Sometimes There Are Victories


Literally a day after yesterday’s failed attempt to help out a lost dog in Jefferson Park, comes this morning’s success story, and one much closer to home. Two blocks away even, at the intersection of London and Bellevue.

The encounter with the  young pit bull pictured above had all the makings of a repeat performance of yesterday — and practically every stray I’ve encountered since deciding to be something of a half-assed samaritan a few months ago. He was skittish, stressed and didn’t really want to have anything to do with me. He had a collar, but it was tagless.

He was in better shape than yesterday’s pit, and at least he wasn’t flat out running to keep away from me, so instead we ended up at this bit of a stand-off until in a wonderful case of excellent timing a fellow came walking down the sidewalk to the right. When I pointed at the dog and made the international gesture of “Is this yours?” the guy shook his head.

“He lives here,” the man said, pointing to the house in the picture behind the dog.

Well that makes it easy, I thought. It’s just a case of the dog escaping its yard.

“He always barks at me when I go by,” the guy added as he got to the corner.

Dismounting my bike sent the dog charging down London away from me but I whistled and started walking up Bellevue to where the gate was in the home’s perimeter fence, and the dog came back to follow me. I noticed several large enough gaps in the bottom of the fencing that would allow the animal to get through and I hoped someone was home so I could point that out. Opening the gate, the dog slinked obediently  past me inside, and sure enough immediately upon closing it he turned and commenced barking ferociously while lunging at the fence (although his tail never stopped wagging).

I stood there hoping the front door might open but it didn’t. So I made a note to stop by maybe on my way home to let the residents know what happened. As the dog kept barking I just laughed and scolded him  to stay in his yard while walking back down to my bike where the man was still standing at the corner.

“Why did he behave like that,” the man wondered to me. “He showed you respect outside the fence, but none inside.”

I wasn’t sure of the answer, but I chalked it up to the dog being back on the safe and famliar turf it’s charged with protecting and said so. The man nodded.

“Well it’s a good thing you were here!” He offered.

“You too!” I replied. “If you hadn’t walked by I wouldn’t have known where he belonged.”

“Cool,” he said and started crossing the street. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas!” I replied and rode on my way with the dog barking after me like he wanted to kill me.

But I knew better.