Sometimes angels appear on wheels. Russet and I met two of them, this morning.
The Russ and I — tired and sweaty, tongues dragging the ground — have reached the sweetest part of our morning walk: the end. Across the street, I can see our home — an air-conditioned oasis — welcoming us back. We are about to cross Allen Avenue when I see two loose dogs, a black-faced German Shepherd and a gangly black Lab, running toward Mayfield Road.
Not to worry, I assure myself. They’re over there; Russet and I are over here. I continue to walk calmly and steer her straight ahead.
“Don’t look at ’em, Russ,” I caution her, expecting her to obey.
But it’s too late. The Shepherd sees us and nudges his buddy. And just as I expected, they come a-running.
For the next few minutes, I feel like I’ve crashed a canine cocktail party, as the three take turns sniffing each other. I can just imagine the “convo”:
“Hey, doll,” says Shep. “You come here often?”
“Uh…yeah. Do you…uh…come here…uh…?” asks Lab-Guy following the suave Shepherd’s lead.
“Who wants to know?” asks the Russ, one ear forward, the other ear back. Curly tail fanning the breeze.
Not to worry, I assure myself. They’re just dogs being dogs.
Then, after a couple of aggressive snorts from Shep, Russet snaps at him and starts circling me — Mommy — wrapping her leash around my ankles as she tries to escape their advances. But Shep and his sidekick don’t take the hint.
Suddenly, I’m caught in a snarling, lunging three-way rumble among Russet and the renegades. That’s when I notice a white SUV turning onto our street and frantically wave him down.
Sizing up the scenario, the driver slows to a stop, gets out of his vehicle, and claps at the other dogs. But they give him the back of their heads.
Get lost! We’re trying to get to first base with this hot little Spitz.
The man tries to get Russet to jump into his back seat. But my little girl knows all about Stranger Danger.
“Nothing doing,”, she says, backing away.
Then, the driver turns to me.
“Ma’am,” he says, “why don’t you get in, first?”
Sure enough, after I step up into his back seat, Russet jumps in.
“Bless your heart,” the wife says, with a smile. “That had to be scary!”
Within seconds, we ‘re pulling up to the curb in front of my house and the driver helps Russet and me out.
“Are you going to call Animal Services?” he asks. “I don’t have the number.”
“I’ll call 911. They’ll connect me.”
After I shake their hands and thank them profusely, I lead Russet inside our home, our refuge. With her peanut-butter-stuffed Kong in her mouth, she jumps up on the couch to nurse it and soon falls asleep.
As I watch my little girl sleeping, I thank God.
Once again, as He promised, God has sent His angels to protect us.