The line between paranoid and cautious

On my run in the country this evening I was approached by three people in a pick-up truck – two men, one older than the other, and a young girl in the cab. Major didn’t bark or growl, but I was immediately struck with fear. Before the driver said a word, I thought, Am I about to get shot?

He was polite. He even excused himself for interrupting my run.

“Have you seen a brown pit bull mix running around?” he asked.

I shook my head, wishing I’d brought my cell phone. “No, I don’t think so.”

“He’s been gone about an hour and we think he’s nearby.”

I shook my head again and shrugged. I watched the driver reach his hand towards the console and again I thought, Is this when I get shot? Or is this an abduction?

The man fiddled around in the console for two, maybe three seconds, and in that very brief time I imagined what I would do if he pulled out a gun. Would I run? Would I do what he told me to do? Would Major bark or growl, and if so, would the man shoot my dog? Could I scream loud enough for someone to hear me?

He pulled out a business card and held out his hand to me. I took three steps toward the truck, wondering if this is how he lures in unsuspecting women. I grabbed the business card and stepped back.

“That’s a gorgeous dog you have there,” he said. I immediately thought, You can’t have him.

“Thank you,” I said.

“If you see my dog running around, would you mind calling? He’s about the size of your dog and all brown.”

“Sure thing.”

After the truck drove away I looked at the business card and saw that it was for a veterinary clinic. The man was sincere and I was a douche. I felt horrible for thinking he had ill intentions towards me, but then I thought, No, you can’t be too cautious.

Can you?

 



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