The time has come to pick the bricks for the Dreamland Ballroom’s new elevator addition. The contractor, Manly Roberts (his daddy was named Manly, too) sent me to Parnell Hall at the blind school to look at some bricks he’d just installed.
As I pulled out onto Markham, a young dog, about the size of a standard poodle, runs in front of me and towards this bicyclist on the opposite sidewalk. The bicyclist and I thought he was running to attack him but, no. There, in the oncoming lane, lay a big black Labrador Retriever. He’d been hit by a car and his dog companion was seeking help. It must have just happened.
From my car window, I could see the downed dog panting, blood around his mouth. He was still alive but immobile. I feared he would be run over again and again, because he lay just past the crest of a small hill.
Spring Into Action
I pulled over, bound into the 4-lane street and took up position at the top of the hill. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I had the forethought to take off my jacket and use it as a flag to garner oncoming traffic’s attention to slow down and bypass the wounded animal.
The bicyclist held the companion dog at bay and another woman called 911. We were all crying. Soon a skilled dog handler arrived who sat in the street to pet and talk to the dog. Another woman, who lived in the neighborhood, remembered having seen a lost dog post and contacted the owner.
Police came, firemen came and then the owner, who was hysterical. The first responders loaded the animal skillfully on to a fabric stretcher, which looked made for such occasions, and then on to the bed of a truck for transportation to the nearest veterinary clinic.
After the Fact
All night I replayed the incident over and over in my head. Thankfully, I had no regrets; everyone involved was awesome. The nurturer showed up to pet and sooth the dog, the problem-solver showed up to find the owner and I proved my Enneagram personality test to be true: I ran towards the problem.
The next morning, I fearfully called the neighborhood veterinary clinic in Hillcrest to check on the dog. I was prepared for the worst …
The nurse said his temperature was high, blood pressure low, and his tongue (which caused so much blood around his mouth) had to be stitched. Other than a few puncture wounds on his hind legs, he’s fine.
THAT IS ONE LUCKY DOG!