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do you possibly maybe need help?

As I was walking home yesterday at dusk, a tiny ball of cotton on legs leaped forward and sprinted across my path. I’ll admit I thought its owner was somewhere nearby, but I didn’t really see anyone, and it was pretty far off on its own to be attached to a wireless leash (or even a regular one). It had a collar; I could hear its tags audibly dancing with every move. As it paused near the corner of the parking lot, I slowly walked towards it - what was the harm in walking near a tiny dog even if its owner was nearby? I just wanted to be sure. 

That’s when it darted off again, right into the path of a small group of people who watched it go. Maybe they thought it was playing, I don’t know, but it was pretty far away from me (70 yards maybe) and the owner was still no where in sight. Maybe they didn’t want to get involved, maybe they were in a hurry. Maybe they thought the owner was nearby as I did. Maybe they thought because I was helping they didn’t need to. Or maybe they didn’t think at all. Maybe I’m being too judgmental. Too many maybes. I sometimes wonder about people helping others. I sometimes wonder if me wanting to get involved in everything is what motivates me to want to help people I don’t know. 

The owner showed up eventually - a breathless shadow of a man, decorated in a forest jacket and stubble. I asked if that was his dog, and if he needed help. We chased the dog for the next half hour. I really had to prepare for a presentation that night, but I remembered what my sister was like when she lost her dog (thankfully she got it back after 10 days). I wouldn’t want that feeling of loss on anyone. The thought did cross my mind that the man wasn’t the owner, but he seemed to know the dog well (and knew its name), and I wasn’t in a bad neighborhood, so I figure I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.  And what’s a half hour? It was a good semi-workout. Stop overthinking it. Just take action.

You know the feeling where you really want help, but are too embarrassed or prideful to ask? Everyone has it every once in a while. It never hurts to ask - would you like help? I met another person in my apt complex and his dog! I might see him again, I might not. But at least he’ll be able to sleep knowing his dog is with him tonight.

The real kicker? The dog’s name was Scamper. So aptly named. :-D

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