As his truck rolled along the abandoned dusty road, Martin Hall Jr. spotted something he didn’t expect to see. There on the track, with no one else in sight, was a dog with a leash hanging from its neck. Had the hound been dumped there or had it wandered off and got lost? Perplexed, the truck driver glanced around – and his suspicions began to grow.
Long, empty roads are probably a familiar sight to trucker Martin Hall Jr. of Merced, California. But he’ll always remember one particular day on the job thanks to a chance encounter on a dusty highway. And it all began with an unexpected detour.
The diversion took place after someone summoned Hall to a pickup in Mariposa, CA, on September 23, 2018. So far, so simple. Things became complicated, however, after the tow trucker attended the scene. You see, as Hall readied himself to leave, the client told him that he couldn’t go out the same way he’d come in.
“I obliged them and received directions out,” Hall explained to People in September 2018. “The directions consisted of one fork in the road that I would have to make a right on.” It sounded straightforward enough – until the road threw another surprise Hall’s way.
Hall continued, “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.” So, with no more guidelines to follow, the trucker decided to place his fate in lady luck’s hands.
As Hall told The Dodo, “I didn’t know which road to take, so I just picked one.” The track that the tow trucker chose subsequently led him straight to something that he didn’t expect to see: a dark shape. It was sat in the highway ahead of him – and it soon became apparent what it was.
Hall told The Dodo that the dog was “laying in the center of the dirt road, out in the middle of nowhere.” Mysteriously, though, the canine didn’t seem to be abandoned; a leash hung from its neck and trailed in the dust. Had it run away from its owner and got lost? Curious, Hall decided to start filming.
Hall felt like he had to help the stricken pooch, as he explained to The Dodo. “I’m a dog lover and an animal lover,” he revealed. “I think animals communicate with us, but it’s up to us to figure out what they are trying to say.”
Hall’s footage shows him attempting to persuade the dog to come closer but without success. No matter what the trucker tries, in fact, the canine refuses to move from its spot on the path. Undeterred, the kind-hearted worker then decides to leave the dog some food and water, perhaps reasoning that the animal is in need of sustenance.
“Hopefully, whoever’s dog this is sees this video and comes to get their dog,” Hall says on the footage. Then, as the trucker moves the camera around to show how empty the area is, he notices something. It seems that there’s an unusual item on the road.
Hall actually spots an abandoned flashlight and an area of flattened grass at the roadside. The trucker can’t see anything else, however, so he decides to stop filming and get back in his truck. But the feeling that something was very wrong apparently never left him.
Hall told The Dodo, “Something inside me said, ‘Try again.’ It was like the dog was saying, ‘Everything is wrong. My owner is around here somewhere. Don’t leave yet.’ So I got out of the truck and started another video. That’s when I heard something.”
Hall’s second video reveals how he follows the sounds and calls out into the wilderness. His shouts are then answered by the dog’s owner, a senior man who seems to be in some distress. Moments later, Hall discovers him sprawled on the floor accompanied by a second dog standing guard over him.
As is apparent from the video, the protective dog – called Chico – is unwilling to let a stranger near his human. So, unsure of how best to assist, Hall asks the man what he needs him to do. On the stricken individual’s advice, the trucker then sets off to summon the man’s wife before the video cuts out. Unfortunately, though, the woman also turned out to be in no fit state, so the trucker called 911.
People reported that Hall stayed with the man while the pair waited for an ambulance. He also offered what food and water he could to both the senior and his dogs. The trucker even provided his charge with a tarp to shade him from the intense sun.
Hall also learned that the man had taken his two dogs out for a walk some seven hours previously. During the hike, he’d fallen over and injured himself. Fortunately, though, his dogs seemed to know what to do as they went about their separate tasks.
Chico reportedly stayed by his daddy to protect him as he lay prone on the floor. Meanwhile, the second dog went and sat out on the road to find help for his immobile owner. If Hall hadn’t seen the pooch sitting in the road, then, who knows what would have happened?
Interestingly, the man’s pooches turned out to be rescue dogs. On this occasion, though, it was actually them rescuing their human. Hall, meanwhile, believes there was something more than luck at work. “There was just a series of events that took place to put me there,” he opined to The Dodo.
Hall continued, “It was kind of overwhelming how everything transpired to bring me there at that point.” He elaborated more to People on the subject. “I’m happy that I was able to provide this man and his family help,” he said.
“I feel like there was a lot of coincidences that had to align for me to be there at that time,” the trucker also revealed. Yet whatever led Hall down his path that day, it’s fortunate that he got there when he did. And let’s not forget the wounded man’s faithful dogs, who stayed by their human’s side until help arrived.