We got a reminder this morning just how quickly life can change.
As Tom, the dogs, and I walked along West Maryland Avenue at about 7:25 or so this morning, we heard a man yell. I looked up to see a dog sprinting toward us from one of the apartment complexes on the north side of Maryland. The dog's leash was trailing it and the voice of what I can only presume was it's owner was the one we heard.
This dog was intent on getting to Bailey and Luna and was moving fast. From my vantage point, the dog was of medium height, but had some bulk to it. Things happen so fast sometimes. I looked at the dog and my immediate thought was that this was not going to be good. Then I noticed the mid-size SUV heading west on Maryland at about 40 MPH.
I looked back at the dog. It was still coming and coming quick. Sensing the impact that was to come, I flinched and turned my head before the dog and the car collided, but I heard the thump. It was loud and it was most likely the last thing the man's dog heard.
There is no doubt in my mind the dog was killed instantly. As I was telling Rhondi what happened when I got home, I realized that I either did not hear a sound come from the dog or my brain has blocked that from my memory. I don't think the dog had a chance to cry out. The SUV was going that fast and it happened so quickly.
Tom and I stood there in shock for what seemed like a long time but I'm guessing it was a matter of seconds. There was nothing for us to do but keep on walking, but my heart has been going out to the man for the past three hours and will probably continue to do so. There were several moments where I could feel hot tears getting ready to spill from my eyes as waves of empathy poured out of my body.
As Tom pointed out while we walked away feeling helpless, the day took a turn for the dog, his/her owner, the driver, and all of those people who loved the dog. Did the man have a family he was going to have to back to his apartment and tell? Were there children who loved this dog? What about the person or people in the SUV? Could it have been another dog owner on the way to the dog park?
Things can change on a dime. One stupid thing. Maybe all that dog wanted to do was play. I don't think that was the case. In that brief second or two before I noticed there was a good sized car barreling towards the unsuspecting dog, I felt like this dog had bad intentions toward my dog. Either way, though, this day started off with a huge amount of suck.
For several minutes afterward, we just sort of stumbled along, heading east on Maryland, dumbfounded by what had happened. Tom and I rarely go more than a few seconds without talking and I'm not sure either of us knew what to say, but we did talk through it. I felt so awful not going to see what could be done, but I know there is nothing that could have been done.
The SUV came to a stop about 30 yards beyond where it hit the dog. I looked at it for a few seconds before turning away in what felt like a cowardly act of self-preservation. As we talked through it, I realized it was not cowardly at all, but it was all about preservation. Bailey and Luna seemed blissfully unaware of the whole thing and were just as happy as they could be to continue our walk, even if the pace was a lot slower than before.
I'm so sorry this happened to this stranger and his dog. Hopefully he understands why we kept walking. There were no words we could have said to help him face what he had seen and was feeling. No one should have to start their Saturday like that.
I'm glad Tom was there, even though I'm sad he had to see it.
Here's to a much better rest of the day and hopefully some peace to the other people who experienced this awful thing today. I know there are a lot worse things that happened around the globe at that exact moment, but as my friend Michael says when someone posts on social medial about the passing of the pet, "They are family."
See you tomorrow.
A pond in Maine called Worthley. It would be cold as hell there today, but damn if it wouldn't be nice to see this right now in person.