Good Samaritans among us

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. the night is dark, the wind cold and the snow deep. A knock comes to our door. It is a young man, seeking the owner of a dog he found. The dog sits in his car. The young man is not from the neighborhood, but had heard that I might know the dog. With my parka on, I go out to see the dog.


I explain that we have no lost dog, but that a neighbor has a dog of that description and possibly I might be able to confirm identity. My thoughts are with the dog; we have a dog and they can become very frightened if away from known surroundings. This dog was lost, in a strange car with a strange person in a strange neighborhood. I knew this dog might easily end up at a shelter, simply because the owner had failed to put a tag on its collar. For lack of a tag, a dog’s life can be changed.


Fortunately, as we talk, a truck drives by and the driver asks if we have seen a black Labrador, and that is the dog in the car. He is now found. In a moment, the dog goes from the fear of being lost to the joy of being with one he knows. The excitement and relief were obvious to me. Dogs talk if we but listen.


As the truck drives away with the dog, I am both relieved and frustrated. Certainly I’m glad the dog is no longer lost, but the dog’s owner treated the issue as his due, that the young man who found his dog had done nothing. I feel otherwise. This young man was a perfect example of the Good Samaritan from the Book of Luke. In our society they are rare, too rare. I feel blessed to have witnessed such a kind act, clearly not a trivial act, done on New Year’s Eve. A wonderful experience to end the year.