Miami & Florida Keys:
Today's been one of the most screwed-up-Twilight-Zone-animal-kingdom days of my life. I woke up extra early so I wouldn't get a ticket for parking at a street meter overnight. It was about sevenish when I crossed the road with my suitcase. This cabbie honked at me and fueled my blood right away. I gave my first finger of the trip and an extra vulgar expletive. Already the tension was high, and I had a feeling things were going to be either bad or really really bad.
My focus for the Keys to see Hemingway's house and Harry Truman's Little White House. Though only about 100 miles, the drive was slow because of construction and scuttling cop cars. I stopped by a gas station when I noticed a little brown dog heading for the busy intersection. The poor thing was shaking. I did my dog whisperer whistle, and slowly but surely he came bounding up to me. Extremely lovable dog which I named Petey. I arranged my back seat and up he jumped. I gave him water, a Cheez Whiz sandwich, and cheese puffs to tide him over.
Next to the gas station was a McDonald's and my little eyes spied a police car. Rolling my shoulders and leaving the dog in the air conditioned car (unknowingly unlocked!), I walked inside McDonald's and sought the law. I explained the situation and asked where the nearest shelter was. "No shelter. Gotta call the Humane Society," said this unintimidating cop. I'll call them for you so they can pick the dog up."
I explained to him that I was from Los Angeles and I couldn't stick around. I suggested he tell the lady at the gas station to keep the dog until he could get picked up. He nodded, capping his coffee. To make the story short, the lady said yes, but when the officer left, she told me her boss wouldn't allow it. We had some words. No choice but to go to the Humane Society myself. One hour away.
When I arrived I was told I had to drive Petey to some pet rescue which was one hour and a half away. By this time I was sweating like a MFer and grinding my teeth like Lou Diamond Phillips. I found the rescue place but they were closed! There was a vet clinic next to the center and they said to try a Humane Society branch that holds animals just for a little while. I drove there, and the door was open. I knocked on the desk, said, "Hello," so many times I sounded like Pee Wee Herman. I could hear dogs barking and people talking but they were ignoring me.
So I did what I had to do. I got Petey out of the car, let him inside the Humane Society office, closed the door, and bolted. I hope they find him a good home. Naturally I considered keeping the nice pooch, but for once I thought with my brain and not my heart.
As for the other animals I've encountered...Hemingway's six-toed cat spawn, lizard on the window, chicken crossing the road, and other critters I can't remember right now.
Since this is only about Petey's ordeal, I'll have a part II for the other stuff...