This evening has been the roughest one I have has to go through in 3 years. I was driving back on George Washington Parkway from Mount Vernon area when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. In a small clearing a few yards from the parkway was a large white dog laying down. Immediately I pulled over on the grass and hustled to the dog. His name was Patch. Only a few minutes before me a car hit him. He was breathing heavy and slow and within a few minutes of me getting to his side, he passed away. I have no idea who hit him nor did we see any evidence of anyone stopping to help or anything.

He was in a clearing in between the parkway and a side road leading to several homes. Another car pulled up as well as a gentlemen walking his two dogs. The gentleman who pulled up told me that it was his neighbors and that he just saw the dog run across his yard 15 minutes before and he had stepped out to search for Patch. I offered to load patch up into the back of my truck and drive him to his owners home.

I followed the neighbor down side roads alittle over a quarter mile to reach this secluded home on the bank of the Potomac river. As we drove several people had stepped out to the road and asked what was going on, the neighbor I was following told them. Patch’s owner met us outside along with his wife. They were in their 90’s and very upset about what had happened but where grateful I brought him home. I had asked where I should set Patch and they said to set him in the backyard and he would dig a grave later. I knew there was no way I was going to let this man dig a grave alone while dealing with his upset wife so I said I would help dig the grave tonight. The neighbor, who is in his early 60’s, also helped me dig a 3 foot hole next to this oak tree with a beautiful view of the river. We spent about an hour digging the hole and setting everything aside for a clearing. More people were going to come and bury him in a few hours as the sun started to set.

The owners wife thanked me for everything and told me that Patch was only 6 years old and would sometimes dig his way out of the back yard and today he had done it again. Normally he would stay close or run to a neighbors house to play with their dog. However today was different, the day before during a walk they found a dead deer and Patch ran back to the same area to inspect the deer. I feel horrible that it took only a few minutes for them to loose a loved one and a friend. As I was leaving many people were walking down to the home to see the owner and his wife. The neighborhood is a very close with each other and most have been in those homes for over 30 years. I was glad to see that they had moral support and prayers during this trying time but that was my cue to leave and let them all morn.

I don’t know what it is exactly but the bond between a man and his dog is special and to see that taken away is heartbreaking. I personally don’t know how I will be after my dog does but I know times will be tough. If you have a dog I suggest you take a moment and play with him or her and appreciate the amazing times you have with them.


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