I was in a hurry, but they were in the street. Two of them, a white dog and a gray dog, that at first, I mistook for my neighbor’s escapist poodles, who roam the neighborhood from time to time chasing deer across backyards and traipsing through pachysandra up and down the street.
So I pulled my mini-van up to the street corner, opened both of my sliding doors and called to the dogs. Normally, the poodles would scoff at me, and take off while I praise myself for the effort. But this time, they seemed interested in what I was offering — a ride home.
It wasn’t until the gray one leaped through one side of my car and then back out the other door, and the white one landed in my front passenger seat when I realized that these weren’t my neighbors’ poodles. They were someone else’s dogs. Also, the white one smelled like skunk.
The gray one kept on jumping in and out of my car while I desperately tried to close the sliding doors to keep him in. I’d get one door closed, and he’d jump out the other. Then I’d get him back in, only to lose him at the last second. Meanwhile, the white one rooted through the leftover banana nut bread crumbs in the Starbucks bag on my car’s floor while enthusiastically spreading his Eau de Skunk with his tail.
Dogs, I decided, are like toddlers with fur.
I checked the white dog’s collar for his address while he attempted to thank me with his tongue, but there was no tag on his collar. So when the gray dog jumped back into my car for the fifth time, I grabbed his collar — and it came off, its electronic fence device beeping in my hand like a scene from the Road Runner, right before the bomb goes off. He jumped back out of the car while I checked his collar for his address. Nothing. Nada. Nope.
The white dog then began searching my purse for food, stopping only to let out a wet half-sneeze, half-snot-delivery-system, in the general direction of my car’s radio dials. That’s then the Good Samaritan became the Dumb Samaritan.
Why am I forever doing things like stopping to return lost dogs and putting other people’s strewn garbage cans back in their driveways? Yes, because my parents taught me so. But if the dogs’ owners aren’t going to hold up their end of the bargain by affixing ID tags on their rogue pets, why should I go through the effort? And why does my winter coat have to smell like skunk?
So I shooed them out of my car, the gray one first and then the white one. When they both tried to get back into my car again, I shut the door, rolled down my window and threw the beeping collar onto the grass. Then I called the appropriate authorities about the lost dogs and the collar and headed down the street — while they chased my car with stupid dog grins, accentuated by hanging tongues.
That’s it. I’m done. If your dog gets out, you’re on your own. If they chase the deer or my car, I am not stopping. Really. I am a cat person, for crying out loud, and cats never leap through my car. Cats are most decidedly not toddlers with fur. They are teens with fur, just the way I like it.
I am done being the neighborhood Dumb Samaritan — at least until I return the beeping collar that I later retrieved from the grass near the street corner. If only I knew where to bring it.
Share, share: Are you a Dumb Samaritan? A dog person? A cat person? Tell us.