No Good Deed Goes Unpunished…

Our son and daughter-by-marriage were in town for the weekend for a wedding. It was a lovely Saturday morning and they were ours for the day. So, we all got up, drank some coffee, dressed comfortably and started the day with a nice walk to a local restaurant for breakfast.

About ten minutes into our excursion, a little dog appeared from nowhere. It bolted past us, turned right, ran off the sidewalk and into the street. We gasped in horror as the oncoming car screeched to a halt; missing the pooch by a foot. The pup, however, wasn’t fazed and kept running to the other side of the road. Then, it did it again! This time it cut left, zigzagged into the street, was nearly run over by another car and came back up onto our sidewalk. And then the sequence repeated itself for a third time!

As dog lovers, we could not stand idly by and wait for this creature to get squashed on the pavement. So my husband took action by cornering and catching the dog on a neighbor’s lawn. A quick inspection revealed no collar or identification of any kind; just a harness. Passersby who witnessed the turn of events suggested that it might be the Frankels’ pet. With that clue, and using my husband’s belt as a leash, we took the dog and headed into the family’s neighborhood.

No luck. The dog didn’t belong to the Frankels. After about thirty minutes of walking around the cul-de-sac and knocking on every door, it was clear we weren’t going to find the dog’s owner. (We even opened a mailbox, got a name off an envelope, googled it and called the resident to ask about the dog!) We decided that the next best thing to do was to head to the local veterinarian clinic (which was on the way to the restaurant) with the hope they could read the microchip that we prayed the pup had under its neck fur and skin.

We reached the vet within minutes of closing for the day. Sure enough, they had a scanner, read the chip and found the number in the database. Finally, we were given the name and phone numbers of Benito’s owners.

With Benito in tow, we headed to the restaurant — which thankfully had outdoor seating  — as my husband called and texted the owner. Contact was made. As coincidence would have it, the owner’s partner was in the grocery store in the same strip mall, only seconds from where we were sitting. We were excited to have rescued Benito and were happy that he’d be going home to safety.

The partner arrived and we told her what had happened. Her reaction was tremendously disappointing. She shrugged when we pointed out that Benito didn’t have a collar with proper contact information. She didn’t react when we told her about our trip to the vet. She didn’t seem bothered at all that he had gotten out and had run away. My son, unable to contain himself, barked at her “Ma’am, I don’t think you understand that your dog almost was cooked — flattened like a pancake — three times!” Again, she didn’t flinch. She only mumbled something about not being able to get around to installing a fence. She took Benito from us and left.

Our episode lasted over three hours. We did our best to do the right thing. We were resourceful and expeditious. But, we never got the satisfaction of feeling that our efforts mattered. We were left feeling like “no good deed goes unpunished.”

I wished we simply had taken Benito home with us.

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