On the road, the unexpected is often just around the corner. We’ve gathered first-hand accounts from Founders and Managing Directors to share their most surprising encounters during a drive. From rescuing a lost poodle to safely reuniting another with its owner, these six stories reveal the unique challenges and acts of kindness that can happen behind the wheel.

  • Rescued a Lost Poodle
  • Hot-Air Balloon Surprise
  • Handled a Flat Tire Calmly
  • De-Escalated Road Rage Safely
  • Aided a Stranded Motorist
  • Safely Reunited Lost Dog with Owner

Rescued a Lost Poodle

One sunny afternoon, while driving down an empty road in my car, I suddenly noticed a dog running frantically toward me. It was clear that the poor creature was lost and scared, and it seemed to be in distress. In a split second, I had to make a decision on how to handle this unexpected encounter.

Without hesitation, I pulled over and parked my car on the side of the road. As soon as I got out of the car, the dog rushed toward me and started jumping around excitedly. It was a small, white poodle with curly fur, and it looked like it had been wandering for quite some time. Without any identification tags or a collar, it was clear that this dog was a stray.

Ryan NelsonRyan Nelson
Founder, RentalRealEstate

Hot-Air Balloon Surprise

Driving back from a client meeting late one night, I cruised down a quiet rural highway. My headlights cut through the darkness, and soft music played in the background. Suddenly, a bright light filled my rearview mirror, rapidly growing more prominent. Before I could react, a massive hot-air balloon drifted directly over my car. It felt like something out of a dream. The balloon’s basket skimmed about 30 feet above, and its colorful fabric cast a giant, flickering shadow. Passengers in the basket were waving and cheering—a birthday party in full swing.

Adrenaline surged through me. I slammed on the brakes and rolled down my window, speechless. The deserted road let me safely stop and take in the surreal sight. The balloon drifted on, the light slowly fading, leaving me with a wide grin and a story I’d be telling for years. The encounter, though brief, was a powerful reminder of the unexpected beauty and wonder that can appear during the most ordinary drives. And it makes for a great conversation starter at networking events!

Shane McEvoyShane McEvoy
MD, Flycast Media

Handled a Flat Tire Calmly

During a drive in a remote area, a sudden flat tire presented an unexpected challenge. Preparedness was key; having a well-equipped emergency kit and knowledge of tire-changing ensured a quick resolution. This incident reinforced the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and readiness for the unexpected.

Handling it calmly and efficiently minimized stress and delay, allowing me to continue the journey with a heightened awareness and appreciation for being prepared in all situations.

Robin LuoRobin Luo
Founder, ICRFQ

De-Escalated Road Rage Safely

During my daily commute, I encountered an unexpected and unpleasant situation that left a lasting impact on me. It was typical rush-hour traffic when suddenly, the car behind me started honking aggressively. At first, I thought it was directed at someone else, but as I looked in my rearview mirror, I realized that the driver was targeting me.

Feeling confused and a little scared, I tried to ignore the honks and continued driving. However, the other driver didn’t back off and kept tailgating my car while yelling and gesturing at me. It was clear that he was experiencing road rage, but I couldn’t understand why. I had not done anything to provoke him, and I was simply trying to follow traffic rules.

In such a tense situation, my instinct was to retaliate or confront the driver. However, I reminded myself to stay calm and not engage with the angry individual. Instead, I focused on finding a safe place to pull over and let the driver pass. Thankfully, I managed to find a nearby gas station, and the other driver sped off without causing any harm.

Pavel KhaykinPavel Khaykin
Founder & CEO, Pavel Buys Houses

Aided a Stranded Motorist

The experience of a lifetime came one late evening while I was driving down a rarely-used country road. I had my window wound down and felt the wind in my hair; everything was okay. Then I noticed, down the roadside, a figure waving constantly as I passed by, and upon getting closer, I saw it was a motorist whose car had stalled. There were few people around and no cell service; one could see there was no ready help available.

I pulled over, carefully looking at the individual in the car as I approached. It was a middle-aged woman, and she said her car had died there and she didn’t have a way to make a call for help. Realizing that the situation was serious, I told myself that I had to help. I always have in my car a simple, basic roadside emergency kit containing things like jumper cables, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit. So, I tried to get her car restarted with my jumper cables.

I at last came to the point and explained that I could not be of much help at that time, as my car was in excellent condition, so I offered to drive her to the nearest town about 15 miles away. En route to the nearby town, I chattered on inconsequentially to defuse the situation, ranging from our shared appreciation of the countryside to favorite travel destinations. We found one near the payphone at the gas station within the town and were able to call a tow and set upon repairing her car.

Looking back at the entire incident, it teaches one to always be prepared for any unexpected situation while on the road. A first-aid kit and readiness to aid others may turn an almost devastating situation into one that is easily handled. But far more meaningful than that, it stressed the importance of being able to identify with other people and be nice to them because the hand of support may change others’ lives immensely.

Kwame McGillKwame McGill
Founder & Owner, Chimney And Stone Masonry LLC.

Safely Reunited Lost Dog with Owner

An unexpected encounter I had while driving my personal vehicle involved a lost dog that became disoriented and was observed loitering by the side of the road. Aware of the potential peril to both the canine and other motorists, I stopped securely and approached the canine with caution. I attempted to reach the owner of the dog by examining its collar for contact information after verifying that it was healthy and friendly.

When I was unable to promptly contact the owner, I proceeded to transport the dog to the nearest animal shelter in a secure manner, prioritizing its welfare and safety. The shelter staff promptly assisted in the identification of the dog and facilitated communication with its owner, ensuring their safe reunification. Navigating the unforeseen encounter with diligence, forethought, and consideration for the animal’s well-being enabled a favorable resolution to be reached.

Jessica SheeJessica Shee
Senior Tech and Marketing Manager, M3 Data Recovery

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