Vera M. Shadle
I was bicycling to work on February 26, 2016 via a different route than usual because I needed to drop something off at Y2E2 before arriving.
Around 8:45 a.m. on Campus Drive West near the Quarry intersection, I spotted a half-grown male golden retriever pup wandering aimlessly and too close to traffic lanes for my comfort.
I pulled over and called the pup to me. He came readily and stayed close to me without being asked, suggesting that he was relieved to have human contact. He had a collar but no tags.
I looked him over for injury, but he was fine. There was, however, a disconnect between the top half of his body and the bottom half. Although he had clearly slogged through mud and water up to his belly, the top half of him was very clean and his coat was quite healthy. Based on that and his behavior, I surmised that he had become lost quite recently.
As I held onto his collar and pondered what to do, first one pedestrian and then another stopped and offered to help. The first was a woman named Catherine, who worked in Beckman. Sadly, I no longer recall the name of the other woman who stopped.
Since I did not own a smartphone at the time, I was dead in the water in terms of looking up phone numbers, etc. They immediately got to work on their phones, and we figured out a plan. I was so impressed with the willingness of these two women to be late to work and offer advice and support.
Long story short: After discovering that Stanford Public Safety folks don't handle lost animals, we contacted Palo Alto Animal Control. They would help but would not be open until 11:00 a.m. to transact lost dog business.
Since dogs aren't allowed in my building, Catherine offered to follow up with Animal Control and take him to her lab for safekeeping. The three of us escorted the pup to the door of Beckman. The other woman and I just hated to part with him, but we were comforted knowing that he was now safe.
Catherine emailed me at 12:15 p.m. to say that she, Buddy (the dog), Animal Control, and the relieved older couple had just then all met up and Buddy was reunited with his family (the microchip checked out).
Apparently, Buddy’s “father” had a doctor's appointment at Stanford, and the “mother” had taken Buddy for a walk in the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot.
Buddy had jumped up on someone, and his owner had pulled him off; but the dog got spooked and ran away.
It was SUCH a joy to get that pup back with his family, and I will forever remember the two women, all of us strangers to one another, who stopped to help.
Had I been in a car, I might well have not stopped for fear of God knows what, blocking the bike lane or some such. I really needed the assistance of those other two walking commuters, and I remain grateful to this day.