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  • My stomach was hollering for attention. I turned up the music in my car, hoping to drown out the gurgling. I soon realized that the strange noise under the song "Roundabout" was not some weird keyboard thing that Rick Wakeman was doing but my gullet screaming for attention. Knowing myself as I do, I began looking around for some quick food before the next symptoms -- dizziness and shakiness -- reared their ugly heads.

    Up ahead, a Sonic Drive-Thru was beckoning. I knew I'd regret this when I weighed in on Sunday morning. I hesitated a moment, then hit the turn signal to pull into the restaurant's parking bays. I eased my car into an open spot, sighing about empty calories, but my mouth was already watering.

    As I was perusing the choices on the menu board, some movement caught the corner of my eye. A dog was walking up next to my car.

    I turned to look. A classic Heinz 57, this friendly looking pooch was eyeing me while I was looking at him.

    "Hey boy," I said through the open window, "Hungry?"

    He sat there expectantly. I've never had the desire to feed stray animals before -- not because I don't care but because it doesn't really help them to become dependent on humans to live. But this dog was clearly owned by someone, a blue collar around his neck, and his ribs weren't showing.

    "OK, doggie, how about a burger?"

    No reaction from him, but he continued to stare at me.

    'OK,' I thought to myself, 'We'll make that TWO burgers today.'

    I placed the order and the dog sat there, taciturn as a medicated Buddha. I fiddled nervously with my radio, thinking that this was odd behavior from a dog. I began to wonder if he had some disease, or was a weird dog. He stared at me. I stared at him.

    Some trick of the light caught his eyes, making them glow the way dog eyes and coyote eyes look at night. Gooseflesh rose on my arms and back.

    'You're freaking yourself out,' I thought to myself.

    Time crawled by. I eyed the dash clock and saw that the food was taking its good ol' time coming today.

    Five minutes crept by. Finally, the server showed up, and while securing the tray and getting the food, I noticed that the dog had disappeared. I sat there a while, eating my burger while the dog's burger got cold.

    Strange how you resent doing a good turn when it goes unappreciated. When I finished, I opened the second burger wrapper, laid it on the curb and got back in my car, grumbling about wasting my time and money on doing a good deed.

    I was almost out of the driveway when the first fire engine went by, sirens blaring, lights flashing, air horn waking the dead. I looked left, and three more emergency vehicles were close behind, all speeding down the road.

    'Great,' I thought, 'I'm going to be late back to work if this traffic accident is in my path.'

    Sure enough, a mile or so down the road, a huge knot of emergency vehicles was just settling in around a multi-car crash.

    'Wow, this must have just happened,' I thought, 'The cars are still smoking.'

    And then it hit me.

    If I had left Sonic a few minutes earlier, that would be me in that tangle of metal and plastic. I watched as multiple ambulances pulled up, and the police began directing traffic around the wreck.

    For the second time, gooseflesh rippled my skin.

    The dog may have saved my life.

    (This story was inspired by real events happening to a friend of mine, Anna V., who wrote about this experience here:;¬if;_t=like )

    Photo Credit: Anna V.

    Song: "Pueblo Puppy" by Coyote Zen
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