I was about 40 miles from home and made a wrong turn in a residential area out in the country. As I was turning my car around I saw her. Now, you have to understand that not only do I have a soft spot for all dogs – but red Dobermans – well, it's a no brainer. Probably the reason she caught my eye was she was a red Doberman sitting in a red wheel barrel in someone's front yard.
She bounded out of that wheel barrel and came towards my car window. I reached out and let her smell my hand and it was instant love. I had no idea it was reciprocal. I just knew she was very special.
“Get back in your bed” I commanded. She cocked her head to the side and with the saddest eyes said “Why don't you love me?”
I told her again and she just stared at me. I got out of my car and her tail began to wag. She must have thought I was going to play with her. I insisted she get back in her wheel barrel and she obeyed. I gave her a few pats on her head and praised her obedience.
Getting back in my car, I refused to look at her and off I went. Turning out of the cul-de-sac and onto the highway, I was about a mile down the road and checking my rear-view mirror – THERE SHE WAS. I was terrified. She could get killed. I had the presence of mind to slow down gradually and ease over to the side of the road as other cars were obviously aware of her running behind me.
What A Dilemma -- What To Do?
What in the world was I going to do? I jumped out of the car and opened the back door and she didn't need any persuasion. She knew where she wanted to be. Wagging her tail and breathing hard, she was definitely smiling. I couldn't scold her. “You silly girl, you have got to go back home. You can't follow me.” I tried to reason with her.
Arriving at her home, she got out and reluctantly got back into the wheel barrel. I noticed there was no blanket in there and that disturbed me. But, it was none of my business. It was getting late and I had to get home, so once again, I left her and sped off before she could follow me.
“Don't look back. DON'T.... look back.” I looked back. This time I was almost two miles from where I dropped her off and there she was – galloping down the road looking exhausted. I knew I did not have any choice. I would have to take her home and find her owner.
I happened to know someone who lived in the area and was able to track down the owner of the wheel barrel. By now, this beautiful creature had been with me most of the day and we already had formed a bond.
“Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I have your dog. She followed me home today and I think you better secure her in some way in your yard so she doesn't do that again. I will be happy to bring her back this evening.”
“She's not our dog” the lady reported. “When we arrived home today and she was not here we were so glad. She arrived on our doorstep about two weeks ago and I have no idea where she came from. Maybe someone dropped her off who didn't want her.”
The Decision Got More Difficult
My heart sank – for two reasons. I assumed she was in desperate need of love if someone had actually done that to her. And the other reason was obvious. We would have to take her in – we didn't 'need' another dog. She must have understood my emotion because the look on her face burned a spot on my heart. She was mine.
The lady on the phone continued to talk “Maybe you could put an ad in the paper that you found her and if no one claims her in 30 days, I guess she belongs to you.” The lady sounded relieved that this dog was no longer a burden to her.
I toyed with the idea of NOT doing that but I knew it was the right thing to do. I put all the details in an ad and waited. Every day she was with us, we grew to love her more. I had our vet check her out and he confirmed my greatest fear. She had been abused. He said the wounds had healed but the scars were there. I couldn't help but wonder what scars were on her heart and that she most likely had run away.
Two weeks went by, then three. I swore I would not answer the phone if I did not recognize the number because there was no way this dog was ever going back. Five weeks had passed and I knew we were safe. Brandy was our family member now and she proved to be a great asset – she was so loving and kind and just like a typical Doberman – a LAP dog.
I never gave a second thought to answering the phone that day.
“I hear you got my dog and I want her back!” The voice was gruff and the tone slurred. I was jolted into reality when I realized what had happened. Brandy most definitely had run away from an abusive situation.
Some People Should Be........
I could have hung up the phone. I could have carried on a conversation. I decided to be careful about it and get his personal information so that I could report him to the authorities. He was happy to oblige as I offered to drive the dog to him.
Then I chose to very clearly and concisely let this jerk know what I thought of him. I told him what I was going to do and hung up the phone when he started swearing.
Brandy had a new family, a new home and was loved more than she had ever been.
She literally ran into my life, stole my heart on the highway and I knew it was no accident I took the wrong turn that day. She was looking for me, calling me and I heard her cry and rescued her. Both of us were in the right place at the right time.