Sometimes a dog.

I wish I’d snapped a picture of Khyna while under my care, but this photo of another dog looks very much like her.

Sometimes an animal, in this case a beautiful German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, can turn your day around and make you realize what is really important.

All morning a strange golden dog with pointed ears had been nosing around my yard. She sat on my porch whimpering and started to scratch at the door. I looked outside to see what was going on, and I saw her sitting there at the door, looking at me with sad brown eyes. She started to whine a little, and then got up and walked around my porch, looking confused.

I squatted down in front of her. She seemed friendly. Definitely someone’s pet. I noticed she was wearing a collar with some metal tags. Her name and address was embossed on one of the tags: Khyna (pronounced Keena) allowed me to look, and then licked my face! She needed me help her get home. For some reason, she (or God) had chosen me!

I noticed the address was in a new development up the road, not far away at all. I happened to have a retractable leash that we had used for Dexter (who never could learn to walk on a leash properly) and Khyna sat down obediently while I attached it to her collar.

I liked this dog. I decided that if the owners didn’t want her anymore, I would clean her up (she was all muddy from having been out in the nonstop rain) and take her in until other arrangements could be made, or I might just decide to keep her myself.

We walked together in the pouring rain. I didn’t even mind the gloom or getting wet. Khyna stayed right by my side, not pulling on the leash or hanging back. She stayed slightly ahead, as if leading me, even though I knew now where she lived.

We turned into the development and she moved a little faster. I think she recognized we were close to her home. As we approached the cul-de-sac where her owner’s home was, a man pulled up in a Jeep and rolled down the window. He was grinning like he won the Lotto.

“OH MY GOD! You found Khyna! My wife has been worried sick about her. I just bought her flowers to cheer her up but now I can give her the flowers and Khyna back too!”
“She’s a beautiful dog. Very sweet too,” I said.
“That she is,” the man said proudly. I could tell these people loved this dog and she had just gotten lost and come to me for help getting home.
“How long has she been gone?”
“Since last night around 8 PM. She likes to run off sometimes.”
The man pulled into his driveway and I unhooked Khyna from her leash. She bounded off into the open garage as the man opened the side door for her to go in the house.
He turned back to me. “Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this means to us.”


There was no cash reward, but the happiness and look of relief on the man’s face was all the reward I needed. And his wife would be happy too.
I walked home through the rain, feeling like I’d just won a million dollars. The sun might as well have been shining.
Sometimes doing something kind for a stranger can turn depression around.
Especially if it involves an animal.

12 thoughts on “Sometimes a dog.

  1. So glad your experience was positive and that the dog’s humans responded with gratitude. A while ago we had a dog (really a very large puppy) that we had never seen before show up in our yard. She was nice and friendly and obviously belonged to someone, but we had no idea whose dog she was. We called the number for animal control and they said we had to call the police, which I thought was weird, but what would we do? We wanted to get the dog back where she belonged, and there seemed to be no other way to do it. So we called the police. In the meantime, some people we had never seen before came down our street and recognized their dog on our porch (my daughter was out there keeping the dog company). The cop showed up at about the same time, and he was very nice, but the dog’s owners were total grouches. They acted as if we had tried to steal their dog or something. They didn’t introduce themselves, didn’t thank us for having kept their dog safe for the better part of an hour while we waited for someone to come get her, they couldn’t even be bothered to smile — just grabbed their dog and left in a huff. I felt like yelling “You’re welcome!” at them as they made their exit. The cop, meanwhile, just smiled at my daughter and me, tipped his hat, got into his car, and drove off.

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    • I’m sorry your experience wasn’t as positive. The owners should have been grateful to you. It makes me wonder what sort of dog owners they were, to act like that? Like, how do they treat the dog? Well, at least the cop was nice about it.

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      • Yeah, he was great. I hear and read a lot of horror stories about cops, but I have to say that the ones in my town — at least all of them that I’ve had occasion to interact with — have been very nice. Even when they pull me over for driving too fast or having a burnt out headlight or a missing license plate or something, they are always friendly and polite.

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        • It’s weird about cops. There are nice ones, but I get terrified any time one is behind me when I’m driving–even though there’s no reason to be afraid!
          I guess there’s a negative stereotype surrounding cops, because of a few bad eggs who are corrupt or resort to unnecesary violence (why can’t I spell the word unecessary?)
          Another thing about cops–they always seem to be around when you don’t want them to be around, but when you need one, where are they?

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