When most people see a healthy looking dog with a collar, a name tag, and a leash still attached, their first thought is that the animal is lost and needs to be returned.
In late September, one clever dog used that to his advantage and sat in the middle of a road until someone drove by and stopped to rescue him. However, once a tow truck driver fell for the dog’s trap, he proceeded to show the man his true motive, which was at the bottom of a steep hill.
As a tow truck driver, Martin Jay Hall Jr. is used to driving along roads and highways that are unfamiliar to him. It’s just a normal part of the job, but normally, he has GPS directions to keep him from getting lost. Recently, however, he was driving down a road that was so remote that his GPS didn’t work.
Another Way Out
According to Hall, he had been working near the city of Mariposa, California, in an extremely rural area. At the end of the job, Hall planned to drive his tow truck back home the same way he arrived at the property. However, Hall ended up having to take another exit from the property because the gates at the entrance were locked.
Since Hall was on a property in such a remote area, his GPS didn’t work, but the owners of the property assured him it was a simple route. “I obliged them and received directions out,” Hall told PEOPLE. “The directions consisted of one fork in the road that I would have to make a right on.”
The Second Fork
Hall followed the remote road and went right when he got up to the fork in the road as he had been instructed. He assumed the road would continue on and eventually run into the main road. Yet after a few more minutes of driving, Hall found himself at another fork in the road.
At A Standstill
The owners of the property never warned him about a second fork, so he sat there for a few minutes not knowing which way to go. “After I passed the supposed only fork in the road I came upon a second fork in the road that I was not given directions to,” Hall said.
A Random Choice
Hall noticed that the street names were exactly the same in both directions. After a few minutes trying to figure out what to do, he decided to just pick one randomly and see where it went. If it led him the wrong way, he could just turn back and go the other way.
The Black Dog
According to Hall, he was driving down the dirt road for a few minutes until he saw a black dog sitting in the middle of the road. The dog was alone, but Hall immediately noticed the dog was wearing a collar. He also noticed the dog still had a leash attached to his collar.
“As I got closer I noticed the leash and collar,” Hall said. For Hall, both those small details were red flags. He also noticed that the dog seemed to be healthy, well-fed, and his coat was clean, which signaled to Hall that the dog couldn’t have been out on his own for very long.
Lost And Alone
Hall, who owns two rescue dogs and five rescue cats, couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Without thinking, he decided to get out of his truck and get a closer look. Thinking the dog was lost, Hall’s first instinct was to try and capture it and alert authorities.
Food And Water
“I first tried to capture the dog by walking towards it. He kept moving away from me. I tried to offer my PB&J sandwich to no avail,” Hall explained. He then tried putting out a water jug for the mysterious dog as he had no idea how long he had been out in the sun.
Reaching Out to Facebook
Since he wasn’t having any luck capturing the dog, Hall took out his phone and took a video of the dog so he could post it to a Facebook page for lost pets in the area. His hope was that the dog’s owner would see it and contact him. “I found this dog with a leash on it he won’t come to me,” the truck driver said in the video.
No Other Options
“That sucks this dog doesn’t come to me, dogs like me sometimes,” said Hall. No matter what Hall offered the dog, it refused to move even though he was clearly hot and panting in the blazing sun. At that point, Hall didn’t think there was anything else he could do.
One Last Attempt
Hall got back in his truck and decided to go get help. He hoped the dog would stay in that exact spot, which seemed likely since he hadn’t budged the entire time, so he could find him again. However, as he drove by in his tow truck, Hall felt compelled to try one last time to figure out what the dog wanted.
A Different Approach
“At that moment something in my head said ‘Stop and ask ’em again,’” Hall said. This time, when Hall got out of his truck, he tried a different approach. Instead of trying to catch the dog, he simply started talking to him and whistling.
A Voice In The Distance
In response to his whistles, Hall heard what sounded like another dog barking in the distance. Hall immediately turned the engine of his truck off so he could hear better and called out. This time, he heard a person. And when Hall walked off the road in the direction of the voice, he noticed a flashlight in the dirt.
The Injured Owner
At that point, the black dog started walking in the direction of the voice and Hall followed him along the hilly path. Eventually, the dog led him to his owner, an elderly man lying in the dirt. The man, named Paul, explained that he had fallen down an embankment and broke his hip.
According to Paul, he had fallen in the early hours of the morning before sunrise and it was almost noon by the time Hall had discovered him. That meant that Paul’s black dog had gone off and sat in the road waiting for someone to stop for hours. Meanwhile, Paul’s other dog dutifully stood guard next to him the entire time.
An Overprotective Dog
“I saw him just kinda … I’m trying to comprehend what to do in that moment,” Hall told Western Journal. Hall tried to help the injured man, however, his protective dog refused to let him get close. Instead, Paul instructed Hall to go to his house, which was about a mile away, and tell his wife about what happened.
Help On The Way
Once at their home, Hall sent out an SOS to an ambulance company. While waiting for help to arrive, Hall did his best to make Paul comfortable. He used a tarp to shade Paul from the hot sun, gave him raisins to snack on, and gave both Paul and his dogs water to stay hydrated.
Too Many Coincidences
“I’m happy that I was able to provide this man and his family help, and I feel like there was a lot of ‘coincidences’ that had to align for me to be there at that time,” Hall told PEOPLE after helping rescue the elderly man. “Almost too many to be normal — more like divinity.”