17 December 2008

but there's one promise, darlin, I'll see you on god's golden shore

On my way to work this morning, earlier than usual and in the rain, a dying dog flopped on the side of the road, trying and failing to get back up. I didn't see him get hit, but it couldn't have happened more than a minute or two, if that, before I got to him.

I was already running late and needed to make a positive link up or I'd miss the SP, but I pulled over just past the poor thing. I don't know what I was thinking - I just wanted to see if I could tell where he'd come from, so I could get his owners, so he wouldn't have to die in the rainy street alone. He could have bitten me, in that panicked dying state. I just didn't want him to be alone.

There were suddenly lots of cars behind me, so I had to wait to open my door. By the time I got out, he'd stopped moving, but I could see his breath fogging the air above him. I walked to him, only 15 paces or so, and in that time, he stopped breathing. I'm fairly sure he was dead by the time I reached him. Even still, I would have liked to find his owner, to get him out of the street, but he didn't have a collar, and truthfully, he looked a little thin - a stray? I couldn't go knocking door to door at such an early hour. I could feel my heart in my throat.

So I stood there stupidly, suddenly aware that the fact that I'd parked just past a dog laying dead in the street probably looked like I had hit it. And my car is the only one in the neighborhood with Massachusetts plates. And I was in uniform. Ashamed that I couldn't do anything, I got back into my car and drove away.

I cried the rest of the way to work.

"I'm a-bound to ride that mornin railroad...
perhaps I'll die on that train."

- Bob Dylan "Man of Constant Sorrow" -

No comments: