I mean really... you see that face in the middle of the road looking stunned and frightened, cars whizzing by... there wasn't even a little evil part of me that wanted to know what it would look like squished.
So I pull over, give the ShortBus a handful of crackers and a coloring book, and tell him I'll be right back... after I save the doggy. Go SuperMommy!
Unfortunately this little punt of a pooch has been scared to death, and now not only is he running around in traffic, but I am too. Standing on the sidewalk calling him isn't working, running willy-nilly through the intersection trying to scare him out of the street isn't working, making all kinds of stupid noises and faces, pretending I have food, throwing goldfish crackers to tempt him... not working.
As I'm standing in the middle of the intersection doing one or all of the above, I notice a police car, top speed, lights flashing, coming my way. As he flies through the intersection, he has the courtesy to slow down for a second to yell, "that's what leash laws are for lady!" out the window. Golly, thanks. It took everything I had not to give him the finger. I mean, I'm generally cynical about humanity, but at least I'm not an a-hole about it.
At some point the little
Yeah kid, you are SO NOT getting out of the car right now.
I finally decide to grow a pair, reach out and grab the shivering little beast, and figure I'm going to get bit. No time to sniff my finger to see if I'm friend or foe, you are coming with me. Pulling and dragging, I get him into my arms. Now what?
Well, I suppose now I have to take him home... what else can I do?
The ShortBus decides that we should name him Hot Wheels, and no matter how many times I try to explain it to him, he doesn't seem to understand that "Hot Wheels" has a family who is missing him terribly. Yes, I am pretty sure that Hot Wheels, with his collar and clean fur, has probably escaped from someones yard or house, and they are out looking for him. Maybe, just maybe they are out looking for him right now! So, we hop back into the car to drive through the neighborhood listening for someone calling for him.
The story ends with "Hot Wheels" falling asleep in the passenger's seat, Short Bus in the back whispering (because I told him he had to be quiet so I could hear if someone was calling for their lost doggy), and me thinking, "oh good grief, this dog SO can't come home to live with us." And then I hear it... well, Hot Wheels heard it, I barely heard it, but I saw a dog who was peacefully curled up asleep in the car stand straight up as if he'd been poked by a (really small) cattle prod.
As I suspected, Hot Wheels's owner was out walking the streets looking for him. We exchanged pleasantries, and I honestly couldn't get over the sense of joy I felt when I saw this woman reunited with her Julian (one boy's Hot Wheels is another woman's Julian). Although I felt terrible for any dog that had to go through life called Julian, I was happy to learn that she had rescued him from certain death only a year ago, and Hot Wheels had accidentally been let out of the yard earlier that day by the landscapers.
He was a sweet little dog, and I'm happy I was able to help reunite him with his family. On the way home, Short Bus and I were discussing the evening and he said, "Mommy? Why didn't she name the dog Hot Wheels?"
Me: "I don't know, maybe she thought Julian was a good name for him."
SB: "Hot Wheels is a better name."
Me: "Well, its no Onion Mud, but it'll do."
SB: "When we get our own house can we get a dog?"
Me: "Maybe we should start with a cat."
SB: "Maybe we should name him Hot Wheels."