Monday, May 14, 2012

My Snowy Drive Home

Another old post from Facebook that I don't want to lose so I'm adding it here.  This post is from February, 2010.

So this afternoon I was driving home from work, be-bopping to whatever was on the radio when I noticed a pick-up stopped on the side of the road and the driver talking on his cell phone. A couple hundred yards later I saw a beautiful black dog, laying atop a snow bank. Stopping my van, I rolled down the passenger side window and whistled to her. She lifted her head and looked at me with her gorgeous light brown eyes. There were dark pink stains in the white snow leading to where she had finally laid down. She was shivering and bloody, but at least she was alive. I drove down the road a short bit to a farm where I could turn around (most of the roads I drive are one lane country roads). I drive past her and pull into a driveway. Looking over to where the dog is I know that the snow banks are pretty high and it would be difficult for me to get her by myself. I call home and have my son get the number to a local rescue center. While I am on the phone with Derek, the man who was in the pick-up walks across the street to my van. As he approaches me I can see that he is still on his cell phone so I roll down my window.

He turns to me and asks “Do you know where I am?”

Hmm. I think to myself that maybe I should lock the doors and roll my window back up, but I’m a sucker for lost souls so I answer. “Van Clevesville Road”.

He smiles and says “No, I mean do you know what county we are in?” It dawns on me that we are right on the border line of two counties. He proceeds to tell me that he is on the phone with the police dispatcher and they need to know what county we are in so they can send Animal Control to get the dog. I point out exactly where the county line is (sometimes it pays to know otherwise useless information) and tell him which county the dog is in. He told me that someone hit the dog and just kept driving.

We must have looked like we were involved in an accident because a Sheriff’s Deputy on his way home stops in the road and turns his lights on. “Is everything alright?” he asks. The other guy (whom I will refer to as Bob for the sake of not saying “the other guy” anymore) and I start babbling to this poor deputy at the same time about this poor dog being a victim of a hit-and-run and that she was still alive. Bob tells Deputy Doright that he has already called police dispatch and they are sending someone out. Deputy Doright says something like “Well, they’ll probably just shoot it. I could do that right now, but if they’ve already dispatched someone I won’t.” He said something else, which I cannot remember because at that point I started to panic.

Shoot her? Really? Why would they do such a thing? I called a local no-kill animal rescue and blurted out the situation to the poor receptionist on the other end of the phone. She proceeded to tell me that Animal Control will pick up the animal and take it to the vet, after which they will try to find the owner. I guess that answer appeased me enough that Bob and I both thought that it would be alright for me to continue home. As I started to drive I stopped by the beautiful black dog again and called to her. I was desperately hoping she would get up and come over to my van, but she couldn’t.

I drove a couple hundred yards to my original turning point and realized that I just couldn’t do it. It was getting dark. What if Animal Control never showed up? She would freeze to death just laying there in the snow, waiting for someone to come and rescue her. I turned back into the farm where I had originally turned around. I called another rescue group but their answering machine picked up. Friday night, no-one is going to be there. I decided that I had to go back and start knocking on the doors of the houses lining the road. While walking down the first driveway that I pull into I look over to see how the dog is doing. That’s when I noticed that there was a woman, a dog, and a man running down the road toward the wounded dog. Returning to the van, I drive back over to where the dog is. It’s Bob and a woman. Bob tells me that it’s her dog. I put my hazard lights on and jumped out of the van. We all crawl over the snow bank toward her dog. My first step brings me knee deep in snow. I briefly thought about how wonderfully cold the snow felt as it made its way into my sneaker. Then I watched as this woman threw her long, wool coat onto the snow and coaxed her dog onto it. All three of us picked her up and carefully made our way through the snow back to the road. I put the dog and her mommy in the van and drove them to her house. As soon as I opened their door she jumped out with the dog in her arms and started running to her car, throwing a thank-you over her shoulder.

My van was next to Bob’s truck. I told him that I needed to shake his hand, and as I did, I told him what a wonderful “good Samaritan” I thought he was. He had to continue waiting for Animal Control even though the dog was gone. Fortunately they were pulling up as I was pulling away. Finally on my way home, I began to think about all of the cars that continued to drive past us, past the dog, never stopping or asking if we needed help. I realize that everyone has a different story; some were probably running late to pick up their kids from the baby sitter, others may have been on their way to work and just couldn’t risk being late by stopping. I understand that. I also thought about the absolutely unconditional love that the human mommy showed for her dog. Her wool coat is probably ruined, and I know that she was cold without it, but none of that mattered to her as she carried her dog away. My last thoughts have been about Bob. He said he just couldn't stand the thought of poor animals being left on the side of the road like that. I'll probably never see Bob again, but I know I'll never forget Bob.