Today I decided to brave the chaos of Trader Joes in Manhattan on a Sunday and go early. I put on my rain jacket and headed to the subway. I walked a block and caught site of a large tan and gangly dog, probably a year old, without a collar up ahead. His big paws and gait told me he was not used to a life of freedom, nor an owner who walks him. He must have gotten away from someone who kept him captive. Terrified of animals getting hit by cars, I jogged towards him, looking for any possible owner. I kept losing site of him as he became hidden by the parked cars lining the street and then caught up with him again as he paused to sniff another dog, leashed to his owner. I asked the man if he knew who’s dog it was and he said no, that I should catch him and give him food and water. The gangly dog was unfortunately not used to people and would not come over to me. I held my hand out, palm up, as my dad had taught me, got down on my knees to reduce my size to match his, but nothing worked. His body was aimed in the opposite direction, while his head faced me, curious, but scared. He bounded off weaving in and out of the street, but I could not let him go and get on with my day. I was being pulled by my conscience, by the universe, something, to catch him. He was fast and made off like a gazelle, passing curious people on the sidewalk and pausing again to sniff some leashed dogs. He turned a corner next to a bakery and I followed, wondering if I had time to run into the bakery, get him a pastry and seduce him with that. I figured not, since by the time this thought crossed my mind, he was a full block away. I kept whistling to get him to stop, but he didn’t know a whistle from a grapefruit. I then remembered that my friend Lynn was an animal rescuer in New Jersey and maybe she would have some contacts. The animal control in NYC just kills dog, supposedly, and I would rather this guy run homeless than that fate, so I called Lynn, as I continued to pursue him. Thoughts of a life together started crossing my mind. A large part of me was wishing he would stop and I could bring him home to my yard and we could become a family, but he just didn’t trust me or realize that I was trying to help him. By the time I had gotten a hold of Lynn, his languid body, which had been weaving in and out of parked cars was gone. I looked up and down the crossroads where I saw him last and saw only people. No tan body with black highlights. No doggie. Lynn messaged some of her contacts, so I pray that he is found and gets a nice home, a turkey dinner, and a roaring fireplace to sit near on this chilly Sunday afternoon.
One day, I will have six dogs and horses and pigs and lambs and we will all cuddle.