(I dedicate the following post to Iggy, who has made service to dogs an important part of his own life): For over a week, I was alone. This is highly unusual, since my life is greatly intertwined with the lives of my wife and children, so I feel somewhat at sea during the extraordinary rare times that I’m on my own. However, over the course of July 3-4, we all got back together, one by one.
Upon picking up my little girl from a week-long gymnastics camp in rural southeastern California, the reunited family began driving north again. My wife got a text message from another parent who had left the same camp and was headed south through the Mojave desert. They saw in the desert a dog walking aimlessly. Since the dad driving the car is, like me, a tender-hearted sort, he pulled over, and the dog immediately ran under the car for shade. They got him a bowl of water, and he lapped it up.
Who knows why the dog was there or how long he had been there. But this dog was going to die without someone taking the opportunity – – – and, thus, we instantly decided (via text) that we were going to turn around and bring this dog home. So they started heading back north, and we started heading back south, and we meet just about where we had both started an hour before.
We already had two dogs with us (yep, this was a crowded vehicle), but we would make do. The other dad handed me the dog, and I held it and spoke to it. He was a good-looking dog, and he seemed calm, although I’m sure he was bewildered. I placed him in my car, and the other two dogs settled in with him quickly. It was time to drive home – – five hours more.
The dog, now named Mojave after the desert where he was found, has quickly settled in. He’s been lovingly bathed, fed, watered, introduced to the myriad of creatures that live around my yard, and is an expert at going through the dog door. As with all canines here, he has full run of the house, and nothing is off limits.
We have sent information and pictures to animal organizations in the area, in the unlikely event that someone lost the dog through innocent reasons, but I suspect we have a permanent new family member. It is not often we get to be of service to others in need, but I feel that when such opportunities present themselves, it is important to embrace them. Making another creature happy, no matter how many legs they have, is good for the soul.