I went for a ride at Dusk on Saturday and there were still a bunch of people setting off fireworks. As I rounded the corner onto Quarterhorse (less than a quarter mile from the house) there was a dog that came running by out of the common area between the 2 subdivisions. He was terrified of the fireworks going off. He was running away from me, north on Quarterhorse, until a firework went off in front of us and he turned around and ran the other way. I tried calling him but he wasn’t stopping. I considered turning and riding after him, but I didn't know where he had gone so I continued on my lap and decided to stop and try and catch him if he was still there when I came back around.
I finished my first last and was just approaching Quarterhorse when he came running around the corner and up between 2 houses on the street behind us. I “knew” the guy in one of the houses from saying 'hi' and talking about bikes as I frequently saw him out there when I would ride by. He smokes in his garage and frequently leaves the door open about a foot or so for ventilation. Well as the fireworks were still going off the dog, who was quite large (my guess is a collie/yellow lab/shepherd mix), tried to get under the door. He got his head under and was pawing at things in the garage, trying to squeeze under the door. I petted him and tried to coax him out but he wasn’t coming.
Troy (the guy who lives in the house) heard the noise and hit the opener, opening the garage door. As the door went up, the dog went all the way in next to the car and towards the door to the house. I let Troy know there was a dog coming in and he and his wife were of course wary. The dog went by the door to the house and lay down. He was panting heavily and looked exhausted. We approached him and looked at his collar. He had a tag, but the tag was just a rabies tag from the animal hospital no name or contact number on it.
Jane, Troy's wife went in and got a bowl with some water in it. he took a few sips but it seemed like he was still terrified and couldn't stop panting enough to take a drink. He wouldn’t really move once he was in the garage.
Troy and Jane are not dog people. We started trying to figure out what to do. I told him I was going to go get my car and we’d see if we can get him to my house. I figured we already have 2 dogs so maybe he'll feel more at ease. Not to mention it was very warm in Troy's garage.
I rode home, told Michele what was going on and we grabbed a leash and took the car back to Troy’s house. The dog hadn’t moved. He was still panting a million miles an hour. We tried coaxing him with more water, with a hot dog, pulling on the leash. None of it got him moving. He wasn’t easy to move either weighing probably over 100 lbs. Finally I had Michele take the leash and I got behind him and pushed him up to his feet and he headed towards the car very slowly. He got to the car, put his front feet in, but then he couldn’t seem to get the rest of the way into the back seat so I helped lift his rear end in and he was finally in there.
We took him home and I had to practically lift his rear end to coax him out of the car and into our garage. I have a piece of carpet in there he laid right down on, still panting a lot. We got him a fresh bowl of water and turned on the ceiling fan to get the air moving for him.
We took a couple of pictures of him and Michele started looking on Craig’s list for any ads for lost dogs. I stayed in the garage with him and kept giving him water (he drank about 2 quarts) and even put some ice in a baggie and laid it on him trying to cool him down. He eventually slowed his panting some and laid down on the floor on his side to rest. It was good that we had the ceiling fan in the garage to help cool him.
About 20 minutes later the doorbell rang and it was Troy. He and his wife had heard someone out calling for a dog and they talked to the guy, finding out it was his dog that had just gotten out that evening. He came with the guy to our house (not quite sure how he knew exactly where we lived, but he must have recognized my car). We opened the garage and the dog seemed happy to see him. He called it by name and it came to him so we knew it was his dog. He said the dog was older and that he had problems with his hips which is why the dog didn’t want to move. All in all is was a good night as we reunited the dog with his owner.
So I only rode 1.3 miles that evening but I think the short distance was definitely justified as we had a chance to do a good deed.
Get on your bikes and ride and do a good deed.