So last week, on Thursday, to be exact, I was leaving my neighborhood. I was en route to the gym to pick up Little from gymnastics. As I came to the T-intersection that plops me out onto the major thoroughfare in our 'hood, there were cars askew and stopped in strange spots in both west-bound lanes of traffic. I paused to watch. Come to find out, a couple of good Samaritans were in the street, out of their cars, trying to catch a little pup that looked like this:
One man came really close to getting her but she was darting around cars and obviously very panicked. Oh, dread. Just as the light changed, and two lanes of east-bound traffic revved toward us, she darted out into oncoming traffic. A lady in the first lane of traffic absolutely plowed this little pup . . . it was a full on thump-thump as she hit her with the front tire. She went airborne under the SUV for a paralyzing moment in time and then landed just in time for the driver to react, swerve and hit her with the back tires.
Oh my gosh. Middle was in the front seat with me and we were the first car set to turn left, so in terms of eye-witness position, we were in the best spot. The scream that came out of Middle made my blood run cold. In all of my years as a mommy, I have not heard Middle yell like that. It was the kind of terrible scream that gets caught sideways in the throat and ends in an aborted yelp. Her hands flew to her face . . . well, everyone's did and tears started streaming from her eyes. It was horrid. Just terrible.
Immediately after the dog was hit, everyone left. Drivers just jumped back in their cars and took off. Their heads were hanging low and there was a "that's too bad" feel in the air, but they left. Which made room for my car. I stopped and talked to the man who had almost caught her. Initially, he thought I was the driver that hit her and he started yelling at me, "Why didn't you stop? You were going too fast!!" But then the real driver pulled up and he refocused on a new target.
So what do you DO in that situation? I stopped because I felt like it was right. I wasn't aiming to get a morbid first row seat of canine death. I just thought she should be moved out of the street. The man (the almost-caught-her-yelled-at-me-man) moved her out of traffic. She was so small in his arms. And then he said the same thing on my mind . . . . "what should we do with her?" I offered to take her to my vet. I could see that she had a collar and tags on and felt sure she could be identified and her owners contacted that way. He started to carry her to my car, and then he saw the kids . . . . he said, "Oh, I'll take her . . . you have kids in your car." And in one move, he turned and loaded her into his car. He thanked me for stopping and said he'd take care of her. The driver took off, too, totally dry-eyed. I'm not knocking the lack of tears. We all react in different ways.
Thursday was a rough day for us. My uncle died last Thursday and I had just done a lot of talking to my kids about what to expect at a funeral. We haven't been to one that they remember. Heck, Middle was an infant at the last funeral we attended, so there is a lot of talking about what happens. Talking to kids about what happens at a funeral inevitably leads to the spirit vs body questions . . . and I only bring this up now because when we stopped to help this dog, the man had just moved her into the median and I swear, I could see waves coming up off of her body. Or something. Yes, it was hot and some weird optical illusions can happen with dry heat and asphalt. But she wasn't on asphalt. And I wasn't the only one to see it. Two of my kids later asked me in private, "Mom, was that her spirit that went to heaven? You could see those lines going up?"
Also, I'm so sorry for this little doggie. I wish I could tell her owners that I saw it. And that there were half a dozen people trying to help her. And that she was sweet. Just scared. And I wish I could tell them that it was fast and she didn't suffer. She did not suffer.