What should a person do if he sees a dog running loose near traffic or a busy street? Remember – and put into practice – the lessons learned about dog and human safety. ********
The other day my mom was walking me on our regular evening walk. We were headed up the carriage path.
I was perfectly happy, as I am in each of my walks. I saw another dog off in the direction we were heading toward but this does not concern me. In fact, it evokes some joy on my part.
Suddenly my mom saw the dog, a big dog, coming toward us! My mom suddenly seemed very concerned and jumpy. Maybe she was nervous: She had been bitten by a dog several years ago. But I don’t think that was it, really.
The dog got closer to us and she called out, “It’s a Retriever.” Does that matter to me? Not at all: I like any breed of dog. Then she called out, “Joey, come”. Why? I like Retrievers. I’m a Retriever, after all.
The dog ran closer and closer to us, panting the whole time. Then it crossed the carriage lane to where we were on the grassy park land between it and the 4-lane avenue. This is the same 4-lane avenue, I remind you, where I was hit by a car.
Suddenly I heard, “Puppy, come! Stay close to me!” Was she talking to me? Then the dog came right up to us. Now she wants me to play with the dog a little but not too much. She’s holding my lead really tight. She doesn’t know this dog. We, the dog and I, socialized a little and my mom, seeing this, loosened up my lead a little. My mom thinks aloud. Does the little phone in her hand mean anythin about why she’s talking out loud? “He’s a Lab. Labs are friendly. But I don’t know what to do. Should I call the police?” she’s saying. I hardly know how to answer her. She knows that my friend Officer O’Connell will be notified. “I can’t call the police while the dog is still running.”
The retriever calms down and my mom holds out her hand for the dog to smell. He’s okay with how she smells. Then she gets even closer and looks to see if there is a tag on his collar. There isn’t. I’m all confused and don’t know if I should play, sit, walk, head up the avenue or cross the street and head down the avenue.
The retriever then picks up running again, continuing in the original direction. I want to follow him and apparently my mom has the same idea but maybe for different reasons.
She’s is still talking and trying to follow the dog and to hold onto me as I’m pulling and pulling on my lead all at the same time.
Then the dog continues past us, crossing the next road and heading down another. “Joey, come” I heard, good news. I follow as commanded. The dog runs down the next block and we follow. He stops at a home, at the side door. We catch up and stop on the sidewalk. Nothing and nobody moves. Then the dog goes to the front door and sits. My mom ties my lead to a post on the lawn, says “Joey, stay here. Wait here. Good boy” and she goes up the wooden steps of that home and rings the doorbell.
In a minute the door opens, a man comes out, “Max!” he says, and Max disappears into the home.
I can tell that this was a happy ending.
But then my mom started pointing at me, tied to the post, and telling the man the story of my getting free and my getting hit by a car on the same avenue where Max was found running loose. The man is nice and he listened. He said he had had Max in the backyard and didn’t know that – or how – Max had gotten free from the leash that held him and was running loose in the neighborhood. I wasn’t about to offer up any suggestions.
This event has a happy ending: My mom has remained cool-headed and has learned a lesson from my being hit by the car. Maybe she has helped save a dog from danger on a busy avenue. She was careful not to get too close to a dog she didn’t know. She waited for the golden to come to us, allowed him to smell her hand so that he was comfortable and calm before she reached out to him. And I got some good exercise and met a neighborhood dog I never knew.