Tag Archives: highway safety corridors

Old Dog Going Home

[I wrote this back in October as I drove to work.  Thought I would bring it forward for you.]

I saw a dog as I drove on the highway to work this morning in Abilene, Texas.

The dog was a white, shepherd-like dog with long hair.  He appeared old as his trot was barely a trot, more of a fast, determined walk.  He was intent on staying on the left side of the highway, just a couple of yards out of the lane, a few feet from the grass median.  I saw him about fifty yards before I came up along side him.  He did not flinch when I passed him by. The traffic was fast at 7:30 a.m. and neither I nor anyone else could have avoided him had he decided to veer into the traffic.

But what impacted me viscerally was this old dog’s self-possession and determination to travel south on that road, at that time, to get home.  It seemed that his intent to go home was so strong that neither dawn’s light nor the traffic would stop him.

Tomorrow, I don’t want to go down that highway and see him dead on the side of the road.  I have to take that road; there’s no other highway to work.  That old dog better not have gone the way of so many old souls.  I may look for another route or go off on the access road.

I truthfully don’t know if the old dog was going home.  He was old and may have been addled to the point of madness to walk along the highway.  But, I would like to think he was headed home after escaping heartless people.

Seeing him, determined to go home, struck me viscerally and I frankly moaned at his fate, his momentum, his destiny.  Whatever spirit-that-moves-in-all-things should spare that old dog an accident today and carry him to his destination safely with biscuits and bacon and companions-of-old being his due at the end of the road.

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