I recently was on my way home from motorcycle school (yep, I took a motorcycle riding course) when I noticed the dog.
I was driving on I-270 between the I-70 split and U.S. Route 33. The dog was at the side of the road, right under the guardrail beneath the mile marker. Its head was up and watching cars go by. I drove on to 33, but I just couldn’t leave the dog there. Something didn’t seem right. So I got back on to 270 and returned to the dog.
I parked near the dog and called animal control from my cell phone. They said they would get there in 15 to 20 minutes. I got out of my car and walked over to the dog. It just watched me.
Another car stopped and a guy got out and moved closer to the dog. He yelled over to me that it didn’t look like it had been hit. There was no blood. The man had some food in his car and brought it out. That’s when the dog got up and I saw that the poor thing was skin and bone. That forlorn dog was starving to death.
The guy tossed the food to the dog and she gobbled it up. I freaked out because the dog was up walking and we had no way to stop her if she headed out onto the busy freeway.
After a while the man left and I stayed with the dog. I wasn’t sure what to do other than wait. Soon another man in a van stopped on the other side of I-270. He crossed over and went up to the dog and started petting her head. The weary dog sat back down and just looked up at the guy with her big brown eyes. He said he had some water in his van and would be right back. Again I was worried that she would get up and follow him into traffic.
I started to talk to the dog and pet her head when he left to get the water. She wanted to follow him, but I kept petting and talking to her. The man returned with two bottles of water and a plastic container for her to drink from. I took my belt off and used it as a collar and leash so we could keep her safe.
A sheriff stopped thinking I hit the dog with my car. We told him that she didn’t look hit, just starving. The deputy got beef jerky from his car and gave it to her. A couple minutes later the animal control guy showed up and the good guy from the van asked how he could check on the dog and make sure she found a good home.
I cried and cried as I drove away because it was all so sad, but also because that guy in the van was such an angel. He had water, he had something to put it in, and he had a family in the van who all waited patiently for animal control. He even had cleanser for us to use on our hands after we touched the dog.
The dog had recently had puppies but there was no sign of them by the road. I had never seen anything in my life that was as skinny as that dog. It was so, so, so very sad.
Now, how lucky and smart was that dog to sit safely under the guardrail, but out far enough where hundreds of people would drive by and see her; and right under mile marker number 44 so it would be so easy to tell the animal control where to find her?
I’ve wondered whatever became of the dog on I-270. I try to think, and hope, that someone didn’t deliberately starve her or unfeelingly just toss her out.
I’ll never know her past and I’ll never know her future.
Terry Weaver is a Groveport area resident.