04 September 2008

For You, Black Dog

I saw you last night as I was driving home. You were in the grassy median, just a block from my house, eating something that you'd just found. I considered stopping to try and coax you into the car, but I didn't know you, and, I was concerned about what I'd do with you once I had you in my backseat. You looked happy to be doing what you were. You appeared well-fed and seemed to know where you were so I decided to let you be. I asked God to take you home.

After I'd been home for ten minutes I was standing outside in the back yard, talking to Cameron and watching Billie and Georgia play. I heard a yelp. I told Cameron that I had to go check on you. I walked the direction to where I first saw you and thought perhaps it was one of the new neighbors' dogs I'd heard because you weren't there.

I saw Cameron talking to the one of the new neighbors a couple houses down from us. I assumed that he was introducing himself as he often does. I went inside to grab a neighbors' phone list to give the new guy but when I came out they were both gone.

I looked the other direction past the park and saw them. And you. You were lying lifeless on the pavement. My heart sank. We picked you up off of the street and placed you in the grass so you wouldn't be hit again. As I walked back home to call to have you picked up I thought "what if I'd stopped and picked you up?"

As it turns out, someone else had the same idea. Our new neighbor, Robert, saw the tragic scene unfold. A man had stopped to take you off the street to safety, but he scared you. So you ran. The driver in the first lane saw what was happening and stopped for you. Sadly, the driver in the right lane didn't.

Later in night, after we shed a few tears for you, Cameron walked the eight-or-so-hundred feet to you, to pick you up from the grass to carry you down the circle to put you on our porch, out of the rain. It just didn't seem fitting to leave you where you died. I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry for those who loved you. And even though we didn't know you, we loved you, too.

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