Wednesday December 31st, 11:30am:
Picture this... it's New Years Eve. You have called in sick because you are fighting a bad case of bronchitis. It's -20 outside, wait... -30 if you include that nasty beast windchill. You finally get up enough energy to take your pooch out for a pee. You throw on some Uggs and a poof jacket over your tank and head outside for a quick second to releave your pooch. Just as you think you are ready to rush back into your warm home...your deaf bull of a dog pulls back and.....BAM! He's gone off like a rocket. No collar, no leash...and certainly no chance in hell he's hearing you scream his name like Yetti in the arctic. Well my friends, that was me on New Years Eve....
11:32 am: Sheaffer was gone in a split second. He ran straight across the road through 2 lanes of traffic that were in the middle of a traffic jam. Cars were slamming on breaks as he, and I, ran through and continued down the road. This dog was acting like a hyena on crack. He was given'er as fast he could barking at every person he saw. He would stop for a second to bark at them and I would take the opportunity to scream for them to grab him. "He's friendly, I can't call him he's deaf!! Please grab him!!!". Do you think they did? Of course not....they just stood there with a dope eyed look on their face like I was the one on drugs. I chased that damn dog for about 20 minutes up and down the same streets in the FREEZING cold with little clothing on and was quickly losing my breath. Bronchitis and cold air do not mix. I had to have screamed at 30 people for help and no one, NOT ONE person did anything AT ALL!! I was so frustrated and scared my dog was going to get hit by a car, or I wasn't going to be able to keep up with him and I felt an asthma attack coming on.
11:52 am: This is when my angel appeared. A man who was in the middle of doing his own thing ran up to me and asked me the dogs name. I said "Shaeffer, but he's deaf so I can't call him. He knows this hand signal (showed him the sign) to come. He's friendly, just loud". This surprising person told me he would go one way down the street, and I would go the other cutting him off. He was running, I was running...he was yelling at people...I was yelling at people. We were stopping cars on the highway as Shaeffer crossed back and forth, having the time of his life; jumping and barking at people, speeding from one street to another. He finally crossed the highway one more time and headed East. The amazing stranger ran after him and chased him behind a building where I was able to meet him at the end of the alley way on the West end. Shaef was cornered. He only had one choice but to retreat. He looked me in the eye, and came to my signal. He sat right in front of me while I put his collar back over his head and wrapped the leash around his neck.
12:12 pm: I stood up and ran over to the helpful man. I was crying "thank you, thank you!!! I would never have caught him without your help!!". I asked him what his name was, he said "Ben". I said "thank you Ben, you have no idea what it means to me that you helped me. Thank you, thank you". He just said "no problem, it would have been a lot easier if some of those other people around would have helped eh", and away he went. He was right, and I could never have caught my dog without his help. It really scares me to think what might have happened. He might have been hit, he may have ran to the point where I lost him and never found him again. Why out of so many people was there only ONE person who was kind enough to help me?
I made the long, numbing, breathless walk home, with a tired pooch in tow. He had a small goatee of ice hanging off his chin. He was tired, but I know he felt defeated and was not happy. I was not happy either. I had been running around for almost an hour in -30 weather wearing nothing but a jacket and joggers. It felt like my lungs were bleeding inside. I didn't have the energy to sit at my office all day, I certainly didn't have the energy to deal with that situation. When I got home I put the kettle on and flopped on the couch. I pulled my quilt over me and ignored the dog. He sat and stared at me for a good 10 minutes. He knew I was pissed. I was in pain. My lungs were struggling to release air and my skin was on fire from the warm air heating it up. It felt like a mild case of hypothermia. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I wondered how Ben was feeling. I layed frozen on the couch for half and hour thinking about what a selfless person he was, and why it seems there are so few of them out there.
I am forever greateful to that stranger Ben, who became my friend thanks to his kind heart. He did not have to stop his own life and spend 20 minutes chasing a stupid deaf dog, but he did. He made a sacrafice of his own time and energy and with that he made some girl (this girls') day, and possibly year. He acted altruisticly and is a small hero in my eyes. I just wanted to say Thank You Ben. You are a great person, and now friend. I wish you the best in 2009. Shaeffer and I will never forget the considerate person you are. You are an example for people everywhere. Thank You Thank You Thank YOU!!!