As Jan said a little bit ago as she sat on the cold macadam next to the disabled dog, "THIS is a short story!". Alas, I am not O. Henry. I can only try to give the essence of what could be a great tale.
We were about a mile from home this evening, on our way back from dinner when Jan noticed what she thought might be an injured animal 'rolling' on the side of the road next to a snow bank. I have to confess, I didn't see it and wan't initially thrilled about backing up to find a sad disaster but I didn't have much of a voice in that decision as it was already in motion as I began to whine.
Sure enough there was a brown dog immobile against the snow bank, back to the road as we pulled into the driveway next to where it lay, got out of the car and saw it was breathing. Jan had a headlamp in the car (yes, she's prepared) so she got that while I ran to the nearby house and knocked on the door. It was the Mike's home. The man who faithfully plows our lane and driveways. The man whose plow and my car came within INCHES of colliding this morning as I slid down the icy hill on the lane on my way to yoga never expecting to see him coming up the hill. The man who (as I did a 180 to avoid hitting him) backed his truck hard into a snow bank to avoid hitting me and broke off his tailpipe and pieces of his sand spreader. The man who was not happy because I wasn't more cautious on an icy morning but who later stopped his now functioning truck to comment on my 'sweet girl', my aged Ella who was beside me as we made our way back home after returning by foot to see how he was and to apologize.
Mike and his wife answered the door with their golden retriever, Abby, to find this stranger asking if they had a chocolate lab or knew of anyone who did. They didn't. But, Mike got on his hat and coat and drove his truck around the bend to where Jan and the dog were to shine his headlights on the scene and was the first to brave touching the dog and comforted him in a most loving manner. Jan had just called the local police who said they would send someone and Mike thought to grab an old coat and covered our injured new friend, who had a collar but no tags, which prompted Jan to remember that there was a blanket in her car which she got to add to his warmth.
We three stood in the cold petting and talking to the lab while, intermittently, Mike's wife would holler updates from the house of which of their neighbors she had called, none of whom ended up knowing anything about this animal. Before the police officer arrived, Jan mentioned the name of our lane and Mike repeated that with the tone of one of the Three Stooges doing the "slowly I turn" skit and I responded with "Yes, it was ME, it was ME, and I'm sorry". He was great about it and only mumbled something about "let me tell you the difference between front wheel and four wheel drive" but that was quickly dropped.
The officer arrived and called animal control who had to come from a few towns away so we all waited in the cold alternately comforting the lab who tried to sit up a few times but would quickly lie back down.
Jan knew the police officer because he had been assigned to the high school when she taught there so they chatted about their common interests and we all tried our best to stay as warm as possible while we wondered who could hit a dog and continue on without stopping.
Ann, the animal control officer, was fabulous. She and Mike lifted the dog into the front seat of her truck (she wanted him in the front so she could keep a better watch on him) and took him off to the emergency vet. We gave her our number to give us an update and are hoping to hear some good news in the morning.
Update: Found out from Ann yesterday that our sweet chocolate friend made it to the vets but didn't make it much longer due to internal injuries. Very sad.