As I was driving home tonight and taking the final corner onto the street where I live, I saw what I thought was a skunk in the middle of the road. But as I got closer, I realized that it actually a small black and white dog, running out from the entrance of the big ship freight yard on the corner. He crossed in front of my car and started running at full speed down the street. I was on the phone with my mom, so I quickly ended the conversation, flipped on my car’s hazard lights, and tried to catch up with the dog, who was now sprinting down the opposite side of the street, right in the path of oncoming traffic.
When I caught up to the dog, I rolled down my window and called to him, snapping my fingers, doing whatever I could think of to get him to stop. He glanced over at me a few times, a petrified look in his eyes, but I could tell that there was no stopping him. Three times, cars barreled toward him, and I furiously flashed my headlights -- bright to dim, bright to dim -- to warn them that there was a dog in their direct path. Directly behind me was a city bus, at one point blaring his horn at me, as he tried to get to his next stop to drop off passengers. (Really? A car in front of you has its hazards on, and the driver is flashing headlights half-hanging out of the window, calling to a runaway dog, and you need to blast your horn?)
I followed the dog all the way down my street and my heart sank as he approached a busy intersection. I pulled over to the side of the street, gripped my steering wheel and closed my eyes, waiting to hear the dreaded squeal of brakes. But when I opened my eyes two seconds later, I saw that the dog had miraculously made it through the intersection unscathed. Across the street, I could see him, still running, before he was enveloped by the darkness.
I considered continuing my pursuit, but was facing a red light at the intersection and knew that the dog probably would not stop for me even if I were able to catch up with him again.
I think the dog was wearing a collar because I could hear what sounded like metal ID tags clanging together as he ran down the street. So tonight, my heart is heavy but hopeful that this little dog can find his way home, and that his owners can rest easy, knowing that their little friend is back where he belongs.