05 October 2007

the saddest moment of my work life

Tonight at about 9:00 pm while on a drive with my students, I had the most horrific observation. We saw another car hit a golden retriever. And we heard the most shrilling howl. We parked the car and checked out the scene. We saw the owner run to the dog, his voice shaky, whimpering. The dog's eyes rolled and she let out a simple and hopeless moan, while the owner, a forty year old man, cried over his dog's body. Before I knew any better, I asked if I should call an emergency vet. He said it was too late. His other dog was yelping. I held his other dog while he gently rubbed his golden retriever, Callie. The man that hit the other man's dog came back and apologized profusely. "The dog...he came out of no where! I couldn't stop! I am so sorry. So sorry!" The other man couldn't look up from his dog. He kept stroking her and telling her it would be ok. After he knew she was dead. He kept talking to her.

My students and I hovered over this beautiful golden retriever while the grieving man went to take his other dog home. All of my students were crying. I think all of us were sad to witness such an event. But I cried because of the pain the owner suffered.

The man came back, sniffling. He thanked us and picked up the limp carcass. While he was walking away, I asked him how old Callie was.

"12" He said.

12 long years. And then one night you lose your best friend. What do you tell your wife? How do you tell your children?

I still can hear that shrill howl in my mind. I can't get it out. It haunts me. And his pain haunts me still.

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