At about 1:25 pm today, I rushed down 27th Avenue West and onto the highway, speeding toward the dentist appointment I was going to be late for. As soon as I pulled into traffic, everything slowed to a standstill. Even more confusing, I could see that all lanes were stopped, but forward of 15 cars ahead of me the road was wide open. I tried to look ahead to see what was causing the delay (and bitching that I was going to have an upset dentist waiting for me). I was looking for signs of a car accident, but didn’t see any cars out of place. A quick moving shadow drew my attention – there was a black lab running around on the highway!
Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap! I could see bits of him as he was running around ahead of all the cars. What the hell do I do?!? I was too far back to do anything, and was just hoping that I wouldn’t witness a horrible dog vs. car collision. I looked ahead in a panic, but realized that even though every lane of the highway was full of cars, no one was moving faster than the dog. An entire section of the freeway basically closed down while every driver there thought about saving a dog, rather than the places they needed to be. I saw a few cars try to herd him up the 21st/Piedmont exit, but at the last minute, he veered out to the far light lane and further down the highway. There were a few cars that pulled over to try to grab him, but he just kept running toward downtown.
We all followed slowly behind him, a few cars slowly sneaking past once they were no longer a danger to the dog. Traffic from the High bridge started merging onto the highway, and they too paused for the dog that was frantically running from lane to lane. I kept waiting for everyone to decide they had waited long enough and traffic to start up again, but it never happened. All traffic continued at a dog’s pace until someone was able to pull over and dart into traffic to grab him just before the Mesaba exit. A few people in cars (including me) cheered when they realized he was safe.
For over a mile, everyone rushing on a Duluth freeway forgot about where they were going and instead worked to save the life of a wayward dog — how completely awesome is that? In many other cities, that dog wouldn’t have had a chance. Maybe a few cars would try to keep harm from coming to him, but not the whole freeway!
So that is my story about how much I love my city, how even when we’re busy, we can still stop what we’re doing to care for those in need, and that my awesome dentist was still kind enough to let me in, even though I was 25 minutes late.
So thank you, caring citizens of Duluth, but especially maroon SUV guy who ran out onto the highway to get an exhausted doggy off the road and into his back seat. You’re all awesome, and I’m proud to be living along side of you!
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