Whoever coined the phrase ‘Good Intentions Pave the Road to Hell’ must have been a dog lover. Prime example is my recently departed mutt Shane who we adopted from Ace of Hearts Dog rescue. Before our rescue, Shane and another 350 dogs, belonged to a dog hoarder. I asked dog trainer, Tony Rollins, “Why in the world would someone hoard dogs?”
“They don’t start out hoarding,” he said. “They have a few dogs and think they can save them all. Before long, they have more than they can handle.”
Another example of Good Intentions Paving the Road to Hell: while driving with my mom and College Kid through Brentwood, I spotted two loose dogs. I pulled over, grabbed my spare leash and coaxed them into the backseat of my car. The good news according to their collars, the dogs had only wandered a few blocks from home. The bad news, they had not been bathed in months…possibly years. I hurried to their home.
I rang the bell. No answer. I called the number on the collar. Voicemail.
Meanwhile, these sweet, smelly dogs with untrimmed claws etched more lines in my backseat than a toddler with an Etch-a-Sketch. Luckily, my son spotted a French door ajar.
We shepherded the dogs inside the house. As we turned for the car, my mom suddenly shouted and pointed to something behind us. The French doors hung open again and the dogs had escaped. The three of us frantically ran around the front lawn, rounding them up.
With some rope we found in the trunk, we wrangled the dogs back into the house and secured the doors with Harry Houdini-worthy knots.
Soon the owners called. They had not been aware of the broken door latch. Seemingly unimpressed with my knot-tying skills, they muttered thank you and goodbye. Despite my backseat wear-and-tear, I was happy the dogs were safe.
Those dogs came to mind this morning during my bike ride when I spied another two dogs running loose in a driveway. One was a Rottweiler, the other an American Bulldog. As I slowed down, the Rott began to bark. He meant business. I needed to reach the intercom, but they were blocking it.
I knew by waiting, I took a risk but I kept thinking: What if those were my dogs? Eventually, the dogs wandered across the street and I made a break for the intercom. I pressed the button. “Hello?” a male voice said.
“Your dogs are loose!”
The gate swung open, the dogs rushed toward me and I thought: Here it is. My first dog bite. When they swept past me I exhaled in relief. The gates closed and I stared at the intercom thinking the voice would return. It didn’t.
No matter where good intentions lead, dog lovers will always do a dog a good turn. As British poet Lord Byron wrote about dogs:
Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferosity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.