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Wandering dog is safe thanks to people who cared

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Just before 3 p.m. last Friday, I was waiting for my niece to deliver an early supper from Cracker Barrel to my curb at 629 Unaka St.
My 12-year-old Boston terrier, Blackjack, was with me as usual. He decided to go to the lot across the street.
He does this very often, but he then decided to go on down to the house on the alley — all the time I am calling him and even went across the street to call him back, but to no avail.
He went across Tennessee Street at the alley, and I felt he would stay there until my niece arrived, which she did very shortly.
I then took the supper into the kitchen, got my wallet and keys and was going to drive down to the alley.
Just then, James Sweat, my longtime mechanic and friend, stopped in his pickup truck with Robert Pogue. James said that Blackjack was at Eagle Food Mart on Georgia Street, three blocks away.
I drove up there, but he was nowhere in sight. I drove back to my deck door to see if he had come home.
No such luck.
I drove back up Siluria Street to Georgia Street, and Robert Pogue was standing across the highway giving a signal toward the bridge over the railroad.
I drove by Robert, and he said across the bridge. I drove across the bridge heading to Hwy. 27 at the high school, and there was Blackjack, heading down Georgia Street toward Hwy. 27.
I pulled down across from him, got out, calling to him but he then headed back up toward the bridge. There was a good bit of traffic as school had let out.
A very kind lady, I believe in a silver/gray van, got out and called Blackjack to her. I arrived then and she offered to lead him by his harness down to my van, but I said I could carry him.
 I did, not realizing that the angel of mercy was right behind me to help get him in the van.
Blackjack was exhausted, as was I at 83½ with osteoarthritis of the lower spine.
Many thanks to James, Robert and the kind lady and to all the vehicle drivers who patiently waited as the rescue took place.
I later learned from James by phone that Blackjack was first down at Davis Welding — I believe that Robert was to pick up his mower there — but Blackjack would not come to James there.
Blackjack had never ventured out like this before — just to the immediate neighborhood houses.
I am most grateful to all who helped, otherwise there could have been a sad ending.
Lewis A. Spivey
Harriman