Everybody who smoked once will remember the awful moments, when we looked around and realized that we were out of cigarettes. That’s a smoker’s nightmare. We start to search in pockets and purses, we open drawers and hope to find somewhere another pack. “This can’t be…we can’t be out”.
Every time this happened I wanted one even more. Just the plain thought about not being able to smoke drove me crazy, almost like a panic attack.
It was a beautiful summer day in 1995. It was quiet early and it wasn’t too warm, so I decided to take my dog for a walk and buy cigarettes on the way. Perfect combination…he would get his exercise and I would get my cigarettes. The next gas station was about 2 miles away and off we went. They knew me at the gas station and allowed me to come in with my dog; mostly I got just cigarettes and a newspaper anyway. It was a beautiful walk and we arrived at the gas station. A younger employee run toward me, he told me that they had an inspection today and I couldn’t go in with my dog “just tie him up outside” was his suggestion. He obviously wasn’t a dog owner.
The most pet owners will understand when I say, that tying up my dog somewhere outside was just not an option. He was a special dog…special to me, because he belonged to our family. I stood outside for a while and thought about my dilemma. I wanted to buy cigarettes and a restroom sounded tempting as well. I needed to find somebody who looked trustworthy to hold my dog, so I could go inside and take care of my needs. I decided to just wait for an employee. I knew some of them smoked as well and sooner or later one would take a break…I would just wait a while.
I must have looked lonesome standing there with my dog beside me, because a young man approached me and asked if I needed help. I told him about my problem and he offered to hold my dog. I looked at him -he wore a business suit and looked like the successful lawyer type. Well, I wasn’t born yesterday. That wouldn’t be the first serial killer wearing a suit…right? He is probably just out to steal a dog and I don’t fall for that. “Thank you, that’s very kind, but…No. I don’t trust just anybody with my dog” that’s what I said and he understood. What a terrible thought to come back outside and he and my dog would be gone, that would be devastating for us.
He went back to his car and I thought he would leave, but he came back. He gave me his wallet and his car keys. He looked at me and said “We own a dog too, I know what you feel. This is the key to my car, it’s almost as cute as your dog and here is my wallet. Go inside and leave him with me”. It took me by surprise, I didn’t expect that. I took the wallet and the key and went inside. I went to the ladies-room first and had to laugh “wow this guy is almost as crazy as I am…and that’s hard to find”. I bought my cigarettes and a newspaper and walked back outside. I was greeted with a wagging tail and a big smile.
That day we became friends. Later he confessed that he was nervous as well. “What if she stole the dog and just stands there to find an idiot like me so she can steal a car”.
It happened a long time ago, but still after so many years we laugh about how we met. Two crazy people, who were meant to be friends 🙂