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I was reminded last week of just how inattentive I can be at times. Or, perhaps, I may just be such an airhead at times that it’s a wonder I get along as well as I do.
I am the first to tell the stories on myself … before someone else, I guess. I call this story “Pippa’s Big Adventure.”
My friend Cindy had traveled from Marietta, Ohio, to Northern Kentucky for a medical procedure and I was to drive her back to Marietta. My 9-pound terrier-mix, Pippa, a rescue from Carroll County Animal Support, would be along for the ride.
As I drove on Interstate 71 toward Florence, I heard Pippa getting into the cookies on the floor of the back seat. I pulled off at the first exit from Carrollton, the one that has the Love’s truck stop. Turning right, I pulled onto the shoulder, jumped out, grabbed the cookies and buried them on the floor of the front passenger side. I took one cookie for the road and continued on my way, totally involved with driving and listening to a talk show on XM radio.
Thirty minutes later, just before the Florence exit off I-75, my cell phone rang.
“Jarrett, It’s Patricia.” (A staff member at the public library.)
“Hey Patricia. What’s going on?”
“I just had a call from a man who says he has picked up a small dog on the interstate.”
“Well, there’s really nothing I can do about it. I ‘m on my way to Florence; I can give you Tammie’s number and you can see if you can reach her.”
“Well, the thing is the dog sounds like Pippa, and the vet gave the men the library number.”
“It can’t be Pippa; she is right here in the back. ...”
It’s impossible to transcribe the yelp/scream that came from my throat. Pippa was not in the back seat. She had jumped out when I opened the door to grab the cookies. In the past she had jumped out of the door when it opened, but she hadn’t done that in months, so I had stopped worrying about it.
It was my great good fortune – and Pippa’s – that she stayed right there in the spot where the car had been parked. I guess about 30 minutes passed before the two men in the white van took the same exit and stopped for her. They were young men who loved their own dogs and felt that this little terrier must belong to someone. We connected by phone and they told me that they were driving to Northern Kentucky, so I waited at the Florence exit until they got there.
Not having the presence of mind to get their names or where they were from, I can only write about them here and hope they or someone who knows them can tell them of the anguish I was saved.
Pippa and I picked up Cindy and another friend, then drove on to Marietta. All in all, it turned out to be a great trip for her and a lesson learned for me.
So, among the many things I have to be thankful for is the cell phone and the kindness of strangers. I am trying to take my time and concentrate on the moment at hand.
I am doing something a bit different this year in the way of holiday giving, and I hope some of you will as well. Many of my friends are devoted to their pets and have more stuff than I really want to add to (think soap on a rope). So, I am making donations to Carroll County Animal Support in their names. CCAS will send them a card telling about the gift made in their honor.
A plus: Because CCAS is a 501(c)(3) organization, all gifts are tax-deductible.
Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library and resides in Madison, Ind.