This is part 2 of our epic dog story. I am a jerk for dragging it out this long; I know. ;)
The dog remained happily hunkered down as Kenny got back in the car. I carefully pulled back on I-80 and got off the nearest exit as Grace called the police.
And then we waited and waited and tried to stop shaking since the adrenaline was DEFINITELY pumping.
We waved down one passing police officer, told him that we’d just gotten this dog off the highway, and he continued on his way, muttering something about “not my call.” BOOO.
After about 20 minutes, Kenny and Dan spotted a police car pull up about 200 yards away from us at the toll booth. The intrepid men set off and crossed four lanes of exit-ramp traffic to get the police officer. Grace and I stayed with the dog, who was pretty quiet through all of the hubbub.
Soon after Dan and Kenny left, the police car pulled up behind us with the men inside.
Kenny got to ride in a cop car under the best possible circumstances. NOT FAIR. I was rather perturbed that I’d stayed with our car and the dog until I found out that both of the men had to be completely patted down before riding with the cop. NEVERMIND.
The cop was pretty young, and when he walked up to our car, he just looked at the dog for a few minutes. None of us had any idea what to do. The cop asked us about 12 times if the dog had bit anyone, which we repeatedly told him the dog hadn’t.
The cop finally decided he had to do something and got a length of rope out of his car and fashioned a leash since the dog had no collar. He put on his fire-retardant gloves and slowly walked back to our car with the makeshift leash.
But then. Every time we tried to slip the leash over the dog’s head, the dog would press himself back into the hollow under the glove compartment as hard as it could which made it terribly difficult to get the leash on it. Please reference: above picture.
The cop was not the most brave person we’d ever met, so I ended up taking the leash from him and forcing it over the dog’s head.
We then figured that the dog would hop out of the car and mosey along into the nice policeman’s car. Simple, right?
ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT.
There was no way that the dog was going to go ANYWHERE. It wedged himself so hard into our car that we couldn’t do ANYTHING.
We tried luring it with more Wheat Thins, some water, general cajoling, gentle leash-tugging, but nothing. This dog was in it for the long haul.
This went on for about a half an hour. When we would get very close to the dog, it would growl at us, but it wouldn’t snap at us.
Finally Kenny managed to unwedge the dog and pull it out of the car. It did NOT like the makeshift leash, but we got the dog into the back of the police officer’s car without too much difficulty.
I wish that this story could have had a happier, more fairy tale ending with us adopting this sweet dog. But our apartment doesn’t allow dogs of any size (and this one was a big one!) and we knew that the owner may have been searching for this dog. It was well-fed but had a few burrs in its fur and some mats in it’s tail, so we figured the dog had only been loose for a few days.
The police officer planned to take it to a local animal shelter in his town and we’re hoping the dog had a microchip or owners who were desperately looking for it.
But the story DOES have a secondary happy ending. The four of us had decided early on our trip on our way to New Jersey that Chipotle was the fast food destination of choice for dining while on the road. However, Chipotles are very scarce at rest stops in Pennsylvania and Ohio, BUT the exit that we’d pulled off at just so happened to have a Chipotle right around the corner.
We soaked our jangled nerves in barbacoa burritos and retold every single aspect of the story to each other again and again even though we were all there. It was very therapeutic.
I would like to point out that the four of us are PERFECTLY NORMAL PEOPLE and are not at all the type to rescue a stray dog. Yes, we like animals and are generally concerned for their safety, but things like this just don’t normally happen to us.
We hopped back on the road about an hour after the dog had jumped into our car and got home at about 9:30 that night.
What an adventure. Good heavens. I now need another vacation just to recover.
NOTE: This month, I’m participating in The Nester’s “31 Days of Change” project. The challenge: to write every day for 31 days! I’ve been creating lists like a madwoman, but this story was TOO GOOD not to share… Click here to read more and to see what other listy-things I’ve been up to.