I had to share this.
I was driving home through the Hsinhai tunnel about 10 o’clock this evening when I noticed cars and scooters tooting and swerving ahead. As I came to the end of the tunnel, I spotted the reason: a dog was wandering in the road, from one lane to the other, completely oblivious to the danger it was in. It was a small, fat lapdog, and this was obviously his first time alone on the street.
When it became my turn to toot and swerve, I stopped the car and got out and motioned to the driver in the next lane to stop, which he did. I couldn’t catch the dog, as it was terrified, but at least it turned and headed towards the nearer tunnel exit. The thing is, the cars right behind could see what was happening and just sat there hitting their horns. That pissed me off.
The dog ran to the edge of the road and on to the pavement, so I drove out the tunnel, parked up and headed back in. The dog had gone right back into the tunnel again, and several times came close to death as speeding wheels just missed him. Some cars stopped to let the dog pass in front, but they moved as drivers behind protested or overtook and sped past. Why the hell couldn’t they wait for just a minute?
Well, there was a young local guy walking through the tunnel, and he leapt over the barrier and stopped the traffic before trying to grab the dog. What a great guy! Still assholes sounded their horns at him, and some drivers just put their foot down and sped past him as he tried in vain to get the dog.
More traffic came hurtling through, again narrowly missing the scared and confused little dog - and the young guy. But this time there was a small group of scooter riders who found themselves dodging the poor animal. Well, bless 'em, they all stopped and formed a protective barrier around the dog, and one scooter passenger, a young woman, ran to try and catch the dog, She ‘cornered’ it against the barrier on the right as cars sped around the left, but the dog tried to bite her as she went to grab him, and he again ran into the oncoming cars.
At this point I imagined I would soon be taking a dead or near-dead little dog to find a vet. It was obvious that the dog didn’t want to be caught and the car drivers didn’t want to give him a chance to escape.
Well, here’s the best bit: the scooter riders, frustrated at the reckless selfishness of the cars, spread out across the lanes, putting themselves between the dog and the cars and forcing the cars to stop. As the horns started blaring they just sat there ignoring them, or, as one old guy did, just turned and smiled as though to thank the cars for their patience.
This was a perfect opportunity to grab the dog or get it out of the tunnel, as it’s passage back in was now deterred by the scooter blockade. Thankfully, another guy jumped over the barrier and pounced on the terrified dog, which immediately went to its back, allowing the man to grab his neck (but not before getting bitten in the process). Little ‘Fluffy’ was held aloft, and the scooterists cheered and drove off; one car driver did slow down to give a thumbs up. I offered to help get the dog to a vet, so he was put in the back of my van and we headed off to get his ID chip read (no vets were open to do it, so the dog ended up being taken to the other guy’s house, and will get to a vet in the morning).
The whole event was a whirlpool of emotions, from dread to elation, and anger to admiration. I was extremely impressed that a small group of people (wo weren’t together) tried so hard to rescue a dog they didn’t know - who would surely have died a very nasty death had they not - and did so despite the protests of the thoughtless dickheads behind them. It turned out that the young guy who was walking in the tunnel and who finally took the dog home had been trying to get the dog for quite some time, and had followed/chased it all the way from Wan Fang Hospital. He had called both the police and the fire brigade, but neither wanted to help get the dog out of the road.
So, there you go: you have some stereotypical local behaviour that you can shake your head at in disbelief, but, more importantly, you have evidence that some people here really do give a damn and will put themselves out - at some considerable personal risk - to help prevent a lost and bewildered dog from dying under the wheels of a speeding car.
Just had to share that.
Here’s the lucky little guy, safe inside the AnimalsTaiwan stinky dogmobile, and still intent on biting anyone who goes near him: