Thursday, May 28, 2009

One lucky dog

Driving home from work, I see a loose dog on the sidewalk. No collar. Big, young, male Pit Bull. Not neutered. He's heading for a VERY busy road. Not a highway, but three lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 45 mph which means everyone goes at least 50 mph.

I pull over and get out of the car to see if he is friendly. He's not interested in coming to me. I see at least three other cars slowly following him too. He is keeping on the sidewalk, but heading right for the busy road. I drive up ahead of him and pull my car partway into a driveway to block the sidewalk. I grab some bread from the Indian food I just bought to see if he will accept a treat. (Do dogs consider naan a treat?)

He wants nothing to do with me or the treats and even though I try very hard to get him moving in the other direction AWAY from the busy road, he keeps right on going.

This is the busy street - Miramar Road.

He gets to the busy road and luckily sticks to the sidewalk. At this point there are at least seven other people following and trying to stop him. The dog doesn't belong to any of them. They are all just trying to help.

He stops near my car and two guys get out of their cars and get very close to him on the sidewalk. One says he has called Animal Control three times already, but they are busy. The dog is stopped and letting us within three feet of him, but he has no collar. We can't grab him. What could we possibly grab on to? We can tell the dog is scared and we don't know if he will act aggressively.

No one has a leash. I have one in MY car, but it's at the shop being fixed and I'm driving the loaner from the mechanic. Damn!

I take my belt off and start to give it to one of the guys who is already standing close to the dog. I'm afraid if I try to move close to him, he'll get spooked. I wanted one of the guys to try to get the belt around him. But before that can happen, more people who are trying to help, walk toward the dog and he gets spooked and gets moving again.

Then he bolts out into the street. Another woman and I follow him out in the street to try to get traffic to stop. I only go out into the first three lanes where I can see there is only one car coming and it's going slow. The other woman continues into the far three lanes where many cars are coming fast. Some guardian angels were working overtime tonight because both the dog and the woman avoided being hit by cars.

The dog then bolts back over to the same side of the street where he started. At this point, some people start to give up. One by one, the men drive away and it is now just me and two other women. What's that about? Are men impatient? Pragmatic? Quitters?!

I see a taco shop and stop in to ask them if I can buy a little bit of meat to use to entice the dog. They gave me a little cup of carne asada. I'm still driving and the other two women are on foot. I go around the block once and then stop to talk to the women. I give them the carne asada, since they are walking and might be more likely to run into the dog.

I then drive slowly around the huge block five times looking in every parking lot and sidewalk. I also drive into the gated entrance of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and ask the spiffy looking young Marine if he has seen a black and white dog. He said no and I was bummed that he didn't call me Ma'am. (Top Gun fans will remember that this base at Miramar is where they sent Maverick and Goose for their Top Gun training.)

I wish this story had a happy ending but it doesn't. We couldn't find the dog again. I had spent about an hour looking. I left (quitter!) and the two other women were still there trying to find them.

But wasn't it great that so many people were trying to help?

Lesson #1 - Keep a collar on your dog, even if he is just in your yard or house. How the heck can anyone catch him for you if he doesn't have a collar on?

Lesson #2 - We should all carry bags of ground beef or liver in our cars at all times. You'll eventually get used to the smell.

Lesson #3 - For goodness sake, just neuter or spay your freaking dogs. Neutered males are "less likely to roam, fight, demonstrate aggressiveness, or display hyperactive behavior" according to 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog by Arden Moore. Eighty percent of dogs struck by vehicles are unaltered males. See this link.

Lesson #4 - Women try harder than men. Or women are more patient than men. Something like that. I haven't decided yet what this lesson should be.


Bethany said...

Yeah, women try harder AND are more patient. You are so funny about the meat.
Sounds stressful. Poor dog. I hope he is okay.
It's so tough out there for pits, esp non neutered ones. I hope he is someone's beloved dog and they will find him and keep him safe, but that's wishful thinking.
Good for you for trying so hard.
It's a tough call with any loose dog. You don't want to get bitten. That would be bad for both you AND the dog. But of course you don't want to see him killed in traffic. Sheesh.

Joshua Bleier said...

Men do NOT have shorter atten... ooooh, shiny!