A few nights ago on my way home from work, there was a dog standing in the middle of Front Street. As I'm sure you can imagine, any place named "Front Street" would be a very bad place for a dog to stand.
This was a very big dog. He looked to be maybe part German Shepherd and part Mastiff or Rottweiler. Imagine a beefy, jowly German Shepherd with flop ears instead of up ears, and you'd have a pretty good idea of this boy.
Big Dog trotted off to the side of the road while I was waiting to turn and headed down the sidewalk. I didn't want him to run back in the road and get hit by a car, and he did have a collar, so I thought maybe I could coax him over and find out where he belonged, or at least take him to a local shelter or vet's office.
I pulled off into a warehouse's driveway-- it's all industrial on the east side of the Maumee River. The dog was around the corner of the warehouse. I approached very slowly, making sure I had a clear path back to my car on the off chance he turned out to be unfriendly. My hands were out so he could see them.
I have a theory that all dogs have the secret name of "Puppy." No matter who the dog is, if you call it Puppy, it will listen to you. Big Dog was no exception. He looked very interested when I called out, "Puppy! Come here, puppy!" Big Dog walked over and looked at me expectantly. I held out my hand for him to sniff. After a moment, Big Dog decided he approved and we could be friends.
I tried to pet him and get a good look at his collar and tag, but he moved his head so I couldn't. He was very polite about it and didn't growl or snap or anything, he just didn't want to be touched on his neck.
Hmm. Maybe if I got him over to the car I could get a better look? This patch of grass was uncomfortably close to Front Street, after all. A few people honked and waved as they drove by.
I asked Big Dog if he wanted to go home. He wagged his tail. "Come on," I said, and started towards the car. He happily bounded along just ahead of me, bouncing the way dogs do when you're going to throw a ball for them. "Want to go for a ride?" I asked him. He ran straight to my car. When I opened the door, he climbed right in as if we'd been doing this for years.
Right in to the front seat. Hold on here, Puppy, dogs ride in the back seat! I opened the back door for him (I have the sort of little back door where you can't open it unless you've first opened the front door) and he rather sheepishly climbed back over the driver's seat and into the back. He thought it was funny.
I still couldn't get a look at Big Dog's tag. I tried to reach again, and he politely climbed back out of the car. I absently bent to brush a pawprint off my seat, and when I looked up he was gone. I guess he went down the other side of the warehouse, where some guys were working. I couldn't see him, though, so I don't know where he really went.
I really was trying to help you, Big Dog. I hope you found your humans again.