Tag Archives: Good Samaritan

The dog and the bike rack

Last Thursday, I had ideas for numerous posts.  This is idea #2.

That day, I saw a dog tied to a bike rack.  We live a dog-dense area so this is a common sight and as the owner/keeper of two large pups,  I’ve done it a few times myself.  As I got out of my car and went to run my errands, I pet the dog on the head.  About an hour later when I returned, the dog had pulled free of the rack and was starting off down the street. I was able to grab the dog’s leash and retie him.  I would hope that someone would do the same for me if I tied Ding and or Ling out somewhere and they worked themselves free.

At this point, an employee of the cafe that was there came out and asked if it was my dog. I said, “Oh, no.  I was just retying him as he’d got loose.”  The hapless coffee clerk said that the dog had been there at least two hours, no one in the coffee shop claimed to own the dog and the barista was preparing to call animal control since it seemed that the dog had been abandoned. I said that I doubted the dog had been abandoned since it had tags and it’s nails had been recently clipped. I said I’d take the dog home with me and call the numbers on the tags and see if I could track down someone who knew the dog. Worst case scenario, I’d just keep the dog.  Things are already chaotic here at AFTHOTW HQ, why not add to the excitement?

The barista thanked me for helping out and I left him my phone number in case someone did return for the dog.

I went home, called the animal hospital listed on the tag from 2007, they said bring the dog in and they’d scan him for a chip, the tag was too old to be of use.  Maybe 45 minutes later, I’m home feeding the baby and the phone rings.  It’s the barista, agitated.  The owner had returned and wanted the dog back immediately. I said I’d be there as soon as I could and it would probably be about 20 minutes.  The barista put the owner on the phone and she was flustered.  Said she and her daughter were on foot and could I get there any faster.  I finished with C and got her and the dog loaded back in the car.

As I drove, I got kind of agitated myself. Yes, I had taken someone’s dog, but the dog was loose and about to be sent to animal control. Besides, I was dropping everything to bring the dog back immediately.  Animal control wouldn’t deliver. And the dog’s tags were 3 years old!  What about preventative care? This woman had left her dog tied out on a sidewalk for at least 3 hours on a 20 degree day.  I thought briefly of not bringing the dog back and letting him hang out with my buds in my heated living room. But I delivered him back to exactly where I’d found him. I expected the woman to come bounding out of the cafe to reclaim the dog. Nothing.  I went inside and found the guy I’d been talking to.

“Where’s the lady for the dog?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah. She. . . ummm. . went across the street to the toy store.”

“Oh, ok, I’ll just go let her know the dog’s here now.”

“I wouldn’t.  She kind of ripped me a new one about this. We’ll call her.”

Why was this woman upset? And why did she take it out on the barista? I thought for a minute.

“Well, if she’s going to be like that, I’d just as soon avoid the confrontation.  Sorry to make this messy for you. We were just trying to help.”

And I went home.

I was trying to be a Good Samaritan and I ended up putting someone else in a difficult situation.  Should I have left the dog to wander the streets or be picked up by Animal Control? Should I have just kept him? Should I have not been a coward and spoken to this woman? What was the right way to go in this situation? What do you think?

Your comments are *always* appreciated.  Feel free to forward this post to other animal lovers and get their take on it too.

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