**UPDATE: I received a very nice text over the weekend from Bullit's humans, thanking me for moving the little one to a safe place so they could recover him. It went on to say he was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. I hope they find peace.**
A little sad, a little angry... I watched a cute little beagle get hit by a car today. Twice. It was hard to see. It was a miracle it didn't cause a major accident. Ignorant pet owners piss me off.
I pulled over before he went out into the street but I couldn't get to him before he tried to cross. It didn't end well. I couldn't get to him before the second car hit him... he might have had a chance if I had been able to. But after the second hit, I knew he was gone. I picked up his lifeless little body and moved him from the pavement to the grass median and pulled off his collar so I could call his humans. Dammit.
One of the cars who had hit him circled back. The guy who hit him in a Jeep was crying in anguish - he was absolutely heartbroken. I felt for him. The sky opened up and it began to pour. I ran to my car and climbed in to make the call, regretting not taking a moment to speak with him. I would have told him it wasn't his fault. I saw every agonizing moment and he had nowhere to go.
The woman who answered the phone number on the dog's tag, was a little flippant when she answered, obviously not recognizing my number. I introduced myself and asked if she had a dog named Bullit. She confirmed, yes, and said, "Oh, why, did he get out again?" I immediately hated her but bit my tongue, sticking to the facts of what had happened. Perhaps I was too blunt. Perhaps I could have attempted to soften the blow. She screamed and cried, unconsolable, unintelligible. People in the background were crying. I explained where I left him and asked what she wanted me to do... I think she said something about getting into her car and hung up on me. I ran the conversation over in my mind - I was at a loss as to what to do, half of the conversation was unintelligible hysterics. No deciphering that.
So I went back to his little broken body, in the downpour, and put his collar back on, giving him one last friendly pat and a blessing, before returning to my car, soaked to the bone. I sat there in my car on the sidestreet, watching over him for a good 15 minutes waiting for them to show up - in a neighborhood where she could have only been a maximum of 5 minutes away. I didn't want to take him away from them but I didn't want to just leave him there either. After several more minutes of vascilating, I left, hoping his humans would think enough of him, to come claim him. I prayed they wouldn't abandon him.
As I drove away I berated myself for not getting to him a moment sooner. For being in the position of having to witness his demise. For the helplessness I felt moving his little lifeless, broken body. I felt somehow responsible. Maybe guilty. My logic reasoned I had nothing to do with it, I had no hand to play - but the emotional part of me told me there was something I could have done. Should have done. Somehow. That's the problem with emotion, it has no logic, no proof. But it shouts in your head louder than logic.
And then I remembered her saying, "Oh, why, did he get out again?" That word - again... And then I got angry. Really angry. So, this wasn't the first time he got out... How many times had that happened? How many close calls had he managed to survive? Why did his luck have to run out today, in front of me? And since he was still capable of getting out, they had done nothing to prevent it. Was he not worth the effort? I wanted to call her back and give her a piece of my mind... but I hoped losing a member of their family was a severe enough punishment. Though somehow, I doubt that's the case - they'll blame the dog for his stubborn persistence instead of their lazy lack of effort. And I get to make the call. I hated her for that too.
He was their responsibility. His life was in their hands - and they failed miserably. His death was on their heads... I felt vindicated, yet no less sad.
Rest in peace, Bullit. I am sorry I was unable to help you. I am sorry your humans didn't put more effort into ensuring your safety. Follow the path to the rainbow bridge, buddy...
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hug my dog and tell him how much he means to me, and how I will do everything in my power to keep him safe and healthy.