It was luck and loyalty that led an animal-loving tow truck driver to a man in need.
Martin Jay Hall Jr. was driving his tow truck back from a job in a rural part of California near the city of Mariposa. Upon leaving the job, Hall Jr. was told to take a different way out than he came in because of locked gates on the property.
“I obliged them and received directions out. The directions consisted of one fork in the road that I would have to make a right on. 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 Jr. told PEOPLE via email.
Since both sides of the fork had the same street name, Hall Jr. chose one to see where it would lead. It led to a lone black dog standing in the middle of the dusty dirt road.
“As I got closer I noticed the leash and collar, and how healthy the dog was and realized something was amiss,” Hall Jr., the owner of two rescue dogs and five rescue cats, added. “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.”
Worried about the dog’s well-being, Hall Jr. put down a water jug for the canine, and took a video of the dog to post on a Facebook page for lost pets in the area.
Hall Jr. was on his way to find help, when he noticed the dog staring back at him in the rearview mirror.
“At that moment something in my head said ‘Stop and ask ’em again,’ ” the driver recalled.
So Hall Jr. drove back to where the dog was and started to talk and whistle at the pooch. Soon he heard another dog, farther off, responding to his whistles.
After following the sound, Hall Jr. came upon an injured elderly man, the owner of the first dog, lying on the ground with another canine.
According to YourCentralValley.com, the elderly man fell down an embankment and broke his hip 10 hours before Hall Jr. found him. The man’s loyal dogs looked after him the entire time. One stayed by his side and protected him while the other went to the road for help.
Hall Jr. spoke to the injured man and asked him the best way he could help. At the man’s request, Hall Jr. went to the elderly man’s nearby home and informed the man’s wife about the injury.
Just out of the hospital herself, the man’s wife was in no condition to help her husband, so Hall Jr. called 911 and got an ambulance for the injured man. While they waited for help to arrive, Hall Jr. shaded the injured man with a tarp, gave him raisins and offered the man and his dogs water to drink.
“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 Jr. said about the experience. “Almost too many to be normal — more like divinity.”