Look for the helpers

Today I was driving to pick up lunch from a food truck in our neighborhood, and came upon the aftermath of an accident. Not an annoying, “Please just move your to the side of the road while you exchange insurance info and what were you thinking not signaling for that turn” kind of accident. There was a truck stopped in the middle of the road, and in front of it two men squatting near a small white bundle. “No no no no no no” said my brain as it slowly processed the fact that the white bundle was dog. I parked and got out to see if they needed any help. The dog was awake looking around, breathing, just laying very quietly. I couldn’t tell who had hit her, if they were even still around, and it didn’t seem like anyone nearby was her owner. They were trying to figure out how to get her in their truck, and I suggested that they should use a blanket or towel as a stretcher. Someone ran to get a blanket from their trunk, and someone else standing near by gave them directions to the nearest emergency vet. They put the dog in their truck and drove away, and everyone else dispersed, to their cars they’d parked haphazardly on the side of the road or to the nearby houses. Seattle and Ballard residents may be mostly annoying, passive-aggressive, and entitled, but they do love their dogs, and other people’s dogs for that matter. And for that most of their other sins are forgivable. To paraphrase my beloved Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things….my mother would say, ‘Look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.'”

I didn’t end up getting lunch from the food truck…it was supposed to be the cajun truck and it turned out to be the grilled cheese truck instead. So I held it together long enough to get back in my car then drove home, crying the whole way. But I am sure that little dog turned out to be okay, and got reunited with her owners. Because any other outcome is not acceptable, and is unthinkable.

So please drive carefully, know where your dogs are, and keep them leashed outside all the time.

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