I had absentmindedly been gazing at the beautiful pink blossoms of a lone dogwood tree in an adjoining lot; when I suddenly noticed a dog that appeared next to our van. He stood staring up at me with beautiful, yet sad eyes that seemed to stare into my soul. He looked so hungry. I softly tapped on the window, acknowledging him.
My husband, who had been inside paying for gas, came back and slipped into the driver’s seat.
I turned to him, “Honey, look. There’s a black lab over here just staring at me. He’s so skinny; we need to give him some food!”
“Oh, Babe, I know you love animals but we can’t feed or adopt every stray we come across!”
“Please, Honey, just pull over to the side and look. He’s pitiful and the way he doesn’t take his eyes off of me feels strange. I wonder if I remind him of someone? We have to feed him. I have my left over carry out food here.” I lifted up my carry out box.
“Sometimes I just can’t believe you,” Hubby rolled his eyes and sighed. “We don’t have time for this. I have to get to my appointment.”
I glanced at my watch, “We have plenty of time. Pleeease?”
“Why me, Lord?” He moaned, shaking his head as he pulled the van over. “But, don’t you dare open that door and give that dog that food. He could be dangerous! Give it to me; I’ll see if he wants it!”
“He won’t hurt you, I just know it. It’s almost as if he’s pleading with me about something.”
“Yeah—pleading for a handout.”
The dog followed the van as we pulled over, continuing to stare in my window. Only after Hubby threw a half sandwich to him, did the dog divert his gaze from me, to gently take the food and eat it.
I couldn’t stand just watching any longer. I got out, grabbed a French fry from the box and held it out to the dog.
“One of these days, Dear…” Hubby scolded me, as the dog gently took the fry and waited patiently for the next.
After the dog had dined on my fries, politely taking one at a time, I gave Hubby my pleading look…and he resignedly nodded “yes”. I grabbed his carry out and fed the dog his left-over food too.
Strangely though, after eating that, the dog just stood perfectly still with head sort of down, looking sad.
“Maybe he needs just a little more…” I hadn’t even finished when Hubby headed back into the station to buy the dog a sandwich. He knew arguing was a losing battle.
After finishing that sandwich, the dog again stood strangely still a few seconds...then suddenly his whole demeanor changed. As if a realization had just come to him, he abruptly looked up at us and began vigorously wagging his tail. Then he walked over, rubbed against Hubby’s leg, licked my hand, and gave us a last penetrating look, before dashing off across the vacant lot, quickly disappearing from sight.
“Now come on, Babe, let’s go. I’m barely going to make my appointment.”
“But Honey, he just…”
“He probably knows a good place to sleep now that his belly’s full.” Hubby looked at his watch, “We have already spent fifteen minutes here and you know I hate being late for appointments!”
We didn’t get far heading on toward the doctor’s appointment before interstate traffic became congested and then came to a complete standstill.
After about twenty minutes, with no traffic movement at all, and Hubby repeatedly expressing his aggravation at now being late and us having wasted time with the dog, we saw a man walking along the shoulder. We asked if he knew what was going on.
“Yep—accident up at the next exit. A semi and three care pile-up. Looks like some didn’t survive.”
As we got more information about the accident, we stared at each other in shock. The accident was at the exit we would have been turning at. Had we been on our planned time schedule, we would have been right there at the exact time of the pile-up.
We were very late for a doctor’s appointment that day, but we know we were right on time for an appointment that God had scheduled with us and that dog—an appointment that kept us out of harm’s way.
Footnote: This story is a totally true personal experience. I’ve thought of that dog many times, and the exactly timed appointment God sent the dog to—for us. I might add, my husband has never again complained if I stop to feed a hungry animal.
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