Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ode To A Belated Labrador

I passed a handsome young black male Labrador Retriever on my way to work one morning this week who lay freshly dead from a mortal hit along Hwy. 18 between Lenoir and Morganton, NC.  He was a handsome critter.  I thought sadly to myself, "Surely he must belong to someone.  Hopefully he won't be there this afternoon on my way home."  But...he was.  Stiff in the afternoon sun he made a statement to me. The next morning, as I passed, the stiffness had gone from him.  I passed him once again. This time, however, I could not continue on down the road.  I turned back and returned to the place where he lay on the shoulder of the road near a deserted parking lot. 

I pulled in, put my flashers on and walked up to the the fellow.  He was well fed, but had no collar on.  He seemed to be intact so I bent down to move him off the shoulder of the road. My hands became soaked with dark, cold blood as I reached all the way around him. This did not horrify me in the least (although it might have any other time).  I walked to the car, found a bottled of water and some paper towels.  I rinsed the blood off my hands and dried them.  The smell of death could not be removed though - that was going to take something stronger. I found an old bath towel in the back of the car and took it back to the dog where I covered him up and tucked it in where I could so the wind coming off the large trucks passing by wouldn't blow it off.

When I got to work, I called the DOT to come pick him up. A nice gentleman answered the phone and listened as I told him the reason I'd stopped was because he'd reminded me of a dog I had recently lost. And, also, I said, "You know, children who pass by and see that sometimes get upset.  I know I used to."  "Yes mam," he said.  "I'll have someone go get him right now." "You'll find him under a blue bath towel" I replied. "You can't miss him"

Damn, it makes me mad to think someone hit that dog and didn't have the decency to do what should have been done.

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