Monday, March 12, 2012

Apology to a Dead Dog

Dear Unknown Dog,

I am so sorry.  If it's any consolation (which it's not), my wife bawled over you, sobbing unashamedly as I sat in deafening silence, hands clenched tightly around the steering wheel.  I want to be angry at you.  I want to know just exactly what you were thinking when you crossed that busy street.  I want to know whose dog you were and if you lived a good life.  I want to think that your suffering was short and as painless as possible.  I want to go back to yesterday and leave twenty seconds later.

The day was going perfectly well, an uncannily beautiful Sunday afternoon in March, and we were on our way to Bremen for a family get-together to welcome Travis back from boot camp.  Travis would have loved you, I'm sure.  I'm inclined to say that the day was going well for you, too, at least up until the point of contact.  I'm sure you'd been lounging around much of the day, soaking up the soft warmth of the sun, maybe chasing a scent of grilled food or running after a rabbit.  You had no worries, nothing besides finding a little food, a little love, and a little fun.

It's like we were on a collision course predetermined by fate and there was nothing we could do to prevent our meeting.  One second life is well.  And then you flash across the street.  I'm sure you heard the squealing tires as my car hit you.  I'm sure you smelled the burning rubber as I passed.  Did you hear my heart stop?  I couldn't swerve, y'know.  That's how so many people get into wrecks in the first place.  Maybe if Keisha and Avonlea hadn't been in the car then I would have, but I was not going to put them in any more danger.  But know that I tried--I honestly tried--to miss you.  To stop.  To prolong the inevitable.

What I saw in my rearview mirror haunts me.  I'm so sorry.  We prayed that your pain was minimal.  I was upset at our lot in life, that all of creation is tainted because of sin and that we have to deal with death.  I don't know where you were running to, Dog, nor do I know from where you were coming, but I know that you are now running in a majestic field unlike any you've ever seen before.  I'm sorry that I cut your days off short here, and that I took you away from whatever family you belonged, but most of all I'm sorry that I caused you to suffer during your last moments here on earth.  Know that it was not intentional and that I never wish to go through something like that again.




leslie said...

our downstairs neighbor is finishing up Veterinary school and has been looking especially worn lately. She said they are getting a huge volume of vehicle-hit dogs at the clinic; which is typical this time of year, apparently. Dogs breaking free through the doors and running into streets.

is a tough one. my sympathies

~L (omphaloskepsis)

Carl V. said...

I'm so sorry, Logan. It is awful to be involved in the death of an animal, even when it is the animal's fault. I can understand why your wife was in tears, I think I would have been too. Especially because, for the most part, dogs are such faithful, unconditionally loving pets. Hopefully he was much loved and had a good life.

logankstewart said...

Thanks L & Carl. I've been a bit more loving on my own dogs since Sunday...

Abbie Josephsen said...

I'm sorry Logan :( how depressing....
lovely apology letter though :/

Kristopher A. Denby said...

Thanks for making me tear up. Ugh. So sorry you (and the poor dog) had to go through that.

The Sound and Fury of Kristopher Denby