A Tale of Two Dogs
I wanted to go somewhere yesterday – it was Sunday, a beautiful day, and I needed some sunshine. I couldn’t decide whether to go to the beach or Forsyth Park or Mate Factor, my favorite coffee shop.
(Photos are from Savannah Connects and an article on Savannah.com)
So I dawdled around for a long time and ended up going to Mate Factor. I parked, and decided to go for a walk before coffee. Mother Matilda Beasley Park is just a few blocks away. As it says on their website:
The park is in honor of Mother Beasley who is the first African-American nun in the state of Georgia. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 14, 1832. She founded the St. Francis Home for Colored Orphans which opened in 1887. Beasley educated slaves in her home in Savannah, before the Civil War, which was illegal at that time.
One of the first features was the Beasley Dog Park in the spring of 2008. The entire park is fenced in and this portion is as well, so anyone can bring their furry friend.
I know there’s a lot of story untold in that first paragraph, and someday I’m going to learn more abut her. But on this Sunday afternoon, I was just enjoying the park.
As you can see, it’s a big park, with a great playground, and there was hardly anybody there. Just me, and maybe a couple of other people at opposite ends of the park. So I was walking along, and I had just gotten past the dog park portion, when I glanced across the park and saw two dogs headed straight towards me. Rather large dogs, without a leash or an owner in sight.
That made me kind of nervous, I’m not actually a fan of big dogs out on their own. But they seemed really chill, just trotting along, close together. They walked right up to me, and one of them just barely touched my leg with his nose. Then they moved on.
They trotted straight over to the gate of the dog park. Then they turned back and looked at me. That look clearly said, “Well, are you going to open the gate?”
Still no owner in sight, so I thought, “Sure, why not?”
I opened the gate and they ran in eagerly. I closed the gate and was ready to turn away when I realized there was a second gate. They stood in front of the inner gate. Again, they looked at me, then at the gate, at me, and the gate, waiting.
So I turned back and let them in the second gate. They made themselves at home right away.
I felt kind of funny leaving them there alone, so I posted on Facebook, in a Savannah group I belong to. I took the picture to include in the post, and asked if anyone knew these dogs. Then I walked on.
As I approached the other side of the park, I saw a woman and a man, coming towards the park, with worried expressions and leashes in hand. I called out to them, “Looking for a couple of dogs?”
“Yes!” The woman, who was about my age, almost ran over to me. “Yes, did you see them? Where? Where were they?” And the man right behind her, “Where are they?”
“In the dog park,” I said, and I told them the story about how the dogs just wanted to go to the park. They hurried over to reclaim them, and I stopped to delete my now unnecessary Facebook post.
I had just finished deleting it when a few more worried neighbors showed up in search of the dogs. There was great relief when they saw the man and woman coming back with the dogs carefully leashed. The dogs seemed quite content to go home, so maybe they just needed a little break, like we all do sometimes.
The woman stopped to thank me again, hugged me about 5 times, explained that she didn’t know how they’d gotten out and insisted I was an angel. I tried to tell her that I wasn’t an angel at all. Those dogs knew exactly where they were going. In fact, if I hadn’t been there, I’m pretty sure the dogs would have just waited for someone else to open the gate.
But it did make me think about serendipity. If I’d gone to the beach or another park, if I hadn’t gone for a walk before I got coffee… interesting how things happen. And when I think about those two dogs, it still makes me laugh.