I just ran over a dog.  A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  She darted out into the road as I was completing the final leg of my drive home from work.   A 12 mile trip which today took me over an hour and a half. 

Take one winter snowstorm, dumping 8 inches of snow, ice, and crud in a major urban area, add sunglare so severe I couldn’t read street signs as I weaved and darted my way home, throw in an accident during rush hour on the major artery that takes me from work to home, and let’s not forget it’s December 23rd, so we also have last-minute shoppers, kids getting out of school early, and the official beginning of that break from work for a holiday I don’t celebrate (but am grateful for the time off nonetheless).

Finally, after detours through frightening neighborhoods, in an effort to avoid the major road which was backed up, I got back on the congested boulevard, and creeped and crawled my way back to my own safe neighborhood.  As I was heading down the final stretch, at last able to open up my sporty little car towards the optimistic 35 mph speed limit, a little dog darted out from the iron gates of one of the villa-esque mansions and hopped across the road.  I slammed on my brakes, grateful it was 33 degrees today, or else the road would have been one giant skating rink, and I heard the grinding of anti-lock brakes.

I didn’t stop in time, or, at all.  I kept driving, lest I be hit by the car behind me, on this road that doesn’t have shoulders.  But as I glanced in my rear-view mirror, I expecting to see what I dreaded, I saw instead a happy little puppy bounding back across the road in front of the next car, which had managed to stop.  Somehow she either flew between my tires, or I was able to slow enough for her to make it across the road. 

When I was a little girl, I saw our dog, Amy, a fox terrier-whippet mix, get run over in a similar fashion.  She timed her crossing to coincide with the undercarriage of the car precisely, and she narrowly missed all four wheels. 

I wanted nothing more than to escape work a little early and run home so we could get back on the road and go visit my parents for the next few days.  Instead, I was treated to a trial of patience, determination, fear, and relief.  The last thing I want right now is to get back in that car and face the still bunged-up roadways with the persistent sunglare and asshole motorists.  Yet that’s precisely where I’m going.  As long as Mr. Apron is doing the driving, as long as that little dog is okay, I think I can bear it.  But a Xanax would help, too.

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