dog was massive.
We tried the website and phone number of the micro-chip company. We called 311 and 911. Since Dog wasn't aggressive, no one would help us. Dog looked at us eagerly from Julia's drivers seat; he probably thought that since he was the man in the situation, he should be the one to drive. Typical. Seeing as we were going to get no help from the city, I called my mother. Once she arrived, I took Dog, my mother took Calvin, and we bid Julia adieu.
I wasn't quite sure what to do with Dog; the shelters didn't open until 11am, and it was only 9 o'clock. After getting Dog some water and listening to my dog Sable violently protest the invasion of her yard from the other side of the front door, my mom suggested that I take him to the animal hospital. It took a bit of coaxing to get Dog into the back of the car (even 4-legged men hate being demoted to 'passenger'), but he eventually hopped in and curled up in the back seat.
We got to the animal hospital and I was thrilled to hear that, yes, they do take stray dogs. After a tearful goodbye (Dog got a little misty), we parted ways. I called the animal hospital after a few days, and Dog's human had come to retrieve him. All's well that ends well, I say. And to Dog's human- if you're reading this, feel free to bring Dog 'round any time.