Thank God for Nice Strangers

There seems to be a bit of a rash of lost dogs in our pet-blogging community lately.  I have a story of my own to tell — which ended happily — from several years ago, when Callie and Shadow were still young.

Work was going along as usual that day.  Calls coming in to the Inside Sales department fairly regularly, but I was off the phones trying to get caught up on an order for one of my favorite customers.  Suddenly a co-worker said she had a call for me from the vet, so I had her transfer it to my extension.

“Sue? This is Jane from Sunrise Animal Hospital.”  I said hello and she kept going…

“I just received a phone call from a woman who says she has Callie and Shadow and will wait for you in the parking lot across the street from Taylors First Baptist.  She got our number off the rabies tag on one of the girls’ collars.  But she has a meeting in the church and can only wait another five minutes.  I tried to talk her into bringing them over here but she said no.”

“Oh crap!  I’m a good 15 minutes from there.  God I hope she waits for me!  Thanks, Jane!  I’m leaving right now.”

I turned to my co-worker, told her what was going on, grabbed my purse, and ran all the way from my desk to my car.  And a drive that normally takes 15 minutes took 7-1/2 minutes that afternoon. I was lucky there were no cops around, or other cars in my way!!

The church parking lot is right up the road from my house.  As I drove past the house, I saw that they had pushed open the big gate.  (We have a four-foot chain link fence around the back yard, with a privacy fence on the back end.)  

I pulled into the smaller parking lot to my right and started frantically calling out their names.  No sign of them. My heart dropped to my feet.  Then, something made me turn around and look toward the parking lot on the other side of the road….

There was the kind-hearted stranger, standing next to her car waving at me and yelling that she still had the girls. I yelled back.  “Stay there, I’ll come to you.”  I jumped into the car and drove across the street and parked my car next to hers.

I got out, saw the girls in her back seat, and instinctively hugged this stranger while tearfully choking out “thank you, thank you, thank you!”  She hugged back, and said “I have a beautiful Golden baby at home, too; and I’d be devastated if I lost her.  I couldn’t turn them loose again.  I had to wait for you.”  And, with that, she opened the back door of her car, helped me get the girls out of her car and into mine — one at a time — and then hugged me again.  And asked “Would you mind if I stopped over some day to say hello?”  “Of course you can!”  But she never did come by.  I thanked her again as she turned to go to her meeting and as I got into my own car.

When I got back in the driveway, I opened the car windows to let air in and then locked the girls in the car so I could get their leashes from inside the house.  Then, I got in the front seat, put their leashes on them, and brought them in the house.  I cried and cried as I hugged them both, thankful that they were back home, safe and sound.  They had been walking along the railroad tracks, on the parking lot side, when that wonderful lady spotted them and called them to her.  God only knows how they made it across the street safely, or how long they had been on their own.

When hubby got home from work, we had dinner and then I sent him up to Lowe’s for a heavy chain and three padlocks with one set of keys.  The chain has been wrapped through the big gate and padlocked shut since that night — allowing for, of course, the times we have to have it open for whatever reason while the dogs are denied access to the yard — and just the padlocks keep the walk-through gates locked as well.  Hubby hemmed and hawed and complained up the wazoo before buying the chain and the padlocks; but I put my foot down and made it clear that either we were locking all the gates from then on OR he was going to pay for doggie daycare at PetSmart five days a week, period, end of discussion.

Circumstances changed somewhat over the years; and I eventually hired the pet sitter for daily visits.  And then I was laid off from my job so we neither needed the pet sitter nor could we afford her (on a daily basis at least).  I thank God every day for keeping us all safe – past, present, and future – and that includes that nice stranger He sent to watch over my Golden Girls.

I’m a bit late, but I’m joining the Barks and Bytes blog hop. Check out the other links for our hosts’ and other bloggers’ posts for some smiles.

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14 thoughts on “Thank God for Nice Strangers

  1. Jodi says:

    OMG I had tears in my eyes when you hugged her. There really are still some good people in this world. So glad your girls found one.

    Thanks for joining the blog hop.

  2. Jan K says:

    What a great story. It had to have been so scary for you at the time but yes, thank God for that woman, and that it ended well.
    Before we had our fenced in yard, and were a less savvy dog family (who trusts a beagle to run loose for even a second?), our beagle Kobi escaped more than once. I know how scary that is. Each time he went to the same neighbor’s house. We had a personalized collar on him so they called us immediately, thank goodness (that was the first time, after that they just brought him home)!

  3. Tails Around the Ranch says:

    So glad for the happy ending and the good samaritan. In my neighborhood we seem to have lost pets all the time. It’s so sad; my heart breaks for all those posted flyers of family pets gone astray, particularly after July 4th. 😦

    • My Golden Life says:

      I had noticed in the comments on some of the other “lost dog” posts that people were a little “stressed” and then relieved at the end. So I wanted to make sure people knew up front that my story did indeed have a happy ending. I didn’t want to be responsible for people worrying unnecessarily. πŸ™‚

  4. Dogs N Pawz says:

    I’m so glad that sweet lady found them and returned them to you safely! I had two Labs that use to get out all of the time. Summer would yank a fence plank off from the stockade fence and out her and Shiloh would go. We were so lucky they came back or we found them every time. We finally had to put up a new stockade fence with concrete around the bottom so she couldn’t grab the planks! Glad your story had a happy ending!

    • My Golden Life says:

      When I was a teenager, my older brother’s girlfriend’s family had a Lab that used to get out of their yard ALL the time. I don’t remember any more what happened to him, but I do remember that Mom and I always felt bad for him being left out in the yard more than he was allowed in the house.

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