My friends Murleen and Dale were on their way home south of Alamosa on a recent Friday night. They were tired, it was raining, and it was late and dark.
When they saw what appeared to be a rag mop on the side of the road and then realized it was a dog, they could have driven on by, but they didn’t. They stopped and picked her up.
She was a small white terrier, pregnant and badly hurt. Murleen and Dale called Dr. Ben Konishi, a man who answers the call of four-leggeds in need at all hours and all days. He told them to bring her in.
When Dr. Ben looked at the poor little thing, he told my friends the little mamma dog’s pups were dead, and her shoulder was gone. It appeared she had been thrown out of a moving vehicle, and she had landed on her shoulder.
Dr. Ben added that the little dog was in shock and had gotten too cold out there in the elements. He gave her an IV solution, a sedative and covered her to keep her warm.
“We went home,” Murleen wrote to me. “We talked to God about the little dog. We asked Him as her Creator, to hold her close, and in His great love and wisdom, to do what was best for her.”
Dr. Ben called the next morning. The little white dog had died.
“At least she didn’t have to die alone and cold and in pain,” Murleen wrote, “along a dark, stormy stretch of black highway.”
* * * * * * * * * *
The man who called one late evening while I was still at work wanted information, if I could find it, on an incident that had happened a few years ago at a local motel.
He was traveling through then, as he was now. He had stepped out of his room and overheard an exchange between the couple next door.
The man was older, threatening, intimidating. The woman was really just a girl, a teenager who seemed frightened and unable to leave.
When the man left to get some fast food for supper, the visitor knocked on the door and asked the young woman if she was in danger. She indicated she was. She told him if the man came back and saw her talking to him, she was afraid he would kill her.
The traveler could have told himself the couple next door was none of his business. He could have gone back into his room and forgotten what he had seen and heard. He could have never inquired, never followed up.
But he did become involved, just like my friends did when they saw that little rag mop dog along the side of the road.
The traveler called the police, who came and arrested the man in the next room for various charges such as kidnapping.
I didn’t remember the incident right off and couldn’t immediately find the information for the caller. He was just wondering how the girl, who would be a young adult now, was doing. He had never known her name.
He said the morning after the incident, as he was preparing to head back to his home in Kansas, he received a call from the teen’s mother.
She thanked him for getting help for her daughter.
Her daughter was alive because of him.