Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rocky the dog

So, it is cloudy, misting rain, and humid today. Kind of yucky. Thus, I thought I would entertain you with a story. Or, me, I guess, since I am pretty sure no one is that interested in what I have to say ;) Warning, though. This is the longest post ever! I think I ramble a lot...

A little over a week ago, on Friday, I was sitting at my desk at work as usual. I work on the third floor of an office building and have three huge windows to my left that look out onto a busy two-way street and large intersection. I was exchanging pleasantries with a gentleman from our supply company when he exclaimed, "Look, there's a dog outside". Though this is no anomaly I am always eager to look at any animal and I thought it must be an unusually large dog or something of that nature in order for my friend to take notice. I stood up and looked outside and indeed there was a dog and indeed something was unusual...
The little dog was all alone!

He had on a
harness similar to the picture I included below but there was no leash. He was coming through a parking lot across the street towards the sidewalk.
As I mentioned, I am on the 3rd floor and could easily scan the area. There was no one in sight (other than the people in the cars whizzing by, of course). No owner anywhere near the dog. The little dog trotted to the sidewalk and then took a step into the road.
And then everything happened very fast.

My heart leapt into my throat and I think I gasped something unintelligible. Without thinking (I remember later that I really didn't think. My head was so slow to catch up with my reactions that day!) and, in one rather ungraceful movement I am sure, I stood up and flew to the suite door. I ran to the stairwell and started dashing down the stairs. I was wearing sandals and was more slipping than stepping down those three flights. I heard some heavy footsteps behind me and realized that my poor friend was running after me. He probably thought I had lost my mind.
I burst through the remaining doors and ran out to the front parking area towards the sidewalk. I blinked hard in the sudden sunlight as I scanned across the street. After a minute I saw the dog. He was in the middle of the two lanes of the opposing traffic!

About two cars flew by him when I (once again, not thinking) ran onto the road. Ignoring every Sesame Street demonstration and school safety drill I had ever seen, I crossed the first two lanes blindly, without even looking to see if cars were coming. I reached the tiny median and paused. I held my arms out and called to him. It didn't occur to me that this might not work. He trotted over to me with his tongue lolling and I picked him up and held him balanced on my hip, like you would with a child. That is how I hold my puppy (who really acts like a human baby; more about that another time...) and it didn't occur to me that the dog might not comply but luckily he did. His tongue was hanging out and he was panting as I carried him across the two lanes and finally to the parking lot. I then examined the dog as much as I could while holding him to make sure he was okay. He looked to be a Pomeranian mix and looked groomed and fairly clean. I spotted a tag on his collar and thank the stars it had his name and a phone number! Rocky. Rocky the dog.

My friend grabbed his cell phone from his truck and we called the owner. The man who answered the phone sounded old and a little distracted but finally understood that we had his dog. He asked us if we could bring the dog to him since his wife and daughter were out in their only car looking for Rocky as we spoke! This kind of surprised me but I guess with one car and probably no cell phone the poor man really didn't have any way to get the dog. I told my friend to get going because heaven knows he had already lost time by accompanying me in my tirade.

So, with Rocky on my hip I ran back up the stairs. Rocky was panting, I was panting (yah, I'm out of shape) as I stepped into my supervisor's office. I am not sure what was going through his head as I sputtered out my story and asked leave to return the dog to his home but my boss is a kind man and he smiled and just said "go".

To make a long story short(er) I got us both into my car, got lost, made a giant circle, and finally found the right house. The older gentleman was out on the porch and I handed Rocky over. He was very nice. As I was pulling away, the man's wife and daughter pulled up in the car and the wife ran out to my car. She was so grateful that Rocky was all right. She said her husband had Alzheimer's and was very worried about the dog. I figured that this was why the poor man was a little disoriented on the phone. We exchanged a few more words, a few more smiles, and a few more sighs of relief before I drove off.
The first thing that went through my head was to note that Rocky had crossed two major roads and made a huge arc in his travels so that when I saw him he was coming from the complete opposite side of where his house is. I don't know how he did it. My heart finally stopped pounding when I sat down at my desk again. Whew!
And so that is my story about Rocky the dog. Quite the adventure for a sleepy Friday workday!

And here is a picture of very nearly what Rocky looked like. This isn't an actual picture of him but it is close enough. Cute little rascal.

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