Driving and Biking in the Big City

When home is colder than the big city

with 2 comments

Andy dog and a butterfuly

Andy Dog photo by Big Johnny

Disclaimer: This is really a sad and violent blog today. It is dedicated to my sweet Andy Dog who ran the roads of Kingwood anytime he got the chance. He was a hound’s hound, sometimes running until the pads of his feet bled on the concrete. I watched him run right into the path of many cars. He was wiry and fast. Once, when just a puppy, he jumped out of the window of my truck, slipped out of his dog collar and ran the roads of a strange neighborhood. We were always lucky.

But, as we all know, luck runs out quickly and when you least expect it.

It happened for a neighbor and her sweet Princess this week when Princess was killed by a hit-and-run driver just a block from my house and on the very last leg of my commute home. It was far enough ahead of my car that I couldn’t quite tell what was happening. I saw the pet owner run from the grassy area of the gully and just fall into a clump on the side of the road. It was only when I pulled my car up beside her that I could tell it was a woman and her dog. I didn’t know her but knew the dog, Princess, and had seen them walking all the time. Princess was a small little white dog, Jack Russell-looking. I believe the pet was killed pretty instantly but her body was still beautiful and fully intact.

I reacted instinctively. I know it surprised the owner because it surprised me, too. I just parked my car, jumped out and ran to help. We were both wailing and hovering over the dog to see if we could do anything. We spent about an hour, just crying and angry. I was holding the owner while she held Princess. It’s really shaken me up to watch the sweet thing die like that. I can’t get over it. Then, I can’t forget the carelessness of the driver who was going so fast and didn’t stop.

A third neighbor and I just sat with the owner, so upset while time stood still. Eventually, I went home for a box and the other woman got a towel out of her car. We finally moved Princess into the box, taking off her collar for the owner as a keepsake. Then we wiped all the blood off of the owner and ourselves. It was so terrible.

The other neighbor, who was a bit older and more experienced with such tragedies, talked about how people can be so inconsiderate and preoccupied.

“This is our home,” she kept saying. “This is our home; this shouldn’t happen at your home.”

I wonder what would have happened if the driver had stopped. At first, we compared descriptions and considered tracking her down. It was a mom with a car seat for a baby in the back of the car. She was entering the neighborhood instead of leaving. We were crazed and angry. But, in the end, we knew it was over. My neighbor’s four-legged companion was lost forever in a moment of carelessness. It was unforgivable. Nothing more could help.

Here’s the pretty good part, though. When it was all done and the owner finally stood up and wasn’t crying so much, we made incredible human contact with each other and the third woman. I saw her and she saw me. We were unprotected and honest with each other. We hugged like we were part of the same universe, easing each other’s burden just a bit. A real connection. That doesn’t happen very often. We never exchanged names or phone numbers, but I will know them when I see them again. We are kindred spirits. I saw them and know them. They know me.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

March 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Oh, that is hearbreaking!!! I came into my office to work on a Cost Accounting report, decided to read some e-mail while I ate lunch, before getting down to business… now of course I have shed tears all over my papers!! I have had the same experience with my cats and it is gut-wrenching to experience. You & your neighbors are inmy prayers!
    Nancy (Fox) Castro PNG ’72

    Nancy (Fox) Castro

    March 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

    • Ahhh, Nancy, thanks for saying. I kept thinking I wouldn’t write about it but I wanted folks to know and be reminded to be safer. And, in the end, I really felt connected to those women. It was one of my most human experiences ever. And with total strangers.


      March 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

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