So, I was minding my own business walking the dog. The weather was cold, but not frigid, and dusk would soon give way to the super moon. I’ve never walked Max while listening to music or on the phone, because I believe it’s important to pay attention to the dog and my surroundings. On this particular day, I needed to make an important call. I wore earbuds and was on the phone while maintaining a moderate, steady pace. A man pulled up beside me and rolled down his window.
“Do you need a ride to the grocery store?”
My guard went up, and my mouth spewed a defensive tone. “No, I’m walking my dog.”
My mind flipped through questions I dared not ask him. Why would someone even consider asking me if I need a ride, when I’m clearly walking my dog? Maybe I misunderstood because of the earbuds. I made eye contact with the man who had a spotty goatee and a clearly damaged vehicle. “Wait, are you asking how to get to the grocery store?”
The man seemed to hesitate a moment and then answered, “Yeah.”
I pointed down the street, “Go to that next stop sign and turn left. Follow that road until it ends and the grocery store is right there.”
My route did not go as far as that stop sign, but I stayed on the path long enough to watch the man drive away slowly. He stopped at the sign and . . .
. . . he drove straight away without making that turn.
I estimated how long it might take him to get back to my street if he was up to something nefarious. He needed to go a long way around blocks to get back to me, so I picked up my stride and hooved it around the corner to my street. With five houses to go, I constantly observed behind me, beside me and in front of me. Huffing, I clomped along the side of my house to get to the back door, because I didn’t want him to catch sight of me in the garage or at the front door.
Max and I arrived home safely, and I never saw him again. I wished I would’ve observed him more clearly and gotten a license plate number.
I didn’t know what to make of it. He obviously didn’t need a grocery store, since he didn’t turn where I told him. I’d never seen that guy around the neighborhood before. Why would he think any stranger would get in a car with him, and bring their dog? I thought maybe he didn’t see Max at first, but he’s not a small dog. He’s 65 pounds. It was very weird. I wish I could come up with a plausible explanation for the guy, but I’ve had an uneasy feeling ever since. Because I’m short, could he have thought I was a child (at first) when he came up from behind? Is this guy prowling our neighborhood until he finds a victim?
Have you ever had something similar happen? Any thoughts on my situation?