I found a lucky Penny on my run this morning. I have Lincoln’s Birthday off from school but I still got up at 5 to teach my Yoga on the Run class at Claremont Yoga at 6am. I worried that I wouldn’t have much energy afterwards since I had yoga teacher training all weekend, but I was pleasantly surprised that I felt like getting in 5 miles because I had skipped my usual weekend run to accommodate my yoga schedule. (Here is what we do on our lunch breaks at yoga teacher training!)
About a mile into my run, a copper color caught my eye on the sidewalk. The rusty hue dusted the muzzle, chest, and forepaws of friendly canine who was mostly black but had these patches of white and tan that made her stand out. This playful pup looked like she was trying to race me but at the same time her brown eyes were telegraphing guilt. “I’m being naughty but this is so much fun!” she seemed to be saying. I slowed and she happily trotted over to greet me. Her communicative brown eyes, wagging tail, and gentle energy told me it was okay to pet her and sneak a look at her collar, 2 tags; one with a phone number one with some sort of ID number.
I called the phone number, which was out of area code and found myself on the phone with Kathleen, an animal rescue worker. It wasn’t her dog but she worked for the agency that placed the dog. I shared the ID number with her and she was able to look up whom the dog had been placed with and came up with an address just a block away. Kathleen’s voice became very concerned, “Oh you’ve found Penny, she has been placed with Mike, a very nice man who had been wheel chair bound. He recently had surgery and Penny has been a companion dog to him. He’s probably very worried. I hope nothing has happened to him!” Kathleen called Mike’s house and got no answer and became even more concerned about him.
Meanwhile I had Penny by the collar and was walking her back home to see if we could find her daddy. When we got to the address, low and behold, Mike was in the front yard with his walker taking painful steps with a look panic on his face, as we came into view, I pointed to the dog, “Is she yours?” His face broke into relief, “Penny!” he shouted and she broke free of my grip and ran to his side happily wagging that bushy tail. Mike was very grateful and said he had been worried when she had not woken him up asking for breakfast, then he remembered that a friend had taken out the trash for him last night and realized the gate didn’t get properly latched. He was recovering from back surgery and hadn’t used his walker much and still was not driving, he didn’t know what he was going to do. “Penny, you never do that!” he exclaimed with both shock and adoration in his voice. Penny gave him the I’m-sorry-dad-but-I- had-so-much-fun-chasing-the-sweaty-running-lady as she simultaneously cast her eyes down, bowed her head, and wagged her tail. Mike told me he used to walk her up to the trail, so she knows the way and was probably just glad to have someone to play with as he had recently had to put down his elderly Rottweiler, Touchdown, and she had been missing her doggie brother greatly. Lucky for Penny, she made it home safely and her dad was so happy to have her back.
Later in the day, Kathleen, the animal rescue lady gave me a call to thank me for my help. She said most people wouldn’t go out of their way to return a lost dog home.I would like to think that she is mistaken. At least among the animal loving friends I have in my life, this is status quo. Treat animals the way you want to be treated. Perhaps some day if I’m lost in the wilderness, I can hope to draw upon some good animal karma.