Poor dog never had a chance...
|"Dammit Roscoe! You drop that shoe right now! Drop it!"
"Aw Sandy, didja have to go an' hit the poor dog? After all, he did drop your shoe."
"After he chewed a hole in it! And those are my good shoes! I paid forty dollars for them, what am I gonna wear to Church now? I swear to God, Jimmie, you don't get rid of that dog tonight I'm gonna shoot his ass and bury him under the rose bushes!"
"Honey, you wouldn't shoot Roscoe, kindhearted as you are to animals..."
"You don't always have to take me so literal, Jimmie! But that dog is getting on my last nerve, he's gotta go! You've got your hands full between shifts at the feed mill and your handyman jobs. I'm always busy taking Trevor to school and all, then trying to keep up with the housework and working whatever shifts I can get at the KFC just so we can keep up with the mortgage payments. Face it Jimmie, we got no time for a dog! I'm sure if you take him down to the shelter they'll find him a good home."
"I suppose you're right, Sandy, the'll find someone to take him in."
Jimmie picks up the leash and loops the choke chain around the dog's neck, hesitates for a second, then picks up the half empty sack of kibble next to the door. "Come on Roscoe, let's go for a walk."
Roscoe wags his tail, thinking: ''Oh boy! The big man is gonna take me for a walk! I love to walk! If I could walk every day of my life it would be great!''
Outside, Roscoe pees on the rosebushes to mark his territory, wags his tail and looks up at Jimmie, starts pulling on the leash, ready to head out on the upper trail to look for critters.
"Sorry Roscoe, no long walks tonight, we're going for a ride."
Roscoe hears "ride" and starts shaking, thinking he's being taken to the man in the white coat, the terrible place where they poke you with needles and all sorts of other indignities.
Sensing what he is thinking, Jimmie says "No buddy, you're not going to the Vet, we're just gonna find you a new home," as he pulls on the leash and lifts the dog into the passenger seat of the truck.
Jimmie rolls down the windows as he heads out down the highway, but Roscoe just lies there on the front seat, trembling. He never was one to stick his nose out the window while driving, like some dogs. And tonight he senses something bad is happening.
Jimmie fools around with the radio, can't find anything on he likes and he shuts it off. Then he starts talking to the dog, "Sorry things didn't work out like I thought, Roscoe... When we got you as a pup for Trevor on his birthday last October, I thought it was a good idea. When I was a kid his age I had a dog, we went everywhere together! Fishing, exploring old trails in the woods, we were best buddies. But kids these days are different. When Trevor isn't busy with soccer or his homework, he's sending text messages to his friends, or he's over Billie's house playing video games..."
Instead of taking the exit with for animal shelter Jimmie drives on, taking the next exit, the interstate rest area.
"Roscoe, I didn't have the heart to tell Sandy. I talked to Dale down at the shelter, he told me they wouldn't be able to take you in. These are hard times Roscoe, no room for more dogs, least of all a black Lab mix, he said. He told
me if I brought you in they'd have to put you down, and I don't wanna have to do that... So this is your last chance. You're a good dog, Roscoe. Hopefully someone will stop here and take pity and give you a home."
Jimmie pulls into the rest area parking lot next to the pet area. He takes Roscoe out of the truck, sets him down, opens the bag of kibble and pours it onto the grass next to the trash bin.
The dog runs over to the food and starts eating, thinking ''Oh boy, extra dinner tonight!''
Jimmie jumps back into his truck real quick and heads out onto the highway. He gets off the next exit and doubles back, heading home...
After a couple minues, Roscoe looks up from eating and sees that the big man is gone, thinking: ''Where did he go? Gotta find him! Gotta get home!''
Roscoe cuts through the woods and heads to the edge of the interstate. He lifts his head, smelling where the truck has gone. He knows he must cross the asphalt, but senses danger. Somehow he makes it across the westbound lane, a car horn blasting as it narrowly misses hitting his back legs. Now he's in the grassy area in between the lanes. He pokes his head up, knowing he must also cross the eastbound lane to make his way home...
Steve is passing the semi at seventy-five miles an hour. He's a couple hours outside Birmingham, in the middle of nowhere, been driving near ten hours today. He sees the dog poke its head up out of the grass on the left edge of the highway, looking like it wants to cross. He reacts, hits the brakes, thinking "Don't do it, doggie! Stay where you are!"
Roscoe panics, darts onto the highway.
Steve swerves to the right but it's too late...
Roscoe loses consciousness as the front bumper hits his head. The driver's side tie rod snaps his neck as the front tire crushes his ribcage, along with his heart and lungs. The rear tire crushes his pelvis.
"Fuck!" Steve looks in the rearview, sees the dog spit out from behind the Astrovan, spinning like a flattened rag doll. He hears the blast of a truck horn and sees that he almost swerved over too far. Nearly hit the semi, which could have killed him & Annie too.
Annie looks up, she didn't see it all, it was so quick. "What happened?"
Steve is shaking as he says, "I just killed a dog."
"We should stop, see if we can save him?"
"No, the poor dog's dead, he never had a chance..."
Note: This story is partially true, I was the driver of the van. The rest came from "Wonder how that poor dog got to be out here in the middle of nowhere? A young Lab, no collar, too clean to be a stray..."