There are some moments in life you kind of wish you could forget. This is one of them.
It was April 27th. A cloudy day. Very humid. I was heading to town to get out of the house, so I walked up to the bus stop. I had just missed the bus to town, which meant I was going to have to wait a half-hour for the next one. I was standing there listening to music, and I spotted a dog across the road.
It’s not unusual in that area to see dogs roaming. Most of them belong to someone, and they’re just not the most responsible animal owners.
So. Back to the dog. The dog was laying in the middle of a street. It’s a residential street, so not many cars go there unless they live there. The dog was alive, I knew that much, be he wasn’t moving!
I debated for a while, watching the clock tick away signalling the impending arrival of the next bus that could take me into town. I also kept an eye on this dog across the street, sending it telepathic signals to move so I knew it wasn’t injured.
I knew, though, that if I got on the bus (which was set to arrive at any minute) that I would spend the rest of the day wondering if the dog was okay, and I would be so guilt ridden if I knew it had been injured and died.
So I crossed the street. As I got to the other side, the bus zoomed away. Another half-hour until the next bus.
When I got close to the dog, he didn’t move. He didn’t get up, to move closer or to move away. He just laid there in the middle of the road. I tried calling him, tried enticing him to get up, and a couple times, the front half of his body looked as if he were trying to move and get up, but the back half of his body looked unresponsive.
I didn’t touch anything in case I hit a sore spot and the dog bit me or something, so I just called the people I knew at the SPCA and explained that I found this dog, I think he might be injured, and yes, I’ll wait until someone comes to check it out.
So I waited. And while I waited, I pet the dog’s head, and his front paw, and he just laid his head in my lap. Eventually, I was creating doom scenarios in my head for this dog. Poor thing.
I noticed he didn’t have a collar, and I didn’t want the dog dying without a name. So I called him Jasper. I felt like that was a good name.
So Jasper and I waited.
Eventually, a lady popped her head out from the front door of her house a few times. Presumably wondering why the hell I was sitting in the middle of the road with a dog, but she never actually got out and asked…
Another bus goes by.
Jenny from the SPCA came around, and we tried to get the dog to get up again… The lady popped her head out again so Jenny asked her if Jasper was her dog. She nodded.
Enter the beginning of the feeling of awkwardness and embarrassment.
Jenny asked the lady if she thought her dog might have been bumped by a vehicle, and the lady told us the dog was just old and lazy. Jenny reminded her that she’s not allowed to let her dog roam freely, and that if he’s an old dog, he’s especially at risk.
Jenny asked her to call the dog.
“Come here Buddy!” She said.
Jasper (AKA Buddy) got up and wandered over to his house.
My head sank backwards and I apologised to Jenny for having to come over to check out a dog that was just fine. She told me I should have tried with food. Well… I don’t carry dog treats “just in case”, so I did what I could.
Yeah, it’s embarrassing, but at least I was at peace that Buddy was okay. Just a shithead.
I got up from sitting on the road, dusted myself off and got on the next bus into town. When I got back, Buddy was roaming the neighbourhood again…
UPDATE: Jasper AKA Buddy also has a third identity: Chico. Apparently that one is legitimately his name.