No, I’m not talking about Lance this time. I’m referring to Quincy, a good-natured terrier mix I met back in the early 1980s while living on Long Island. Fate had thrown me into the house where he lived with his neglectful (abusive?) owners.
Quincy and I hit it off and I took over responsibility for his care. That included giving him his fair share of exercise, something he hadn’t gotten at all up to then. Whenever I could, I drove him to a nearby high school where I put in mileage on a quarter-mile track. At times, Quincy would run right alongside me as we completed lap after lap together. Then, most likely bored, he’d wander off to do dog research inside the large, fenced school property. He often came back to join me as I continued to run.
One day, Quincy and I were in my car heading for a workout. The day was hot and sunny. I was driving a VW beetle complete with open window air-conditioning :-) We were traveling on Nassau Boulevard near its intersection with Southern State Parkway. It was noontime and the two-lane(in each direction) road was loaded with traffic. I glanced over to see how my canine passenger was doing only to see he’d climbed halfway out of the car! Before I could grab what remained of him inside the car, Quincy squeezed through the partially open front passenger window and flew the coop! I slammed on the brakes, only to hear other drivers slam on theirs behind me. Then began a serenade of blaring horns.
I jumped out of my car, certain to find a dead dog—the guilt immediately set in. To my relief, I saw no dog carcass on the road. I spotted Quincy on the opposite side of Nassau Boulevard. He had been in pursuit of who-knows-what and had reached a grassy area on the other side of the street . How he had gotten across four lanes of heavy traffic unscathed defied logic. I yelled ”Quincy, stay!” and prepared to negotiate traffic on foot to get to him. Just to make things more interesting, quite a few vehicles weren’t slowing down at all, either oblivious to or unconcerned about a loose dog—or me, for that matter.
Quincy interpreted “Stay” as “Come.” He lost all interest in whatever he’d been chasing. Instead, completely ignoring traffic, he came running back towards me as if we were long lost friends. I held my breath as several cars swerved to avoid him while others sped by, undeterred by a jaywalking canine. Miraculously, Quincy made it to my car which I’d left standing in one of the two northbound lanes. I corralled the wayward dog by the collar and ushered him back into my vehicle. Immediately, the window on his side was rolled up tight.
To cross those four lanes and then do the return trip gives new meaning to the phrase pushing the envelope. I thanked my lucky stars—and Quincy’s—that, on a road teeming with cars, not one vehicle had struck him. I was extremely grateful but I’m guessing Quincy never knew what didn’t hit him. We drove on to the high school as if nothing had happened—and, in a sense it hadn’t.
In case you missed it, for the rest of Quincy’s story please go to A Story within a Story (walterstoffelauthor.com)
Walter Stoffel is a substance abuse counselor and GED teacher in correctional facilities. When not behind bars, he likes to read, travel, work out and watch bad movies. Major accomplishment : He entered a 26.2-mile marathon following hip replacement surgery and finished—dead last. The author currently lives with his wife Clara, their dog Buddy (another rescue), and cat Winky (yet another rescue).