So the other day I decided to do a good deed. I almost needed a good deed done for me after I was done. I was heading down the street when I saw two labrador retrievers running for all they were worth up the hill. One had a collar on, so I stopped my car and called them. They came very willingly, so I threw them in my little Yaris and headed to my neighbor's house. My eyes are so bad I couldn't read the tag, and they were really energetic dogs, so I needed some help. She couldn't read the tag either, so she grabbed her husband's glasses off his tool chest. I got the phone number, so my neighbor called the owner. But no one answered, so I got the address off the tag and decided to drive them home. Just then a Federal Express driver came by so I asked him if he knew the location of their street. His directions ended up sending me on a wild goose chase. The dogs were crowded in my car, and one of them kept going from the front seat to the back. In the process he kept knocking the car out of gear. The other one decided I was his new best friend and kept laying across my lap. You know, it's not easy to drive with a full grown lab sitting in your lap.
Finally I decided to go back home and google the address. As I pulled up in to the driveway, I noticed that one of the labs was acting nervous and was actually shaking. He was laying across the seat, and I could tell he was stressed. I was thinking that if I left them in the car, that being alone in there would give him a chance to relax. I left the air conditioner running. As I write this, it occurs to me that I probably should have turned the car off in case they knocked it out of gear again! But luckily, that didn't happen, and I went inside and got directions.
When I came back out and got in to the car, that nervous lab tried to get out. I closed the door, but he layed across my lap and put his head under the steering column. He started getting more and more anxious, and making strange sounds. I began to worry that if he got too upset he might bite me. So I opened the car door and got out. The other lab jumped out, but the nervous one burrowed under the dashboard. In the process, he got his head stuck under my brake pedal! And then in his effort to free himself, he got it caught on his throat! At this point I worried he was going to kill himself! I couldn't figure out how to get him unstuck. I actually called out, hoping my neighbor was still in her garage and could come help me. But she had gone in the house. I had visions of the owners coming to pick up their dead dog from my car. I started to panic a little, but then I had an idea. I ran to the other side of the car and opened the door. I thought if he saw that door open, maybe it would help him shift. I looked and saw him manuevering his hind legs around so that he could get his head out.
I ran back around and saw that he was unstuck, but he was paralyzed with FEAR! He lay there with his head on the floor under the steering column. His body was up in the seat, but he was too frightened to move it. Once again, I worried that he might be afraid enough to bite me, so I didn't dare touch him. Just then, (and I think this was providence) my big burly strong neighbor came walking by. I said, "I think this dog is going to have a heart attack in my car!" He looked and said, "Maybe he's stuck". He felt around, but couldn't find anything stuck. But the dog was actually frozen in fear, and wouldn't move. Finally my neighbor grabbed his back end and pulled it out of the car. When he did that, the dog started to walk around. He was really unstable, and walked like he was drunk. After a couple of minutes being free, he started walking like normal again and acted like nothing had happened.
As it turned out, their street was only a couple of blocks away. But I now knew I couldn't drive them there. The claustrophobic lab had even had a mini panic attack when we put a leash around his neck. So I wasn't sure how I was going to get them home. School was out, and traffic was bad. My neighbor got a choke chain and put on him, and he seemed to accept that. So the two of us walked the dogs back home. Just as I thought, we found a side gate open. We knocked on the door, and a little girl answered. She didn't even know her dogs were missing, and had just got home.
By the time I got home, I smelled like a kennel. And even worse, my car smelled like a kennel, and there was dog hair EVERYWHERE! I never knew one dog could shed so much in so short of time. The nervous dog's hair just dropped like crazy when he got upset.
So now I'm a little nervous about taking home any stray dogs I find. I mean, I want to do a good deed, but what is that saying? Good deeds never go unpunished?