The bus driver sensed something was wrong and acted quickly. Thankfully, his actions turned out to be a good thing.
Bus drivers often encounter many unusual things while driving their routes.
However, there are moments when even they are taken aback by something they see.
“You wouldn’t normally expect to see someone standing in the middle of the road, especially with a dog.”
That’s precisely what happened to TriMet bus driver Mike Thomas one evening during his regular route on Line 54, heading towards Portland City Center in Oregon.
It turned out to be quite an eventful day for Mike at work, and surprisingly so.
Just moments before, the car in front of the bus had abruptly changed direction to avoid hitting a man standing right in the middle of the road.
This individual seemed to believe that walking towards oncoming traffic was a completely ordinary thing to do!
As Mike slowed down the bus, he noticed something adorable—a cute little dog standing by the man’s side.
However, the dog didn’t appear to be too enthusiastic about its owner’s actions. It resisted and pulled away when the man tried to grab its collar.
The person came closer and requested permission to get on the bus. Mike, worried about their safety, agreed to let them on board.
However, surprisingly, the man suddenly released the collar of the yellow Labrador, as if he intended to leave the poor little dog behind!
When the driver inquired whether the yellow Labrador belonged to the man, the supposed owner replied, “Yes, but he’s fine.”
Naturally, Mike didn’t believe the man and insisted that he bring the puppy along with him.
He told The Oregonian:
“I told him, ‘No, you have to get your dog. He’s in the road,'” Mike emphasized.
So Mike called out, saying, “Come here,” but he didn’t mention the dog’s name.
The dog returned, and Mike gently pulled it onto the bus by its collar.
Deep down, Mike had a strong feeling that something was amiss, particularly because the man didn’t address the dog by its name, which, coincidentally, was Cooper.
Mike allowed the strange situation to unfold further while he tried to figure out the best course of action.
Mike remained vigilant, keeping his eyes and ears open. When the man began conversing with a young woman seated next to him, Mike discreetly listened to their conversation.
However, the bus driver was taken aback when he overheard the man asking the woman if she would like to take the dog home with her!
At that moment, everything clicked for Mike, and he realized that the man didn’t appear to be Cooper’s rightful owner.
It became clear to Mike that the dog was lost and had ended up in the hands of the wrong person.
“Things didn’t add up, so I made it clear to him that I wasn’t convinced,” Mike said, expressing his doubts.
Mike’s instincts served him well, and instead of disregarding them, he sprang into action.
It would take a considerable amount of time before the bus would reach its ultimate destination in downtown Portland.
Therefore, Mike made an effort to keep a watchful eye on Cooper, who seemed content lounging around and playing with his tennis ball.
While many people may not go beyond their job description, who could resist going the extra mile for such an adorable dog?
The time had come to take action.
After about an hour, when they eventually reached the final stop, the stranger began to disembark from the bus with Cooper.
However, Mike swiftly stepped in and rescued the dog from an uncertain future.
“I firmly grasped Cooper’s collar and firmly stated that the dog would be staying with me. I was determined to reunite him with his family,” Mike explained to The Oregonian.
What a great guy!
Cooper’s actual mom is Jane Murphy, who happened to be on vacation in Hawaii at that time.
While Jane’s son was at work that night, the pooch, either escaping or being stolen, went missing under his care.
Jane felt a wave of panic when she learned that her beloved pup was missing!
Fortunately, Jane later received a reassuring message on her phone that helped calm her worries.
“Your dog has been found! He was on a TriMet bus and was safely returned home by the transit police a little after midnight,” read the message Jane received.
To express her gratitude, Jane sent Mike a picture of Cooper along with a heartfelt message that said, “Thank you for bringing me back home to my family.”
She went on to say:
“It fills me with immense pride to know that there are genuinely kind-hearted individuals in this world who are willing to go the extra mile for our four-legged companions,” Jane expressed gratefully.
There is no doubt that Cooper was truly grateful for Mike’s protection and assistance in finding his way back home!
In a news release, TriMet stated that their bus drivers are capable of handling a wide range of responsibilities.
“They safely transport thousands of people to their destinations every day. They provide excellent customer service, offer directions, and lend a helping hand. And as demonstrated by operator Mickeal “Mike” Thomas, they even rescue dogs,” the statement highlighted.
It’s quite alarming to imagine what might have befallen Cooper if Mike hadn’t intervened.