A puppy was in the middle of a nine-lane thoroughfare. It was rush hour.
I was at the tail-end of a giant pack of cars when I saw him, and was immediately amazed he hadn’t been hit. In the next second I realized that nobody was behind me. I dove into the left turn lane to pull over for him. With any luck, maybe the little guy would come to me.
An oncoming red minivan swerved to avoid hitting the skittish puppy, honking at it but continuing on its way. It never dawned on me that pausing for the dog meant that I could possibly witness its death, but the swerving minivan swiftly brought this fact into focus. With the exception of my car, the road was suddenly quiet. How fortunate.
I called to him and he quickly came towards me, sitting down about five feet away on the median. He was wearing a collar, so I suspected I’d be able to approach him and see where he lived. But as I took one step, he darted back into the road. I hoped it wouldn’t prove to be a fatal move. More traffic was coming.
A teenaged boy was suddenly next to me. I wasn’t sure where he came from, but he also wanted to help. As the cars approached, he helped slow traffic. Across the street, a woman was riding our way on her bike.
The boy called out to her, asking if the dog was hers. It was.
The puppy wandered back our way and again sat on the median to wait, seemingly aware of the danger all around. The latest round of traffic passed, and the road was clear once more.
He immediately ran across the road and the woman scooped him up then pedaled away. As I turned to thank the boy, he was already on the other side of the street walking away.
I often see animals in need but am never in a position to help. Today I was — and so was a young man with a good heart. The outcome was the best we could’ve hoped for, and I can’t ask for much more than that. For a safe puppy who returned home unscathed and for good people who step up to help, I am very thankful.