As I was getting ready to leave my desk at Dan’s Papers Thursday night my husband called very upset about a wounded dog he’d spotted. He called me as he was standing in the rain on Stoney Hill Road in Bridgehampton/Noyac area trying to coax a limping, very sad looking dog out of the road. He had seen something in the distance as he drove and thought it was a small deer. When his headlights hit the figure it was obviously a large, dark-colored dog, about 60-70 lbs. It wouldn’t come to him and was walking slowly in the road, tail between its legs, limping with some sort of lump on its back or side.
Being an ardent animal lover, my husband left our dog in his truck and carefully pursued this dog to at least get it out of the road if not try and catch it to take it for help. He called me for ideas. Knowing a hurt and lost dog could turn vicious on him I cautioned him to just try and keep the dog in sight and calm and I’d call Animal Control.
I picked up my office phone and called Animal Control, but since it was 5:45pm I didn’t get anyone right away and was directed to Southampton Town Police front desk, I called that number and got the desk sergeant. He dutifully asked all the correct questions; what’s the cross street, what direction is it heading, does it appear to have a collar, how big, what color etc. I relayed my husband’s answers to the officer, but when I hung up with both of them I figured the dog wasn’t going to get much help that night.
As we’d talked to the police the dog finally left the middle of the road and wandered into the backyard of a house and out of sight. My husband tried knocking on the door but got no answer. I knew he couldn’t stay out there much longer with our dog in his truck parked on the side of a dark, curvy road. I was only about 8 minutes behind him and planned on stopping along the way myself to see if I could find the dog and because I guessed the Southampton Town Police had more important things to do and this wouldn’t get much attention from them.
On my way home as I approached Stoney Hill Road I saw flashing police lights—I slowed down and came upon a Southampton Town Police car, searchlight mounted on top and trained into the woods, slowly making its way along the area where we had reported seeing the dog. He waved me on when I came to a stop, but in my rearview mirror I saw him stop the car and pan the light all around, and it looked as if he might have gotten out of the car. My hopes that the dog would find help rose.
As sat in my warm house with my dogs head on my feet I had to think about that dog and that police officer. I can say I was honestly quite impressed and later that night, as I read on Facebook about the terrible Water Mill house fire I thought of the Town Police again. My guess is that same officer who a few hours before had been scanning the woods for a missing dog was on the scene at that fire dealing with a much more potentially horrific outcome. All in a nights work for a local cop. Just had to give a big thumbs-up to Southampton Town Police, especially on this particular cold and rainy Thursday night in January.