The Kindness of Strangers

Thursday was a very rough day for our household. Poor Titan! I didn’t think that his age, condition, and general aversion to travel boded well for his making it down to Texas and, sadly, he died along the way and not peacefully.

If something good came of this tragedy, it was seeing how well perfect strangers went out of their way to help us in any way they could. When Prudence let me know the air conditioner went out in the car, I called a Honda dealership near Jackson, Mississippi and explained that my wife was traveling with three heavily-coated dogs and no AC. The gentleman I spoke to said to come on in and they could look at the situation.

When Titan began to fail, it seemed like the whole service department mobilized itself to help. A couple of the ladies held Lacey and Silver while Prudence tried to revive Titan. When it was clear that veterinary intervention was necessary, a driver – who was terrified of dogs – drove her and the three Borzoi to a nearby clinic.

At the vet’s, while Prudence and the vet were putting Titan to sleep, two technicians were checking over a nervous and trembling Lacey and Silver to make sure that they themselves weren’t overheated. Apart from the euthanasia and disposal, they waived any further charges.

Meanwhile, the service department was doing everything it could to get Prudence and the girls back on the road. Someone rushed across town to get a needed part and the technicians worked past closing time to get the car repaired. They then delivered the van – chilled to Antarctic temperatures – to the vet’s office so that the sadly depleted party could continue on their way.

Sure, lots of people are rude and unhelpful. But I’ve traveled quite a bit around this great nation – I’ve spent a night in every state but Hawaii – and for the most part I’ve found nothing but kindness, helpfulness and friendliness among my fellow citizens. On Thursday, even in tragedy, we saw a ray of comfort.

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