Read this and other awesome rescue stories in Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Pit Bulls.
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Early Warning Izzy
A week before Halloween I was propped up in bed with my laptop on my knees, and my adopted Pit Bull, Izzy, was stretched out at my feet. It was 10:30 at night, and I was looking forward to sleeping in the next morning. My yard and porch were completely dark, as I had turned off the outside lights before going to bed.
Izzy came into my life two months earlier from a local Pit Bull rescue organization after I saw her adorable face online. Her short, golden hair and baby-bird’s-wing ears appealed to me instantly. Izzy was skinny but very energetic for a middle-aged “woman,” with manners that needed a bit of polishing, but she was wonderfully friendly and non-aggressive toward people of all ages.
I was a divorcee living alone in a log-style house that faced a two-lane road without sidewalks or shoulders. There were no casual passersby in our neighborhood of newer luxury homes and one modest remaining rental, a small cracker box separated from my property by a line of red-tip trees. The current renter was a single man, a landscaper who worked long hours.
I was about to shut down my laptop for the evening when there was a thunderous Rap! Rap! Rap! at my front door. Alarmed, Izzy raced toward the door, barking loudly, and I picked up my cell phone from the bedside table to call 911. The police arrived within minutes and walked around the yard. Finding nothing suspicious, they did ask me if I’d seen any vehicles. One officer told me my dog had probably frightened off anyone who’d been on my porch. I might have had difficulty going to sleep that night if not for my canine early warning system.
While walking Izzy on Halloween night the next week, I noticed my landscaper neighbor through the red-tips, sitting in his yard, burning a small amount of garden debris and talking calmly to a woman on speakerphone. I returned to my house and was putting the chain on the front door when I heard a desperate person in the middle of the street, shouting, “Help me!” Again I called 911, reporting that I thought someone had been hit by a car in front of my house. Several cars stopped and a fire truck and ambulance arrived very quickly. Izzy and I sat on the porch, watching from a distance so as not to interfere with police activities.
I was stunned to hear on the news the next day that my neighbor had died at the hospital, the victim of a hit and run accident. Further stories revealed he had been struck and injured in the driveway of his home during the short time it had taken me to walk through my house after coming inside.
Several days later, a state trooper came to question me about anything I might have seen. The officer told me my neighbor had lived long enough to report seeing an unfamiliar white van in his driveway a week before he was killed. On Halloween that same white van had pulled into his driveway, so my neighbor approached the driver to ask why the two men were there. The driver responded by sharply turning the van and ramming him while racing out of the driveway. Badly hurt, my neighbor had dragged himself into the street and cried for help, which is when I heard him.
The officer told me that they had not been able to locate the white van, but they suspected that at some time in the past, drugs had been sold out of the rental house. The men in the white van may have been seeking drugs and, when they realized they were at the wrong house, ran down my neighbor before he could get a close look at them.
It was a terribly disturbing episode, especially when the dead man’s family arrived to gather his belongings. I couldn’t help wondering if the mysterious rap on my door the week before had been the same men, looking for drugs. If my Izzy had not sounded the alarm and frightened them away, would I have been a victim instead? I may never know the answer, but I know I sleep much better with my warm friend and her no-nonsense bark at the foot of my bed.
Nancy Pauline Simpson