Gus…

Yesterday, I saved a dog on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

He was running across a busy street known as Prospect Park West, adjacent  to Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I was on my way to work at the clinic about to cross this street to walk on the side of the park when a dog ran into the middle of traffic.

Well…

I ran out into the middle of traffic to stop the cars from potentially running over the dog.

Well…

The dog and myself were lucky enough to not meet HIM, our maker that day. I was able to hold back traffic but not the dog,  now running down a block. The Farmers Market was taking place at the time so lots of humans were roaming the area. I called out to a jogger, “Please grab the dog”. He did so, hesitantly.

I made my way towards the dog and slowed down my pace as I approached it with my hand extended. The dog sat down, tail wagging and the jogger released his hold on the harness.

I wrapped my fingers around the metal link and did not let go.

The dog had tags on the collar…!

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

This is not Gus but he looks like him.

I sat on the curb, with Gus leaning on me, as a small crowd of witnesses gathered. I called the owners, balancing the tag with the info and punching the numbers into my cell. Others from the crowd volunteered to hold Gus.

I declined.

I was not going to let this angel out of my fingers.

A voice responded to my call and the wife of the husband who was walking the dog in Prospect Park was hysterical. She was at work and had no idea this transpired. I told her our location and promised to wait until her husband arrived.

Meanwhile the crowd slowly dispersed as I relayed the information about the owner coming.

Boy…was I gonna be late for work.

I’ve worked at PPAC for over a year now and cannot recall a time I was late.

It was hard to move with him as he was too big for me to carry with my bags and I had no leash to guide him but we made our way over to a nearby bench.

I heard the husband-owner  calling to Gus before seeing him as my back was turned to the side. He ran up to us and Gus was so excited to see his owner. He thanked me profusely, saying I saved his kids’ lives because if he returned home without Gus, they would be devastated. He apologized and admitted while in the park with Gus, he took his eyes off him for a moment, and he was gone. He wanted my address, to send flowers, to drop off a gift. I declined and I stretched out my hand. He grasped it firmly and we shook. He had tears in his eyes and I almost broke down crying.

Well…

Prior to this happening I was making my way to work was feeling discouraged and experiencing serious second doubts about my career choice. It can be frustrating and confusing at times when doubt seeps in the alma.

I love climbing mountains, and I love challenges and I feel stuck in a rut right now-a rut caused by my own psyche and wanting to know everything all at once.

Gus was a sign, in a strange way. Meeting him on that Saturday morning was a wake-up call.

I am, where I am supposed to be right here and now.

When I made it to work, I was deemed a hero. I saved Gus’ life. The owner (wife) phoned and asked for my info to send a gift.

I declined…again.

I told her I was a vet tech and she laughed and said Gus was lucky to have run into me. She asked where I worked and I told her.  Hopefully, we’ll get another client.

In the meantime, thank you Gus.

Yesterday, a dog named Gus saved me on a Saturday morning in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

 

Toby (Tobias)

Can dogs be a preferred substitute for children?

Yes, particularly when the person who makes this decision is a childless forty- something post menopausal woman.

I was ready for a schnauzer during the winter of 2003 and after an extensive research, located a newly opened dog shop in Brooklyn which carried one. The owner was a hyperactive, flamboyant Hispanic male who resembled the lead character from the Almodóvar movie, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown…” He was that spastic! His nervous energy, tinged with negativity, for he complained endlessly, was infectious. My heart raced in his company and frankly I could not wait to get away from him but his financially strapped store on Flatbush Avenue had a schnauzer.

Toby was seven months old at the time, longhaired and energetic. When the owner brought him out from the back of store and placed him on the floor, he proceeded to pee and defecate on the display stands in front. A wild dog unleashed! No, not really. He was following the lead of his nose, not interested in my display of cooing and petting or the other end of the hand doing it-me. He was free at last and intended to make full use of his sensory ecstasy. The owner, with his hyperactivity, cornered Toby and placed him on top of a petting stand. Finally, I was able to pet this salt and pepper bundle of not groomed fur as he looked at me through the eyes of a gentle soul.

I did not leave with Toby.

The decision to have a dog was overwhelming.

A second opinion was in need. Was I making the right decision? Was this mini the right one? Was seven months of age still a puppy? I wanted to return the next day with a person whose opinion would cement the deal.

I returned, with mom, my mom.

Toby, again, brought from the back of the store proceeded to mimic his behaviour of yesterday. Mom, my mom said, “No. That dog is crazy. You’re not seriously thinking of bringing IT home? He’s ugly and fat!

Toby left the shop that day.

To say it was an easy transition would be an understatement. Toby’s hidden personality took time to emerge. He left a place where he was confined to the back of a store and possibly kept in a crate most of the time. When we arrived home and brought him out of the car, he was petrified of the outside and refused to move. The traffic noise and feeling the sidewalk on his paws caused him to freeze in place and shake. The owner of the pet store carried Toby to my car when we left the shop so his anxiety was not apparent until later. This also explained his bathroom use in the store-the poor soul never set foot on the sidewalk.

In time, Toby adjusted to the outside world. He began by walking halfway down the block then progressed to a full block walk and eventually crossing streets and continuing on the other side. His nose became accustomed to the marking scents left by other dogs and garbage pick-up days were most exciting and stimulating!  Our first visit to a doggy park brought out his “inner bully” and he refused to submit to bigger dogs, which led to some serious confrontations. In due time, Toby earned his place as the policy maker within the dog pack for he kept dogs in their proper places.

Toby grew into doggy adulthood, went through neutering after humping the leg of a relative and matured into a loving, playful, curious, ratter and backyard squirrel killer (it was accidental on my part-didn’t see the poor thing scourging on the ground before letting Toby out in the yard.

Obviously, another mini was later added to the household who added to the chaos, anarchy, unity and the continuing joy of living with two schnauzers.

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