When I was younger I wasn't so moved by the sight of an animal in distress. But as I've aged my heart has softened - tenderized if you will. Now, when I see something in the road ahead I breathe a quick prayer that I'm not about to witness what's left over from the unfortunate meeting of a vehicle with an animal. Such prayer was not answered this afternoon.
I had been watching for deer as I like to do on this drive when I spotted something on the side or the road ahead. It was smaller than a deer, and black. As the gap closed I recognized the form of a dog standing in the grass. Then I saw why. He was standing vigil over his buddy, a beautiful brown dog that had not made it across the highway.
My heart was saddened, as it always is when I see a dog dead on the road. But today the pain was doubled by the fact that a friend was left behind. Blackie just stood there, wondering what to do. I recalled a story told me once by the shuttle driver at a hotel, about a small dog that dragged his buddy's carcass out of the road, and I wondered if Blackie was going to do this.
An hour later my trip brought me by this location again. Of course, the brown dog was still there. The highway department will deal with him - hopefully before my next trip in two weeks. But Blackie was no longer standing over his pal. I gather he finally moved along, back to his homestead and hopefully to more buddies. Those rural homes usually have more than a couple of dogs around.
As soon as I got to the house I kissed my wife and loved on our dogs. If you have dogs do me a favor - before you go to bed tonight double check your gate. Especially if you live near a route that I drive.
I'll make you laugh in tomorrow's blog. Tonight I'm just too melancholy.