January 2, 2015
To the owner of the beautiful black Labrador on Central Street,
Today, on the last quarter mile of my drive home from work, I had to stop very close to your house because your beautiful dog had been hit by a car and was lying in the middle of the street. You were hovering over him, talking to the distraught woman who had hit him. As you scooped him up and carried him to the driveway, my heart hurt so much and I feared for that beautiful animal?s injuries.
The woman who hit him walked up to my parked car, perhaps looking for some comfort, or to explain to me and herself what had just happened.
I asked her if she hit the dog and she said yes. She said that you, Mr. Owner, told her it wasn?t her fault. I told her that was true. I told her that I have almost hit your dog several times because he runs from your house into the street, at lightning speed, at all times of the day and evening. Every time I drive near your house I have full-on anxiety, worried about who might run in front of my car.
I have watched many other drivers come close to hitting your dog, also. And, I have watched other drivers come close to hitting your children, who also play in the street with no regard for traffic, or awareness of cars coming down the road.
One January night, when I was younger, one of my brothers and some neighbors were playing basketball in the driveway. Paul ran out in the street to grab a runaway ball. A man coming down the street, driving less than 25 miles an hour, simply did not have time to stop. My brother died in my Father?s arms, in the back of a police car, on the way to the hospital. In that moment, my family?s heart was broken in places that have never healed.
Streets are not playgrounds. They are not fenced yards or dog parks. Two-foot yellow signs you set in the street that say ?Watch-Children Playing? will not protect your children, or you, from tragedy.
And, I am so very sad your dog was hit and injured today. I hope he will be ok.
A Nearby Neighbor