Thursday, May 6, 2010

In Memory of Blackie

Dear Gentle Readers:

I witnessed something this morning on my way to work that no one should have to ever see: the death of a beautiful, large, black, male dog (maybe part Lab?) that was hit by a truck driving in the opposite direction from me.

Sycamore School Road, one of the main thoroughfares I travel to and from work each day, is a treacherous one. People speed, dart in and out of lanes, turn with no signals, and generally drive like bats out of hell. As for me, I know there is always CRAP out there when I drive. I expect CRAP. I am watching for CRAP.

And so it was this morning I encountered CRAP. Looking ahead as I drove (you know, from driver's ed, "getting the big picture"?), I saw a pretty doggie trotting along on the right side of the road on the sidewalk. He was on the bridge that spans the little creek near the park. About 1/4 mile from our house.

Why. oh why did he decide to cross the road at that exact Moment in Time? I was able to slow down and give him some space as he crossed the road. I looked to my left to see if the doggie made it across, but a truck (an older maroon pick-up truck) hit the beautiful dog with the front left tire.

I saw this. I even heard it. I think I FELT it.

And I was devastated. Looking in my rear view mirrow, I saw the black dog lying there in the middle of the road on his side. Turning around in the park that was nearby, I went back to check on him. He was still living! Grabbing my cell phone, I dialed 911 and asked for Animal Control to come and help. In the meantime, numerous cars drove by slowly (I was blocking a lane of traffic each direction, determined that the sweet dog would not be hit again), but no one stopped. Finally, one man stopped to try and help, but didn't know what to do, and was running late to work, so I thanked him for his kindness in stopping, and said goodbye.

A few minutes later, a young, pretty, heavily tatooed woman stopped. She said, "I'm a vet tech. Let me take a look." With no hesitation, she stooped down to check on the dog. She gently felt him, said he was warm, but there was no pulse. He had died while I was standing there with him in the middle of the effing road, waiting for help. But at least I had petted him several times, and I was there as he drew his last breaths. I hope to GOD there was not much pain. I can't even go there...

I found a pristine, white linen tablecloth in my trunk and gave it to Stacy, the vet tech, in which to wrap up Blackie, my fond name for the beautiful doggie that had just died as I watched over him, and helped her put him in her hatchback. She said she'd take care of him. As she laid him down, Blackie's bright red blood stained the white cloth, just as it had on the street where he had so violently died. I was glad that Blackie had something so nice in which to be swaddled. Little did I know the cloth's intended use until this morning, as I had been carrying it around for years.

While awaiting help, I'd called my husband, Teddy, to come and be with me -- and maybe to help with Blackie. But Blackie had been taken away by the time Teddy got there. Leaving the scene of the tragedy, we drove our respective vehicles to the nearby park where we held tightly to each other, crying together over the loss of the sweet, innocent dog named Blackie.

Teddy loves animals as much as I do -- especially dogs -- and we share and live with a lovable, sweet, precious but precocious, adorable, five-pound, long-haired, black and white male Chihuahua aptly named Domino. He is the Love and Light of our lives.

I asked Teddy to go home and love all over Domino; to hold him close; to carefully watch over him. Of course Teddy does this everyday, but the thought of Domino in the road, on our street...well, I just can't go there.

To all you dog lovers and owners: watch out for your beloved pets. Don't let them run loose. Keep tags on your pet, and get him/her micro-chipped so that if he/she gets out, you will be notified. Stacy said they would check to see if Blackie had been chipped. By the way, we had Domino chipped in March at his yearly Well Dog visit.

This has, of course and understandly, upset me tremendously today. It is a reminder of the uncertainty and fragility of life. As if I needed to be reminded...

So, Gentle Readers, go home tonight and love, hug, and kiss your spouse/children/pets. We never know how long they will be with us. Blackie is gone from us for good. Let's not let his life go unredeemed.


Terry Lee said...

oh dear heavens, belinda. what a horrific thing to happen and for you to witness! i am soooo sorry to read about this.

poor sweet blackie. i'm relieved to know that you were there to help him, love him and care for him as he passed on. i know God put you there, at that exact time, for that purpose.

bless your heart, dear sis. i know this has been a rough day for you. please give domino an extra squeeze and kiss for me tonight.

love you,
terry lee

Library Lady said...

When Teddy left the park after the tragedy, I told him to go home and love and love on our Domino. And when I got home, I held and kissed the little back dog until I chapped him and his fur was coming off.

I just have to believe that I did all I could and not dwell on it.
I've passed the place on the road where Blackie died several times since the accident. And as I drive that part of the road every school day, I'm sure the incident will linger in my mind for a while.

Thanks for your words of comfort and support. They help, as do the words from other dog lovers with whom I've shared the story.