I had to stop.
I pulled out the dog biscuits I keep in my car console. As I opened the car door thinking I'd have to coax the dog to me, he bounded over. He had a collar and tags - good news.
I found the tag. His name was Sam...the name of my childhood dog. He was friendly, even loving. He nuzzled my knee as I scratched his ears while I dialed the number on the tag.
No answer. I left a message and debated next steps still just enjoying scratching Sam's ears while he nuzzled my knee like my golden retriever Dixie does every day. There’s just something peaceful about that nuzzling.
Then, I'm knocked back to the moment. The phone rings and the owner identified Sam. The owner was just minutes away at the store. Sam was only a block from home so I loaded him up in the car. He jumped right in. I hope he has a loving family, I thought. I hope someone scratches his ears when he nuzzles their knee.
I gripped his collar as I walked him up the driveway to the front door. I really hoped a gleeful child would greet us so thankful the beloved family dog was home.
I heard a woman on the phone coming out the side door yelling Sam’s name swearing she hadn't let the dog out. Sam pulled out of my grip and rounded the corner toward the voice. He seemed happy to see her...she kept yelling into the phone she hadn't let the dog out.
I waved, got in the car and drove home where Dixie greeted me with a knee nuzzle. She had an escape episode a few years ago, and I always feel I owe a debt to dog karma for the guy who rescued her and her canine companion in the middle of a busy road and called me.
Maybe a few cents deposited back in the dog karma bank for the next time I need it, thanks to Sam.