As I was sitting here pondering tonight’s topic a few bits of movement caught my eye across the road. The particular spot I’m in didn’t show for quite enough of a view so I waited and watched. Two dogs appeared through the brush, running down the highway. Just like two buddies running away from home, they seemed to have a purpose. Perfect topic for tonight, is mans best friend. I’ve had a handful of animals growing up and I took for granted what they mean to us. Though they can’t speak, the presence of a powerful soul is undeniable. They comfort us when we are sad and patiently wait for us when we are too involved with our lives to pay attention to them.
I’m speaking specifically of dogs tonight, mainly because of the two I just saw running down the highway. What kind of living thing has as much love as a dog? True unconditional love. People can barely do that. Though some of us have a preference of pet species, I’m always hard pressed to find people that at least don’t feel a little happier when a puppy dog comes around. Sometimes I think their purpose is to guide us and watch over us. Watchdogs. Obviously they can’t hold our hands and direct us down the correct path, but the proximity of their influence may be doing more for us than we know. Even the mere hesitation our life takes when we offer a pet on the head could be just enough to adjust to the timing of events in our life.
Before I went into the military, I had to find a new home for my Husky, Sierra. She was about two years old, grey and white with a blue eye and a brown eye. Ever since I was a kid in the second grade I’ve wanted a Siberian Husky. Ms. Rahut brought her new Siberian puppy in to the class, and I fell in love. I found Sierra a home in Portland, OR which was about four hours from where I was living. She got to sit in the front seat for the trip over. Me and her for the hardest four hours of my life. She rested her head on my lap and stared at me the entire way. I’m not exaggerating either. She didn’t budge or whine. We did stop for a potty break, but as soon as we were back in the car, she was back to the same position. It was killing me. She seemed to be going to a decent home, and after a sniffly good-bye, I left her and I was almost ready to get shipped off.
Dogs are just as important if not more important than some of our human friends. I think of Arwen the Great Dane, Bud the Samoyed, Tiny the Rott mix, Killer the other mutt, Mango the Pom, Betty the Collie mix, Jimi the Shepard-turned-drug-dog, even Pearl and Thor, the annoying yapper mouths that never let me sleep. More importantly tonight I’m thinking of the two dogs I just saw on the highway.
This blog entry has been quite hard to write. Just as I was thinking to myself all the things that those dogs are to someone, and how they seemed to know they had a purpose, one ran across the street and got hit by a truck going at least sixty miles an hour. I’ll call him Fido. (the John Doe of unknown dogs) I’m sitting a few hundred feet away and could hear the horrifying sound as its life was taken in a flash. The other dog, seeming to be a pitbull-ish breed wasn’t hit, but there was no doubt in my mind how much it was hurting at that moment. It stopped in the middle trying to figure out what to do. All it could do was howl and cry as it wandered off into the brush, aimlessly. The survivor started sprinting back down the highway in the direction the truck was going. Of course not surprisingly, the truck didn’t stop so the dog was chasing something that was long gone. As it ran, it would stop and look back then turn and run a little faster down the road, crying the entire time. This is what I hate the most about death. It’s not the physical pain, or question of what happens after death. Seeing someone else in pain because of the death of a loved one is quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. Time and time again. This surviving dog just had its entire existence turned around, even if for a few minutes. Everything it was living for in that moment is gone, and never coming back.
Whether it’s a human life or that of an animal, witnessing death in the raw never fails to bring things back into perspective. Life does in fact, go on. Our own life and death may or may not be part of a master plan, but we have to embrace and appreciate what we have while we are here. As well, we can’t forget to be kind to every living thing and allow it to be what they are supposed to be. Except for spiders. Spiders should be squashed.