Last night when I was driving home from the grocery store, a large brindle pit bull mix dashed out in front of my car. He bolted out so fast that I didn’t even see him. I just heard the thunk of impact, saw him careen through the air and land on the other side of the road. I slammed on the brakes and ran from the car screaming and crying.
Immediately a woman and two men were at my side, assuring me that it wasn’t my fault. It had happened too fast. The lady put her arms around me and I buried my head in her shoulder and sobbed. One stranger comforting another. There had been two brindle dogs and the second one had run away, scared. One man tried to follow it, hoping it would go home, so the owner could be told about the one I hit. But the dog ran too fast, and the man couldn’t keep up.
The other man went to his car and got out those blue plastic gloves that doctors use and he moved the dog to the roadside. I briefly wondered why those were in his car. The lady made me sit down and she continued to hold me. It turned out that she was a doctor and she was worried that I was in shock and shouldn’t drive. We called my husband, but he was out in the garden and didn’t hear the phone. I told her that I’d be OK to drive the rest of the way home, but she insisted that she should drive me home in my car and her husband would follow and bring her back. She said a person’s judgment can be impaired when they are in shock.
So, in addition to the time they spent with me and the dying dog, they added another half hour to their day by driving to my house and then back to where they’d started when the accident occurred. When I got out of the car at my house, the woman gave me a hug before she and her husband drove off.
I only know her first name; that she is a doctor and what her specialty is. I will try to find her in the phonebook and thank her for her extraordinary kindness. In the car she told me, that in light of what happened in Japan, if one person can’t reach out to another in need, than we really have nothing of worth.
I’m not going to write about the specific details of what happened to the dog that I hit, but the brutal images are burnt into my memory now. However, alongside that memory, is the memory of the kindness of strangers, who went out of their way to comfort me and assure my safety on the way home.
If you have a dog, please keep him/her in a fenced yard and keep your cats indoors. Someone is grieving today because their beloved dog never came home last night. Love your pets well–they give so much to us.