I picked up an extra shift at Hamline tonight. As I was driving there, I was cruising down the side streets. I was only a few blocks from my destination when, up ahead in the road were these three guys standing next to a van. One of the guys was in the middle of the road. I would have had to drive down the wrong side of the street to pass him.
Instinctively, I slowed down. As I got closer, he held up his hand. It wasn’t the traditionally recognized symbol for “stop” and he wasn’t waving. I really wasn’t sure what he was doing. Unfortunately for us both, I was paying more attention to him than to my driving.
Suddenly, the man’s dog ran out from behind the van and directly in front of my car. My heart leapt up into my throat and I gripped the wheel as tightly as possible as I slammed on the breaks with both feet. I also swerved as hard as I could to the left, in order to not kill the dog running straight at me.
Fortunately, I had already started slowing down because of the man, which saved the dog’s life. My tired squealed and the whole car shuddered as I forced 3500 lbs of car to a halt in a fraction of the time it normally takes. Before the car had come to a complete stop, the dog hit me. As in, this crazy-ass mutt ran headlong into my car. (Gus is fine, don’t worry). But, it was so immediate that I knew that if I hadn’t swerved and braked, that dog would have become a pancake under the force of the Cadillac.
My sunroof was open and the guy–middle of the road guy–turned toward the dog and screamed at it to get out of the road and into the van. Evidently, that’s what they were doing, trying to get the dog in the van and the dog was not cooperating. It was a big dog, a Mastiff, I think, and it clearly had a mind of its own.
After the dog got out of the road (not into the van, mind you, just out of the road), the guy turned toward me and spoke to me through the sunroof. I was taking calming breaths to restore my racing heart. He said, “Thank God the for the Caddy’s ABS, huh?” I responded with, “is the dog okay?”. And the guy said that he was, although I never saw him check the dog…
Then he looked at my car and said, “Sweet ride, is this the one that’s been up for sale on Snelling?” I said no, because it wasn’t. Middle of the road guy then asked me, “are you sure? Because it looks like the one from Snelling.” I assured him that this car was never for sale along Snelling Avenue. And he said, “well, whatever, its a sweet ride, thanks for not killing my dog.”
I actually laughed out loud and said, “you’re welcome.” It was just that ridiculous. And then I drove away and was subsequently three minutes late to work. But at least I had a story to tell…