I’ve been meaning to blog about this since it happened. I mean, it’s not every day you save a life…
I’ll stop being vague and tell you that it was a dog’s life that was saved. So, no, it wasn’t a human life, but for most, pets are just as important and meaningful as their human counterparts.
So how did it all happen? Well, my boyfriend and I had gone to see the 11:15 p.m. showing of “Lawless.” [The movie was really well done, if you’re wondering. Tom Hardy can be in every movie from now on as far as I’m concerned. Shia LaBeouf did a really great job as well.]
Anyway, we were driving home from the movie theatre when we came to a stop at a red light. And out of the corner of my eye I see this little dog scurrying around the street.
It was after two in the morning at this point, so the traffic wasn’t too heavy, but there were enough cars going by to make me hold my breath. The idea of watching an animal get run over is about as devastating as any and sitting by and letting it happen was not an option for us. To make the situation at least a little comedic, the dog was following around an armadillo. He didn’t really look scared of anything.
We pulled over to the side of the road and I motioned to the furry guy to come over to me. And what were the chances that a cop car was coming around the corner at the same exact moment…
“Is that your dog?” the female cop asked.
Do people normally chase their dogs around main roads at two in the morning? I’ve never seen that happen, but I’m guessing this cop has seen lots of things I haven’t.
I thought it was a great stroke of luck having a police officer show up right when we needed one, as I thought she would take him off of our hands, but she quickly told us she had just ended a 12-hour shift and wouldn’t be able to take the dog anywhere.
Great. What now?
It was obvious that the doggy had been groomed recently, so I knew he wasn’t a stray. Someone loved this dog.
Oh. But I forgot to mention the worst part of the situation. This poor little guy smelled like DEATH. Who knows how long he had been running around. Tropical Storm Isaac had just left us, so perhaps he’d been lost since then. But the smell was HORRIFIC. But what were we to do? Catch him only to release him back into the night?
The officer said there was a 24-hour emergency vet not too far down the road, so we resolved ourselves to at least try that option. My 2006 Toyota Corolla is by no means spotless, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious to let him roam all over it.
I Googled the nearest vet, only to be told that it’s ‘against their policy to hold any animals overnight.’ But, bringing him to my house was not an option, so we decided to take him to the emergency vet anyway.
To our surprise, the dog was very well-behaved on the drive over. He walked around from the backseat to my lap quite a few times, sniffing the air out of the rolled down windows. He was a white dog, but that was hard to see with all of the dirt and muck on his fur.
The emergency vet office was empty except for one distraught couple sitting with their pet, which was pretty difficult to see. However, it reminded me that perhaps we were saving another couple from the same predicament.
We pushed the front desk button and a young woman in scrubs, probably in her late 20’s, came out to greet us. She did a quick once over of the dog, checking his overall well-being and his teeth to guesstimate his age. She put a leash on him and took him behind the door to check for a microchip.
I paced around the office thinking of what to do if no one would take him. I’ve always wanted a dog but just don’t have the money or time a dog deserves. Plus, I wanted the potential owner to have a chance to have their family member back.
The woman returned to tell us that the dog we had was named “Cody.” So he DID have a microchip, after all! They did try to get in touch with the owner, but no one was answering. They left the owner a message, but who knows when he or she would return the call.
If my kitty, Kali, were missing, I would keep my phone next to me at all hours of the night, but who knows what their situation was. So, at this moment, the lady reminded us that they couldn’t keep him. So it was on to the next option.
I contacted another 24-hour emergency vet that was about a 15 minute drive away. The woman who answered sounded very tired and hesitant to even entertain my call, reminding me that it was Labor Day weekend and they needed to keep as much room as possible in their facility for pets who needed medical attention.
But, when I assured her that this dog was small and under 10 pounds, she told me to “bring him over.” Success.
The weirdest thing about the dog? He did not bark ONE TIME the entire time we had him.
By this point, I’m reminding myself to not get attached to this animal. I have that problem. I see any animal and I instantly want to bring them home. However, I was keeping the owner in mind and I knew deep down that I couldn’t keep him anyway.
We dropped him off at the other vet. Two women were on duty and both seemed so emotionally detached in comparison to how we felt in that moment. But, they see that kind of thing all the time, so I guess they’re used to it. One of the women took Cody behind the doors to give him a bath. YAY. Just what he needed.
We signed some papers, leaving our contact information. It was clear that we could leave by this point, but we felt the need to stay and make sure he was taken care of. It felt silly to ask, but I asked if we could see him one last time. We couldn’t pass up the chance to see him clean.
We went into the back, where all of the caged animals are kept and there sat little Cody. He was shivering from his bath, and this was the first time he actually looked scared. But, his fur was white again, so that made me happy. He sat up, looked at us with his big, dark eyes and we said goodbye.
“Thanks for the adventure, Cody,” I said. “Now you’re safe and you won’t get run over by a car.”
We slowly but surely left the building and got back into the car.
*Sniff* “Yup, there’s Cody.” He was gone, but his smell was still left behind. So we rolled the windows down and started to drive home.
Not quite what I expected for Friday date night.
The saddest part about the entire thing? We never heard anything after the whole ordeal. We had been told we would get a call when the owner picked Cody up, but we never did.
I ended up calling the next day, only to be told that, ‘he wasn’t in his cage when I got here this morning, so I guess he was picked up.’
No phone call. No message from the owner. Not even a thank you.
I realize that isn’t why you do good deeds. You don’t save an animal from being run over in hopes of a reward. But if some young couple had gone out of their way at THREE IN THE MORNING to save my pet, I would personally write a letter thanking them. I’d probably bake them cookies. And then send them a follow-up note. I guess I’m just weird like that.
So, Cody, I hope you’re snuggled up somewhere warm right now. It stormed last night and I wondered how many animals were lost out there in the rain. Hopefully Cody wasn’t one of them.