A Chance Encounter
It was a hot July Atlanta afternoon. I was visiting Atlanta attending a conference for work. My husband, Mike, and I never had the opportunity to visit Atlanta so he took time off to travel with me and explore a new city together.
During a lunch break, we ate a quick lunch and then walked around Midtown before I had to head back to the conference, resuming shortly. I noticed a puppy across the street walking around aimlessly and getting close to the busy street. I looked for his owner which I thought would be a short distance away. I saw no one who looked to be associated with the puppy. We quickly crossed the street to see what the puppy was up to. I whistled and he turned around and came trotting over to me. His coat was soft and clean but he had no collar, no tags, and no leash. He was adorable but too skinny and thirsty. Was he lost? A stray? I instinctively picked him up and we started walking toward the street I saw him come from. Maybe his owner was frantically looking for him. We only saw an empty street and a homeless man sleeping, completely unaware of any crisis.
Mike and I looked at each other, “what do we do? Who do we call? We can’t leave him. He’s coming with us” I said.
“I’ll call 9-1-1 and tell them right away it’s not an emergency, they will know who to direct me to.” Mike replied.
Mike left a message for animal control explaining the situation and to call him back. I didn’t really want to hand the puppy over to animal control. Who knows where he would be taken and what kind of treatment he would receive.
I saw a church and we started walking to the front door. “Maybe they can help” I said. We got to the front door but never knocked. It dawned on me our hotel was pet friendly. I had to get back to the conference but Mike didn’t have any plans. I said, “Maybe he can stay with us until animal control calls back.”
We said a quick prayer, “please God help us and quickly!” We were in an unknown city and didn’t know what to do or where to go. And, I needed to get back to the conference, the next session was starting soon.
Mike called the hotel and explained the situation. The manager waived the fee they normally charge to keep pets in the hotel room. We had until 6pm that evening to find a place for the puppy. At least he would be out of the heat, fed and get some water. Mike had a new unexpected mission for the day!
As the puppy clinged to me, panting and content, we decided to head toward the hotel to figure out the next steps. As we started to head back, Mike searched on his phone for the closest drug store, it was just a block away. We were going to get a leash, collar and some food.
On the way to the drug store, I saw a dog water bowl outside a running store. We stopped and let the puppy drink. Mike decided to go to the drug store to get the supplies while I waited with the puppy. The puppy drank and drank, he was so thirsty!
The running store had a sign on their window that said, “dogs welcome.” I called Mike and told him I would be in the store to get the puppy some relief from the heat.
“Are you dog friendly?” I blurted out as I walked into the store with the puppy still in my arms. I went on to explain the past few minutes. The girl working in the store, Tricia, with kind blue eyes, said, “He can stay here. My sister is a vet tech.” “Really?!” I said. I knew right then God answered our prayers. This flurry of activity all happened within 10-15 minutes since we said our prayer.
Relieved the puppy was in caring hands, we left him and headed back to the hotel. I asked Tricia if I could stay in touch. She gave me her number and later that evening I texted her for an update. She took the puppy to the vet. He got his shots and de-worming medicine. She decided to keep him! I was so happy because I knew he was going to have a great life with her. She named him Chance.
God put us at the right time and place to save this puppy. He gave us the kind, helpful people we needed quickly, just like we asked. Animal control never returned Mike’s call.