I got lost and found my dog. What was going on here? Were we drawn together because we loved each other so much? Or was our finding each other just one possible event out of many others and we just got lucky, a chance event?
I believe we were drawn to each other, but I also wanted to look at the probability of running into each other by examining Snapper’s tracks on a Google Earth map. He left our house on Menlo Road in Shaker Heights sometime before I got home. Coming out of our driveway, I turned right and he had to have turned left. A few houses down, he had a choice to go right or left at the fork. Left would have taken him away from me, while right would be toward the police station and me. Then he would have gotten to the big road. There he could have turned right, or left, or gone across. Had he gone left or right, we would have missed each other. I could not have seen him all the way across because the big road was actually three roads: two streets for cars paralleling the tracks of Cleveland’s Rapid Transit commuter rail line between them. He had to have crossed the Big Road. On the other side, he could have gone straight, left, or right. Only right set him on the path toward trotting into me.
We had a discrete time interval to find each other on the police station side of the Big Road. He could have trotted past the police station before I got there. But we found each other about halfway between the police station and his final right turn.
Snapper had four decisions to make to find me. He made all of them correctly. His actions coupled with my tear-filled wrong turn were to me more than dumb luck or random chance. This useful coincidence reunited us. He was a much-needed companion for a lonely boy for several years afterward. I still miss him. By writing about coincidences, his memory stays alive with me.
View the short documentary feature film Hey Ma, Where’s Snapper?