Our anniversary falls on the same day as Lester’s birthday, so in his honor…

(circa 1986)

As I entered my driveway after a day at work, I saw Lester jump up from a laying down position near the fence, tail wagging wildly. I knew he had jumped the fence again, but before I could scold him, a stranger approached me from from across the street.

“That your dog?”

“Yeah, anything the matter?” I’d never seen this guy before, and I briefly tried to guess what he wanted. Maybe Lester knocked his kid over while playing. There were a few neighborhood kids not intimidated by his size that would come over and ask to walk him up and down Oak Street. Maybe he saw Lester chase a cat; sure there were a few instances of that, but that’s another story. I’m ready to hear what this guy has to say.

Right away he starts in. “It was just like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin or something man. See my car over there?” He pointed to a white sedan near the corner of Grove Way. “It was about an hour and a half ago. I was working, laying on the ground below it, wrenching, you know, when I hear your dog come over. He comes over and sniffs my leg then kind of lets out a whimper and a bark. I saw he was friendly so I got up and began to pet him. I thought at first that he wanted to play. Then he gently tugged at my sleeve like he wanted me to follow him over here. Well I did, and when I got over here, I saw some little poodle kind of dog at the bottom of your driveway, laying still on its side and bleeding. Your dog looked at me and barked loudly a couple of times. So I went to your next door neighbor’s house and told them to call animal control.”

As it turns out, the dog got hit by a car right in front of my house and managed to limp to the side of the road. There was a small blood stain that led a few feet up my driveway. The guy told me that Lester must have sensed the dog in distress, jumped the fence and summoned help.

The tags on the dog were traced and identified its owner as the Sultan of Brunei. The dog was airlifted (using the vacant lot across the street as an impromptu heliport) to UC Davis, where doctors said had he lay bleeding another minute there he would have surely perished. The Sulltan later contacted me and invited me to stay at his palace for a while, but I had a ball game that Wednesday night and I politely turned down his invitation.

believe it… or not?