I drove to the metro today, happier than most days. I got up early, so I would be early for work, which is great because I’d be able to settle in early at home to watch a little Jeopardy!, some American Idol, and then behold the joy that is The Amazing Race finale. All that and I was listening to Howard Stern discuss cops using the taser on uncooperative people. I love me some taser, so it was a great morning.
Like every morning, I pulled into my metered parking spot and incorrectly aligned my car with the rear end further away from the curb than the front end. I don’t bother to park my car more parallel to the curb if my car is within the bounds of the painted lines. I was today, so I turned off my car and got out to put quarters in the meter. And this is where the morning slipped into
I looked ahead of me and saw a dog walking in the primary street that passes through the metro parking lot. He was walking back-and-forth across the street, slowing down the occasional car. He loped towards the random people walking on the sidewalk before walking away from them. I hoped someone would stop and get him out of the street, but everyone kept walking. He ran to the parking lot entrance ramp that feeds from the highway. I imagined a dead dog in the street very soon, but he moved away from the cars and onto the sidewalk.
I dropped my quarters into the meter and walked to the metro about twenty yards behind the dog. I still hoped that someone would help the dog, but no one stopped. The few people who looked at the dog looked only long enough to lock eyes before he’d run away. He ran back in my direction before stopping to linger in some bushes.
I normally would act like everyone else, but as I approached the dog, I had one simple thought in mind. WWDD? What would Danielle do? That, of course, would’ve involved slamming on the brakes in my car, blocking traffic to protect the dog’s path, jumping out of my car in the middle of the street, scooping up the dog and depositing him in the backseat of my car. I would’ve then driven around the surrounding county until I found his home. That wouldn’t work, so I judged the next best possibility. None of the other passersby were going to do anything, so I had to fix this situation.
Since he was lingering in the bushes, I quickly gained on his position. I walked up to him and stood still. I reached out my hand and he bent his head down for me to scratch his head. I scratched his head while grabbing his collar to read his tags. Seeing that he had tags, I called the number. No answer. I pondered what to do next before
the dog Laser leapt from my grasp and ran away. Time to find out how committed I was to this situation.
I walked after him, quickly cornering him against a patch of trees. When I reached him, I tucked my hand under his collar and calmed him down. I was now involved, like it or not, so I walked him to the station. I had to hunch over to keep my grip on his collar so that he wouldn’t run away again. Laser was cooperative, but anxious to explore. We struggled our way to the station.
At the station, I saw my
savior anti-Christ in the form of a metro security guard. I explained that I’d found this dog running loose through the streets of the metro. Without rolling the window of his jeep down, he explained that he wasn’t going to do anything about it, that he “wasn’t going to touch the dog.” I tried to reason with him, pointing out the obvious possibility that the dog would either get hit by a car or cause an accident. He suggested I call 911 and ask for a number to call.
Allow me to repeat that last part: he suggested I call 911 and ask for a number. How is that helpful? He should’ve just gotten out of his jeep and clubbed me in the knee. I asked him if he was serious and he said yes, he couldn’t do anything for me. He then said I could either deal with the dog or let the dog go. I gave him a look and walked away.
I stood on the sidewalk with the dog and called the owner again. I didn’t get an answer again, so I called the veterinarian’s number on one of his tags. The receptionist called the owner’s numbers but received no answer. A woman on her way into the metro walked up to me and asked what was going on. I explained the situation to her. She mentioned that she had a leash in her car if I wanted it. Absolutely. She retrieved the leash from her car. While I locked Laser into the leash, the woman searched through her phone and found the non-emergency number for the local police. I swear that part is true. I don’t know why she had that programmed into her phone, but she did. I waited through the automated system until I finally got a live voice. I explained everything to the officer, so he dispatched animal control.
I hung up with the police and thanked the woman for her help. I asked her about the leash. She said she would pick it up from the animal shelter later in the day so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it. She left to catch the train while I waited.
Did I mention that I had a meeting this morning? No? Guess what? I had a meeting this morning. I still had time to make it to work on time, but that quickly faded. Thirty minutes later, the animal control officer arrived. He gently picked up Laser and put him in the cage in the back of the van, then thanked me for waiting with the dog until he arrived. We shook hands before I left to catch my train. I caught the train, which only made me five minutes late for my train.
Anyone care to guess what the security guard did the entire time I waited for the police to arrive? You can have multiple guesses, but you’ll only need more than one if you’ve never dealt with the lovely beast that is the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The correct answer? He sat in his jeep and watched the world pass him by. It’s a good thing there was nothing else for him to do or he might have tired himself out.