There is a 100 percent chance that you have been driving along, minding your own business, when you’ve spotted a stray dog or cat on the side of the road. You’ve watched them for a moment and then thought to yourself, “I should help that poor dog/cat.”
And yet we keep on driving. It doesn’t make us bad people necessarily, we’re just … busy, preoccupied with where we are going. And that’s for those of us driving a car. Imagine if you were driving a bus.
This is exactly the position in which Cynthia Burda recently found herself. As a bus driver, she’s responsible for not just herself, but the schedules and lives of her passengers.
Those passengers rely on her to get them to work. To get them home. To make a doctor’s visit on time. It’s a responsibility transit drivers take very seriously, but sometimes a situation presents itself that forces you to suspend your regular schedule.
Burda was driving her regular bus route for the Minneapolis Metro Transit when she spotted an unusual fare waiting in a bus shelter. It was a dog. A dog that looked like it needed a friend.
The dog was in the shelter eating some fries from the garbage and had the look of an abandoned pet. Burda pulled her Number 5 bus to a stop and radioed back to the garage.
She asked for permission to have the dog join the ride. Her plan was to get him to the terminal where animal control could pick him up and give him some proper love and care.
The word came back as a resounding yes, providing the dog could be restrained. Burda fashioned a leash, opened the door, and approached the dog who was more than happy to join her.
Once the dog found a place, it made quick work of making friends with its fellow riders. Burda posted on the Metro Transit Facebook page: “They were all just ecstatic about this dog. It made everybody’s day. The whole bus was really joyful.”
It turns out that the dog was not abandoned but lost! Animal control was able to reunite the owner and dog, and everyone is living happily ever after.
Hopefully Burda’s action will embolden us all to do a little more the next time we see a stray dog or cat. It can make all the difference in their life. And ours.