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Roadside Encounters: Bear

Name: Bear

Breed: Lab-shepherd mix

Age: Unknown

Encountered: An exit ramp off eastbound I-40 near Clines Corners, N.M.

Headed: Home to Bristol, Virginia

From: Unknown

Travel habits: Easygoing, but his owners — a husband, wife and son — ran into car trouble and spent all $400 they had on fixing the radiator. So they hand-wrote a sign about their misfortune and sat on the exit ramp with Bear, seeking donations. Seeing them stranded, I stopped, met Bear, and asked if they needed help. “We’re flat broke,” the husband said. I gave them $20, but — that only being half a tank these days — they didn’t seem too happy about it. Then I asked if I could take a picture of their dog. “You’ll have to ask my wife,” the husband said. The wife, sitting on the ground behind the trunk of the car, said, “I don’t allow pictures of anything.” She said it quite gruffly. I got back in my car and moved on, stopping to take this photo from far away.

(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)


Comment from susan
Time June 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Nice. I think I would’ve had to ask for my twenty dollars back.

Comment from Shane White
Time June 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

What a weird family, you’d think they’d be happy to take whatever they could get, I know I would be..

Comment from Pat DeWald
Time June 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Depends. Did you hand the 20 to them with your left or right arm. Leftie’s a bit intimidating. I’m just say’n……….

Comment from Joe Radiator
Time November 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Some people are not happy no matter what help is given to them.