Monday, September 9, 2013

What Went Right

While I was hiking today, my car was broken into. The passenger window was shattered; the thief rifled through my glove compartment and stole my checkbook. When I got back from my trek, I was confronted with a big mess of broken glass. It's surprising how upsetting this small violation can be.



Here's the thing: one nasty individual did a bad thing. But a half-dozen people had a chance to be really lovely.

First: As I was returning to my car, a couple stopped me. They'd seen the car in the trailhead lot, noted the smashed window, guessed it belonged to me, and wanted to prepare me. "Call the sheriff," they said, which actually might not have occurred to me otherwise. (Another pile of glass on the scene tells me someone else was broken into and drove away without calling the police.)

Second: A woman pulled into the lot just as I arrived: she was there to meet her husband who was finishing up his own hike. This couple held my dog as I frantically called the police, keeping said dog from jumping into the car and injuring her paws on the glass. The woman in particular looked so stricken: "This happened to me last year, I was so upset. It's so awful. I'm so sorry for you." They stayed until I made them go.



Third: Another group of hikers returned to their (intact) car while I was waiting for the police, and clucked compassionately. The lead hiker was a local who seemed to have two visitors along for the ride. He explained that this was a weirdly high-crime area, out here in the middle of nowhere; lots of break-ins, many needles found in the lot. (I hike here frequently, and haven't seen needles, but one morning I did find a baby bottle next to a Jack Daniels bottle.) This crew lingered as well, petting my dog and offering sympathy, before they drove off.

Finally: The policeman who finally arrived at the scene decided the first order of business was getting water into my dog. By then dog & I had been waiting for him for 45 minutes, and he must have guessed she was hot and thirsty. He got out of his car, walked toward me, saw dog, doubled back to his car, and got a bottle of water for her. We didn't even address the window issue until she'd had enough to drink. (I didn't tell him, but I'd actually saved my own remaining water for her and had been giving her some every 10 minutes or so. She still appreciated the bottle.)

So the upshot is this: although some jerk did something bad to me, the overall lesson is that people are pretty awesome. Also: take a dog with you wherever you go. It brings out the best in everyone.


10 comments:

  1. Awwww, for some reason, this brought tears to my eyes. (And I can't even blame it on hormones... most of them left me years ago.) Guess it must be how well you told the story.

    I'm glad all those people were there for you. Having something like that break-in happen can be so disillusioning, but those people did a great job helping you put things into perspective. You're right; most people are wonderful. And most of them can't help but respond to a sweet pup.

    Years ago, our 1961 Chevy was broken into, and the glove box rifled. Much to our amusement, the perpetrators stole some unlabeled, cellophane-covered "drugs" they found in there. They probably thought they hit the mother lode. HA! It was Maalox. We still laugh about it.

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    1. That is hilarious! An excellent little dose of karma.

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  2. I admire your determination to see a positive side to this theft. People can be caring and helpful. Although you've probably already done so, it would be a good idea to modify your bank account number. I added a code-word to mine last March after getting my identity stolen.

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    1. Yeah, I called the bank immediately. So far, nobody has tried to write any checks, so maybe they just chucked the wallet after discovering it was devoid of anything except, well, checks.

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  3. Oh, my gosh, Steph! I feel such intense alarm at reading this. I love Susan's comment about the Maalox but it just makes my emotions even more jumbly. Great pic of Z-girl and excellent point.

    Good grief, I wish there were something I could do besides just reading this post and letting you know that I did. :(

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    1. Thank you for your sympathy! I can't say I was entirely shocked, since you do hear about this happening at trailheads. I am plowing through all the annoying tasks one has to do when this sort of thing happens. At least I was able to get the window fixed on the same day. That felt kind of miraculous.

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  4. Ugh. Don't forget to call your bank!

    What a lovely dog you have.

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    1. We closed out the account immediately. The dog: she is pretty, isn't she? And such a lady. Everyone loves her, even people who don't like dogs. She's like the Dog Ambassador to Humanity.

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  5. Again, so sorry this had to happen to you! I don't get people sometimes and the need to take from others like this. It was nice to see how helpful everyone was!

    ♥ MM

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