We are all interconnected. At certain times in specific places, we find ourselves thrust into a perfect stranger’s life for a purpose, for a greater good. With our minds, hearts, and spirits open we can answer those callings and better serve each other when it is needed most.
On a random Thursday evening as I drove home from work, I found myself strategically placed in one of those very situations. If it hadn’t been for my dog Bella in the back seat who alerted me, I could have very well ignored and missed such an important calling.
I was driving on the same busy route I did every day, when Bella started to whimper. I can’t even remember why I had her with me that day, as my husband usually brings her home because she goes to work with him. She began to growl and whimper in a way I had never heard before, prompting me to turn to see what was going on. That is when I saw a dog that was not moving on the side of the road, surrounded by a crowd of people. My initial instinct was to keep driving because I did not want to hold up traffic. My mind told me someone in that group would do something, but as quickly as that thought entered my mind another one screamed, “TURN AROUND!”
I pulled up to the crowd and asked what had happened. Someone told me that the dog had been hit by a car, and that the driver took off. As I was speaking to a woman in the crowd, a family from directly across the street had come to the scene and picked up the dog. They walked back to their house so I followed, and pulled into their driveway. Everyone was scattered and unsure of what to do, so I called the cops. A police officer came shortly, and I asked him what to do. The officer very coldly replied that if the owner is not present, he could not move the animal. My anger spilled over, and I told the young boy who was holding the animal in his arms on the grass to get in my car with the dog. We were going to the local vet.
I will never forget the look in the dog’s eyes. He was frightened and unsure, and he was struggling to breathe. The young boy sitting next to me was so brave. He held the dog and petted him. He kept saying, “maybe its just a broken leg,” but I knew better. We rushed to the first animal hospital I saw, and begged for help. The young man at the front desk was only a vet tech and he couldn’t do anything. He told us to go to the animal hospital less than a mile away. We scrambled back into my car and I drove as fast as I could. I just wanted to get there. It felt like it took forever. Thoughts tumbled through my mind of how someone could hit a sweet, loving animal and drive away. I was angry as adrenaline surged through my veins. Maybe he would be OK? If only I could get there.
Looking back on my experience, I was taken aback at how quiet Bella was in the backseat. It was like she knew what was happening.
We finally got to the second animal hospital and the woman at the front desk happened to be on the phone with the dog’s owners. She lifted the dog’s lips and saw pale gums, which I knew was bad. She told the woman on the line to come immediately. His name was Looch. When I realized how grave Looch’s injuries were, as he was bleeding from both ends I knew it wasn’t good. The vet came from the back with a concerned look on his face and whisked Looch away. I gave the woman at the front desk my phone number and asked her to call me with an update. I brought the boy home and thanked him. He kept it together. As I was pulled out of his driveway and the adrenaline subsided, my world came crashing down. I burst into tears. I wanted to help so badly and wished I could have done more.
15 minutes later, I called the animal shelter. The woman at the front desk told me Looch had passed away. I lost it. It was just so unfair. I told the woman that I wanted the family to call me. I wanted to be there for them. I wanted to tell them that I tried, that I cared, and that I was sorry.
I picked up my son up from daycare and tried to put on a happy face, which I am terrible at. I pushed through to his bedtime, and then grabbed a bottle of wine and went on my back porch. I sat on my back porch that night for a long time drinking wine trying to erase the image I had of Looch’s eyes. I wished that I had comforted him more in his last moments, but I was just so focused on getting him to help.
The owner called me that night and we cried together for a really long time. She told me that her electric fence had gone down, and that both of her dogs got loose. Her other dog was OK, but Looch, the medium sized black and white love who was only 3 years old, was the one who passed. She told me they didn’t get to the vet in time to be with him. I told her I wished I could have gotten him there sooner. She reassured me that it wouldn’t have mattered and that his injuries were overwhelming. I told her I was angry at the person who hit him and drove away, and I told her of the brave boy who held Looch so lovingly in his arms. She cried and said it meant everything to her knowing he did not die alone on the side of the street and that he was in someone’s arms who loved him. Looch loved to cuddle. She told me I was her angel. I explained that Looch was surrounded by people who loved him and cared, but it just wasn’t enough. Since that day, I have been in touch with her many times. She says I have been a tremendous source of love, light, and comfort for her and her family.
I truly believe I was meant to drive by that day at that time. There is a greater meaning in everything if we can take a moment to look around and see it. We are all interconnected to one another. I was put into her life not to save her dog, but to comfort her. It was an honor. I listened to the call and did what the universe wanted me to do. It was hard. It is still is hard. But I was awake, my eyes were open, and my heart was filled with nothing but love. I have since let go of my anger, realizing that on that day there was so much more good in those moments than bad. The person who hit Looch was a teen boy driving by who was friends with the boy who held Looch in my car. He drove away because he couldn’t bear the weight and gravity of what happened. It was an accident and he was devastated.