Lost and Found: How a Whole Neighborhood Helped Get My Dog Back
The man was petting Moe gently. I knelt next to the wheelchair and touched the man's soft, gnarled hand. "Thank you," I told them both. I let Moe stay on the man's lap a long time, and then I gathered the dog in my arms. I pressed my cheek between his pointy ears and for the first time felt him snuggle into me.
Moe had been lost for less than three hours. Later that day I went alone to a pet store to buy him a harness. Two customers helped me pick one out, and when I mentioned my dog had been lost, they said, "You mean the little pinscher? We've been looking for him all afternoon!"
I called to thank the woman who'd led me back to Moe. Another woman spotted my Lost Dog sign and Greg's Found sign and called excitedly to tell me. When I told her Lil Moe had been found, she said, "Hug him for me!"
Sometimes it takes a minor crisis to remind us of the beauty in human beings. New York City can be a harsh place. But if you are in trouble, any stranger will help you. We're never alone. I made dozens of new friends that day -- faceless strangers I'll pass on the street and won't even know.
A few days later I went to church to light a candle for the woman who had asked Saint Michael for help, and I gave money to an Alzheimer's charity. As I sat at the computer to make my donation, Lil Moe jumped up onto my lap. He turned around on his delicate legs, curled up and fell asleep with his head on my arm.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2012.