Save a minute, lose a lifetime
Several weeks ago I received the following note in my email. It was well-written and has a valid and needed message. Although I do not print anything I receive anonymously, I also do not divulge my readers' names without their explicit permission. The letter was signed, but I have not received such permission back from the author. However, I felt the message lost none of its impact for being less than location specific, so I removed the identifiers and run it here.
"I am writing in hopes that you can share this story with all of the readers. I am writing you this letter after the recent holiday when I had to put my eight-month-old pup to sleep after it was hit by a truck. Now, I understand that it was my fault that he was out of the yard. (He got through a hole in the fence). But see, this was a part of my family, and a loss which none of us will ever get over. I know you are probably wondering why I am writing.
I live on one of the more widely traveled streets, and people here drive up this road at sometimes 50 miles per hour and I mean that is not an exaggeration. I have small kids - what if it had been them or someone else's child? The driver didn't even stop to check on or help my little pup or anything. Unfortunately, he had a broken pelvis and it was not able to be fixed. ...He also had a sister that is now lonely and unable to reason where her brother is … I hope that people will slow down and respect the fact that we are a small town and no matter where you are going in this town it is all the same distance and only takes five minutes to get anywhere you are going. Thanks, T.T., Cordes Lakes."
I cannot imagine anyone not stopping after hitting an animal, to try at least to locate the owner. We would all like to seek help and relief for our pet as quickly as possible.
Even if the animal is beyond help, most parents would appreciate a chance to pick it up before their child has to see it; and any animal owner the chance to remove their pet from the roadside.
That aside, speeding is a definite issue here, and the point is well taken that within the community the difference between a safe (and legal) speed of 30 mph and the dangerous illegal speed of 50 mph will make little if any difference in your arrival time -- but could very easily make a life or death difference to a small animal. Or a small child. Or any of us elders not fast enough to outrun you!
There is an old Norse legend entitled "The Rainbow Bridge," which I have run here in the past. It is known to many, but in case anyone has not read this comforting tribute to our furry friends who have left our world, it may be found here: http://heartsnsouls.com/memorials/tomi.htm. There are many other places where it may be found, but this is the only one, to my knowledge, watched over by our own beloved Sassy.
To the driver of the truck: I doubt you have either children or pets of your own, or you could not have acted so recklessly and heartlessly. In the event you should ever be blessed with either, I hope all who pass by your house do so in a safe and responsible manner. Think of all the tragedies that could have been avoided, or at least lessened, "if only." If only I had left a little earlier. If only I had driven a little slower. If only I had paid a little more attention. If only I could do it over again, just once. If only….