The first car swerved into the adjacent lane, narrowly missing the two dogs on the busy street. The second car careened even closer. The third car, my car, stopped abruptly. “Those dogs aren’t going to make it,” I thought “unless I get them out of this traffic.”
I slammed on my brakes, jumped out of my car, into the middle of the street, waving my arms frantically as cars swerved around me. “C’mon puppies, this way!” I yelled loudly, running at them to redirect their path. Thankfully, they responded and headed into the yard of a nearby house. “Bless their hearts!”, I said to my own dog, a blue Shar Pei named Pearl, in the front seat of my car. We had just left her vet for a check-up and were running an errand.
The elderly golden retriever with a bright blue collar was panting heavily. The younger, shorter mixed breed, a black and white pup, had a bit more energy yet stayed by the retriever’s side. Both were hot, tired and disoriented. It was almost 96 degrees on this steamy, sweltering summerday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The air was heavy, oven-like and oppressive.
“Lord, please help! It’s just too hot” I said. Thankfully, I had some dog treats with me that I’d packed because of the vet appointment. “C’mon puppies, here’s a treat.” The golden, with his warm, browntrusting eyes looked relieved and tentatively ambled forward. He gobbled them up. His side-kick, following the older dog’s lead, ate a few.
“Maybe they live here, I thought.” With treats in hand and the dogs nearby, I rang the doorbell. “I’ve never seen them,” said the timid voice behind the door…which quickly shut as I asked, “Do you have any water?” I rang again but no luck. After all, I was a stranger and those were not her dogs. “Lord, please help…send me help,” I said.
Just then, a car entered the neighborhood. I flagged it down. “Ever seen these dogs?” The young girl replied, “I haven’t, but my mom works nearby, maybe she has.” Thankfully she parked nearby.
With the last of my dog treats, I tried, unsuccessfully to get the dogs in my car. Having had a neck surgery, I simply wasn’t as strong as I used to be. Lifting the golden felt impossible. When I tried to catch the black and white pup, it ran off. With sweat pouring from my brow, I asked the young girl, “Can you help me?” She replied, “I’m not good with dogs, but I’ll say with you.”
The dogs were panting heavily by now. We had no water and it felt like I was losing their trust. Another car came from the other direction and I flagged it down. The dogs had run off, heading down a nearby street. “I’m a dog-sitter,” said the driver, another young girl, and “I’m good with dogs,” she said enthusiastically. Off we went. “Do you have any food?” I asked as I had used the last of my treats.
“I have some Pop-Tarts®” said the first girl who had indeed stayed. Handing me what was probably her breakfast she said, “Use these – it’s all I have.” Together, the dog sitter, named Bri, and I coaxed the almost exhausted dogs closer to my car. “Can you help me lift the big one?” I asked. “I just had my appendix out,” Bri said but maybe we can do it together.” As the smaller dog ate some of the Pop-Tart®, I grabbed him first and put him in my back seat. Together, Bri and I got the big golden in next and closed the door. The dogs were a bit scared but, in the cool air conditioning, they were content. I have some water bottles Bri remembered and we gave them a drink from our hands.
“Now what?” I thought. Maybe back to the vet? Hopefully they will take them. But…if not? “Lord, please show me what to do next.” Anothercar came near us and, without thinking, I flagged it down. “Ever seen these dogs? I asked and then, recognizing the driver said, “I know you, right?” He replied, “I’m Tom, Jennifer’s husband.” Relief! Jennifer is my new friend I met playing golf. “Call Jennifer, she’s home and we live next door to a dog rescuer,” Tom shared.
“Please answer,” I prayed as I dialed Jennifer.” She did and shared her neighbor’s number, named Amy, who also answered. “I’m home now…bring the dogs to me.” Off I went, filled with hope and two tired dogs.
Amy, equipped with a microchip reader in hand scanned the golden. “He’s chipped!” she said and, thankfully after a few minutes, learned his name and address. “I can take them from here” she said and loaded them in her car. The smaller dog was not chipped. We did not know at that time if he was from the same home.
As Amy drove away, I remained in awe. How was it that I had dog treats, a sweet girl with Pop-Tarts® shared her breakfast, a dog-sitterarrived on the scene and someone I recognized who knew a dog rescuer with a microchip reader were on the same street at the same time when these dogs needed us.
“Isn’t that just like God?” I thought, as I drove away, thankful for a happy ending to this almost tragic tale. I’ll always remember this story and especially the girl who stayed, whose name I did not get. Sometimes, offering what you have, like Pop-Tarts® and prayers are all you need.
*P.S. After this story was written I felt led to purchase some Pop-Tarts®and try to find the owner of at least the golden retriever. I went to the location the dog rescuer shared with me and knocked on one door. That neighbor pointed me to a house a bit further down, across the street. Guess who greeted me at the door? Hooray! There was the golden retriever. Turns out, he’s 11 years old, is named Parker and his new side-kick, the elusive puppy named Buddy, did live with him. The owner, named Shawn, was so grateful. A gate had been left open by mistake and curious Buddy took off to explore. It was heartwarming to see two happy, healthy dogs who seemed excited about the pop tarts. Shawn and I talked about the importance of micro-chipping your pets and how thankful we both were that he was reunited with his dogs. I love the title of this magazine: All Creatures. It was amazing how, that hot summer day in Tulsa, God did useall kinds of “creatures” – post-surgery, dog loving people, a girl I’ll probably never see again who had pop-tarts, a friend’s husband and a dog rescuer to help two sweet creatures in the middle of a busy street.
With permission, here are photos Bri took of Parker and Buddy in the back of my car. Bri is a dog-sitter affiliated with, Rover the dog-sitting service and app which I highly recommend to find excellent dog care.