Every day you see them. Lost pets, strays, wild animals… all dead along the road. You don’t know what drove them there, what pain they experienced before their death. You can only feel sad that they had to meet what had to be such a terrifying end.
When I was younger, I remember driving up to the outlet mall one day. It was just as any normal day in Florida, sun shining, bad traffic. When I notice the traffic backed up a bit on the other side of the multi lane highway. People were out of their car, pacing in front of it. I looked over just as a small dog, maybe Benji size, pulls himself free from under the front wheel. His back was broken and he’s half paralyzed, but he was so petrified, his front legs spun him in a hopeless circle as he cried and screamed. I could hear him with my windows down and music on.
I was in tears within seconds. I couldn’t imagine what the poor thing was going through – if he would make it. The people who hit him looked devastated and I knew they would take him somewhere to get help, but there was nothing I could do.
Every now and then, the image of his helpless body being drug across the pavement haunts me. It turns my stomach and my heart aches as I wonder what happened to him. I’d like to imagine that while he maybe never regained the use of his hind legs, that he became one of those stories with the sweet lovable dog in the doggy wheelchair. That he was a stray and the family that hit him adopted him and they’ve became best friends. That he finally passed peacefully in his sleep from old age.