I met a dog on the interstate -- what would you have done?

I was on I-70 yesterday, about halfway between Denver and Kansas City, in the middle of nowhere, when I saw a car about half a mile ahead of me hit its brakes and swerve a bit. When I got up to that spot, I saw a dog running around in the middle of the highway. He was a handsome chocolate lab wearing a red collar and happily wagging his tail. I braked hard and went around him. He loped alongside my car as I pulled over to the right side of the interstate.

He didn’t look dangerous. He looked like a well-socialized guy who wanted to make my acquaintance. I put the car in park, cracked my door and said, “Hey boy, what are you – oof!”

He jumped into my lap and, his tail wagging violently, started investigating me and my pile of snacks on the front seat. His legs were muddy, but his coat was clean and healthy. I was able to grab his collar and see that there was no tag on it.

I got out of the car and dragged my new pal out with me. “Sit!” I commanded, and he sat obediently on the shoulder of the road, every aspect of his demeanor bursting with excitement at meeting a new friend. I went around to the passenger side, away from the traffic roaring by at 85 miles per hour, and my new buddy followed me. I fished around on my passenger seat for some appropriate dog food and came up with some potato chips. I fed them to the dog one by one while I tried to figure out what to do with him.

There was a grain silo on the horizon to the east. That was about all the civilization I could see. If I set the pooch loose, he would be roadkill in ten minutes. If I loaded him into my car, he would officially be my responsibility, and I had no idea in what direction his home was, or even if he was a local at all.

What would you have done in this situation? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out for me:[spoiler]There was a frontage road running along the highway towards the grain elevator. I saw a pickup truck a couple of miles away heading towards me on the frontage road. I scrambled down the muddy embankment to the road and flagged down the pickup. The guys rolled down their window.

Me: “You guys know this dog?”
Guy: “I know who he belongs to.”
Me: “Great, because I almost hit him on the interstate.”
Guy: [gets out of the truck and lowers the liftgate. The dog runs over and jumps in.] “Stupid fuckin’ dog.”
Me: “Um. Thanks.” [The guy gets back in the truck without another word.]

I drove to the next gas station and spent ten minutes trying to wipe some of the mud out of my front seats.[/spoiler]

I think you did the right thing.
I probably would have kept him, but then again I’ve always wanted a lab!

Is this for real, or am I being wooshed?

You obviously helped the dog in this situation: good boy, good boy.

I may have stopped and tried that, but probably not. Chances are I would have swerved around him and kept going.

I have been in this situation, and there was a gas station nearby (I wouldn’t put the dog in my car) but I asked and they said the dog (pregnant female) had been hanging around for a couple of days.

What should a person do?

Absolutely for real. I had not noticed your thread, and this really did happen to me yesterday. No ulterior meaning at all.

It happened to me on an interstate bridge; I called the sheriff. There really wasn’t a safe place to stop, and I felt they could deal with it better than I.

I never found out the outcome, but I didn’t see a dead dog on the bridge (I drive it often) either.

Good on you, Randy. I’m not sure I would have stopped.

The wording was so coincidental… I was reading it expecting it to end tragically with an elderly couple striking the dog at high speed and not doing anything to help.

There’s no way I would have left the dog on the Interstate. I’m waaay too much of a doggy person for that, I would have had nightmares for weeks if I didn’t do something.

If it was the daytime, I would have probably headed to the next town, found the police/dogcatcher/pound, and left the doggie with them.

If it was night… sheesh, I sure don’t know. Probably the same thing, and hope that the police would know what to do with it since the pound was probably not open.

Leaving it on the Interstate would have not been an option.

I once saw 3 puppies frolicking by the side of the interstate. Since I was following my sister back to her dorm after an away football game, and this was before cell phones, I would have been lost if I had stopped for them (tho I could have called her dorm phone). To this day I regret not stopping and swooping them up.

I would have called 9-1-1. It’s pretty damn dangerous pulling over on the Freeway around here.

Randy Seltzer, sir, you are awesome. Thank you for taking the time to help this dog. I hope his owner is thankful as well.

I’d like to think that I would stop and do the same thing you did, and I think I would unless I was in a situation wherein travel time was critical (e.g., hurrying to see a loved one about to die, or some such).

A little time and a little mud seem like a small price to pay to know that, at least then, you pretty much saved that dog’s life.

Last time this happened to me, the dog had already been hit, and had limited mobility. I put the dog in the back of my truck and drove him to a vet. I paid a down payment to get him looked after, and by the next day, his owners had found him.

Scanning the threads, I missred this as “I met a dog on the Internet.”

I thought you didn’t know. . .