A little over a month ago my dog died. It was after a night shift and I let him out to potty. Our yard isn’t fenced, but he knew where it ended so as long as you were keeping half an eye on him this was fine. I took the trash to the curb. He ran past me. It wasn’t too unusual for him to challenge the boundaries a little bit, but usually that meant running to the ditch. This time he ran past the ditch, past the breakdown lane, and onto the highway. I called him desperately. He turned right and was trotting down the street. I called him. He looked at me. He got hit by a truck. The truck was s…
so the lady driving was getting off shift as a dispatcher at the sheriff’s office. She felt horrible. She used to work in animal control. She refused to leave until the dog was buried. I really wanted her to leave, but she had a sense of duty that I respect. She was a decent hand with a shovel, though I would’ve buried him deeper if she hadn’t been there. When the hole was mostly dug I had to go in and wake up everybody so we could have a funeral. OK so funeral seems to overstate the 4 of us and a stranger burying a dog, but the point was I had to get it done to get this sweet sad guilty honorable lady to get off my lawn and leave me alone, and in our household a buried animal is something observed by all. So my lovely wife had about the worst wake-up call she could ask for. The boy came out and cried and said he wanted another Dread. The girl sat in a lap and wondered why we got her out of bed and why everyone was upset.
Then I did something very hard. I gave this woman a hug and told her it wasn’t her fault. There was nothing she could’ve done.
What made it possible to tell her this is: a) she was doing everything she could b) it wasn’t her fault.