the difference a few minutes makes

Another work day started kitties…

Mine started like crap… Not in the sense that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed or anything- the point where I was accosted by reality and tragedy happened after I left the house for the drive to work.

I actually just had a brief conversation yesterday with a very dear friend about keeping a dog on a lead. I have never had the most trained/trainable pooches in the world, therefore I am a strong advocate for a lead at all times unless in a completely fenced in area. Even old dogs will chase a rabbit or squirrel when you least expect it. When I was a little girl, my German Shepherd was trained by my Papaw to fetch the paper from the mailbox across the field. Seemed safe enough… they lived way out in the country. That was fine until someone barrelled down the road and smashed the back end of my dog. I still remember the back of Papaw’s pickup truck, pale green with pools of hot, sticky red blood. They put him down at the vet’s office… The driver never stopped.

It’s selfish of me to tell you how what I saw this morning affected me, but seeing as I have no way to really get his, (we’ll call it a boy dog for illustrative purposes), side of the story, you’ll have to make do with my account.

I leave for work rather early by most standards… I punch in at 7am daily after a 15 minute drive. I left a tad late this morning due to a computer related distraction. (that happens often…) As I travelled the main road to work, a four lane in-town stretch of highway, I could see police car lights ahead. I didn’t see a car pulled over but it’s not unusual for an officer to be finishing up the paperwork…

Then he came into view.

I saw an officer standing over a beautiful golden coloured dog. He was probably a lab or retriever- I didn’t analyse. A young girl was a few feet away from him and a woman had jogged across the street to join the girl and the officer near the animal.
The dog was half sat up, a typical lounging position for the record, nothing uncomfortable looking. You’d expect him to be next to a sofa in such a pose. Well, except for the blood. This angelic creature was in what appeared to be complete comfort, laying in the mouth of a driveway to HWY 26, but with what had to easily have been a couple of cups worth of blood thickly coating the drive curb like fresh paint. It was no small injury. I couldn’t see where he was hurt as I passed by, three lanes away, but I did see him. I saw his peaceful posture and an obviously upset girl and adult female near. One of the people knelt by him to either comfort or investigate him. Any other hurt animal would likely lash out in pain, but this dog, even with the obvious severity of his wounds, could be nothing but angelic. That’s what worries me most… He just might be savouring his last minutes. That was a huge spill of blood… And one very peaceful dog.

I didn’t see another car there. So that’s a hit and run. I fucking hate people. I hate that the dog was off his lead, I hate that I couldn’t do something, I hate that some asshole is driving a car with that poor fella’s blood and fur on it and that they are too chickenshit or uncaring to stop. Be responsible people. Everyone involved. If the dog bolted out the door of the house, then you need to be more careful when you open the fucking door. If the dog was out for a morning wee and saw a squirrel across the highway, then you’d best have him on a lead to prevent this sort of thing. If you are the human waste that hit him, you need to re-examine yourself and change your ways. Yeah, so shit happens… most shit is preventable and many of you who have read my previous blog know that I have zero tolerance for people who don’t take responsibility for their actions/situations.

I have seen a dog face death today. I’ve seen his blood dramatically change the landscape beneath him. This scene whooshed past me in seconds but will not ever leave me. I want to know he’s ok. I want to go comfort him… I’ve seen more than my share of animal suffering due to my volunteer work over the last ten years. I’ve got more bitterness for mankind than you can imagine. But in that brief half a minute… that dog told me it was ok. He was not bitter and not angry. Hurt, of course, but that moment that dog knew that nothing could be done to change things and he accepted what was happening. I have the unfortunate knowledge that it was all preventable- and that is a curse that I’m glad he doesn’t have…

2 thoughts on “the difference a few minutes makes”

  1. Hi jEN,

    It is terrible seeing dog that have been hit by car, I still vividly remember seeing two when I was a kid. One was a magnificent white Samoyed dog that was owned by one of my sister’s friends, I saw the poor thing lying dead on the grass below the bridge over the burn on my way to primary school one morning. From what I remember it had bolted from the house and across the main road and been hit by a car. The other was further up the same road a few year later a boy I knew at school had a West Highland terrier, I used to know its name but it is gone now, anyway it had run out of the gate and been hit by a car, we passed by in a bus just after it happened and the poor dog was still moving but its back was broken. I am known to my friends and family for my memory and being able to describe events lang after others have forgotten them but these I remember with a particular clarity, if nothing else I makes me extra cautious when I see a dog at the side of the road.

    Only yesterday in fact I saw a guy walking a dog and he had it on a lead, however it was an extender lead and it was running free for the dog wandered well into the road before the guy noticed and pull it back.

    Your story is particularly sad for me as my brother was a Labrador, okay now you think I have lost it completely but let me explain.
    Not long before I was born my parents bought a Labrador pup Bruce to give him his proper name. I grew up with Bruce and at times it was a three way race between Bruce, Bramble the cat and myself for the dog food that was put out for Bruce, it is okay the doctor assured my mum that the dog food would not do me any harm, “woof”.
    Anyway one day after my sister was born I asked my parents for a dog, they pointed out that we had Bruce and I replied that Bruce wasn’t a dog he was my brother. I still have to talk to any Lab that I see.

    Kev

  2. Oh Kev!
    Thank you so much for sharing that! I am comforted by your strong attachment to Bruce and your irregular detail retention when it comes to the injured dogs…

    I’m sleepy and want to say more, but the sandman calls, and I am his humble servant tonight…

    smooches in empathy~
    jEN

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