There won’t be too many posts that I begin like this: I was a hero this morning before breakfast.
I’m being hyperbolic*, of course. I was merely helpful. I did, however, have the opportunity to ease a lost little dog’s obvious anxiety, then find his way home, and I did it before drinking my coffee.
I’m pretty sure the dog felt I was heroic.
I was startled by a flash of movement outside the back door. It’s a private, fenced yard where no one should be at 7:30 on a weekday morning. There was a little white dog padding anxiously along the perimeter of the house and yard, shivering and unhappy.
He walked up to the patio door. His eye contact said, “I see you, lady, and I’m meant to be in there with you. Why aren’t you saving me?“
I called out to the rest of the household.
“Have you seen this dog before? He looks lost.”
Response: “Are you sure it’s not a cat?”
A fair number of neighborhood cats perch on the fence, but, no, this guy is a small white dog with some black markings and a powder blue collar.
I’m not a veterinarian or anything, but I felt confident stating this was a dog.
Someone more interested in dogs than I went out slowly and spoke kindly to him, but it was pretty obvious this frightened the little animal more. I was still the recipient of a lot of canine eye contact.
“Yes, lady, I’m looking at you.”
I never thought I had any dog whispering (canine telepathy?) powers before today, but I trust my interpretation.
We offered a bowl of water and someone went looking for an appropriate treat to lure him close enough to read his tags.
With a sigh, I sat down on the cold ground and the shivering pup edged his way nervously around the dog lover–sitting still and patient on a patio chair, hoping to help–and right into my lap.
The dog’s body language said it all:
I am allergic to dogs, so I usually speak to them politely while avoiding physical contact. They often resent my abject failure to pet (clearly knowing it is their due for having the grace to be domesticated and accept the often thankless task of being man’s best friend.)
Today, there could be none of that.
With my reassuring warmth relieving the chill of the morning, the tags on his collar were read, a neighbor’s phone number discovered, and, a few minutes later, a joyful reunion with a family member orchestrated.
His name is Buddy, and he was a rescue, and he is afraid of men. I know a few humans who share similar characteristics.
So I was Buddy’s hero this morning, bright and early, before my coffee. Like most moms, I live to serve. (Sort of, and with a bit of a giggling snort for that overblown statement.)
At least it is fair to say that, as a mom, I work to meet the needs of those smaller and less powerful than myself every day. Today, that small being was Buddy. Happy as he was to see his family, he definitely threw me a backwards glance. He was grateful that I eventually listened to him, and gave him what he needed.
I don’t know why Buddy picked me to be his hero this morning, but I was pleased to find I could rise to the task, allergies and all. Rarely are we so graciously asked when we are called to serve.
* Hyperbolic as an adjective relating to exaggeration, of course, but wouldn’t it be funny if I meant “being like a curve that is formed by the intersection of a double right circular cone with a plane that cuts both halves of the cone?” Even more fascinating: Merriam Webster states the the first definition predates the geometric one by more than a century (15th century vs. 1676.) Can that really be true? I feel that a great deal more research into this word is now warranted.