Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

My definition of a Good Samaritan

Wick's World


Jean was almost home from work when she looked in her rear view mirror and said to herself, “Did that white plastic bag just move?”

Roadsides get a certain amount of litter such as white plastic bags but driving past the "white thing," she momentarily thought it may be an animal. What Jean saw in the mirror seemed unusual. It looked like a dog had lifted its head. Having been raised on the family farm long before the area was swallowed up by St. Paul; Jean was a natural animal lover. Her better instincts told her to back up the car and at least take a look. Traffic was light enough that she was able to move to the side of the road and back up. What she found was my lost dog, Sweet Pea. Jean jumped out of the car, grabbed her jacket and gently slid it under the wounded animal.

“Oh sweetheart,” she said. "Are you OK?”

As she repeated the word "sweetheart," Sweet Pea must have thought that was close enough to her own name to warrant help from this lady. She let Jean put her in the car and take her to the animal clinic two miles down the road. Although it was after closing time, one of the receptionists was still at work. Jean asked for assistance as she thought the dog had likely been run over. The receptionist thought she recognized Sweet Pea from when I brought her in for shots.

All could have ended there except for two things. One, there was no veterinarian on duty to look at her. Two, Sweet Pea was found wounded on the side of the road about 200 feet into the city of Eagan, which had jurisdiction. To complicate matters, the previous weekend, I had accidently left Sweet Pea’s collar with her ID tag at our home in Moose Lake. Subsequently, the receptionist could not give care to our dog or was not allowed to give out any private information so Jean could contact me. Before leaving work, the receptionist called our home and left a message on our answering machine. The act of a Good Samaritan saved Sweet Pea’s life.

“I think we may have found your dog,” the message said. “They have her at the St. Paul Animal Rescue Shelter.”

Jean had been informed by the clinic that since the dog was unidentifiable, she would need to take her to the Eagan Police Department. When she arrived at the station, Jean nervously instructed every officer in the place, “Please be gentle with this dog. She’s been hurt.”

As Jean soon found out, the instructions were unnecessary. Every cop in the joint expressed sympathy for Sweet Pea and the situation she was in. Rather than take Sweet Pea to be euthanized, as is often the procedure for wounded animals with no identification, the officer in charge ordered Pete, whom I wrote about in “A Cop Named Pete,” to take the dog to the St. Paul Animal Rescue Shelter.

“You be sure and drive slow,” Jean said to Officer Pete. Once again, the instructions were unnecessary.

I was later able to talk to Officer Pete. “I’m a dog lover. I have a greyhound at home and I know how you must have felt with her being gone for a week,” said another Good Samaritan.

Jean came to our home yesterday and finally got to see Sweet Pea, the dog whose life she had saved. The reunion went well, to say the least. She filled in many of the missing blanks in the story of our missing dog. One story she told was that she had contacted a woman she knew who took in "recue dogs." I found out this woman actually offered to pay the $400 bill to the animal rescue shelter that was essential before Sweet Pea could be released. She was our next Good Samaritan in the story of our lost dog.

After all the stories, hugs and thanks were finally spent, I offered Jean a handful of bills. “We want to give you this small token of money in appreciation for all you did for Sweet Pea. I don’t know what I would do without that dog.”

The last time I saw a human back away as fast as Jean did was on a Michael Jackson moon dance video.

“No, no, no!" she exclaimed. “Just remember, what comes around, goes around.”

That is my definition of a Good Samaritan.


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