Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Traffic

Sometimes when the light hits just right on a place, you remember something you thought was long gone. Then it hits you like it was yesterday. About five years ago I was driving home on I-90 during rush hour. Traffic was heavy and slow, like it always seems to be when the sun shines in driver's eyes. (Why is it traffic is slow when it is sunny, rainy, snowy, icy, and/or damp. The only conditions in which traffic moves swiftly is "overcast". Thank God it is always cloudy here.)

Red brake lights started to flash ahead, and traffic came to almost a complete stop in the left lane. I looked ahead and saw the problem. In the highway median was a dog. He was trotting out on the grass in the median, a scraggly mongrel of a dog. Luckily for him, there were cement barriers that line the sides of the lanes, keeping him captive in the area between the east and west four lane highway. I have no idea how he got out there in the first place. Traffic was so heavy at rush hour, it was inconceivable that he somehow walked across traffic. Yet, there he was.

As the cars slowed to almost a complete stop, I looked at the dog and saw his predicament. Eventually he would come to a service gap in the barrier, and probably get hit by an oncoming car. I know if that was my dog, I wouldn't want someone to just drive by and leave him there. I pulled over with the idea of attaching him to a spare leash I had in my car, and hoped he had a collar and ID tag so I could take him home.

I pulled off the highway on the left ahead of the dog by about 75 yards, and hopped over the median into the grass with the leash. I started walking slowly back towards him, calling him. He looked at me nervously and picked up his trot towards the left. It was then I saw the great miscalculation I had made in not noticing the service gap between me and the dog. I foresaw what was going to happen, and stopped in my tracks, calling out to the dog to "Stay! Stay! Stay!". He darted out straight into the traffic with his head turned to his left, looking back at me.

One of the cars in the never ending stream hit him square in the shoulders and head, cartwheeling the dog's body back to the side of the road with a sickening thunk. I ran over to where he had been hit, knowing it was a mortal injury. The dog's legs were useless, his mouth open and panting when I saw the light go out of his eyes. Then his bladder emptied out onto the gravel. I knew it was my fault for stopping and trying to help. I had caused the exact thing I was trying to prevent. A woman that had pulled over after the dog had been hit started crying. A man asked if anyone knew who's dog it was. I turned around from the scene of the accident without saying anything to anyone, ashamed at what had happened. I got in my car without a word and drove home. I still feel crushing guilt to this day.


At April 2, 2011 at 6:57:00 PM EDT , Blogger AcmeBodyArt said...

I believe that is one of the saddest stories I have ever read. I like to think that the dog is in "Doggy Heaven" lookin' down on you and sayin'"Don't sweat it,kid"


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