, , , , , , , , ,


In Greek, Zoe means “life”.  And the name fits. Zoe, a teenaged German shepherd did her name justice.  She moved into our neighbors’ house as a puppy; she was a gregarious bundle with big paws and intelligent brown eyes, that was still small enough for her owner to pick up and carry around and discipline and teach.  She yapped and played on the other side of our fence, causing our three (elderly) Shih Tzus to run up to the fence, at first curious and then barking – causing Charlie to comment that they want to “mother” her….

Within a few weeks, and then months, Zoe grew into a large, beautiful, very strong dog. Her voice deepened, and when she barked, she commanded respect and attention (- this of course, did in no way deter our three from trying to “communicate” with her across the fence).  She still wanted to play, and jump and run, but now she was very large and very strong – so her owner took her to “school” (dog training).

Our neighbors are nice people – we do not know them well, but what we do know, we like.  They appear to care about people, and they take care of their surroundings (their garden, their animals, anything we happen to see).  The few times I have had the opportunity to interact with them, those interactions have been positive: we seem to have some of the same principles and life philosophies.

Last Saturday morning, that adventurous teenager opened the gate that contained her and went for a walk around the neighborhood. About a block around the corner, she was hit mowed down by an oncoming car whose driver did not even slow down, but left her laying in the street and drove on.  Someone else found her, found her owner and Zoe was rushed to the veterinarian’s office, were she ultimately died – not even having been a year old….

One can debate the fact that Zoe had learned how to open the gate at great length, but that is not what I want to focus on.  What I do want to “talk” about is the fact that Zoe was hit with such force, that the driver must have been driving down the street at a speed much in excess of the speed limit in our neighborhood.  I also think that it takes a “special” kind of human being to leave a dog dying in the street.  Zoe very obviously belonged to someone, she was wearing a collar and was very well taken care of.  Such lack of compassion and empathy are stunning for me! I believe strongly in personal responsibility and I believe strongly that all of us ought to do the right thing when given the opportunity, even when no one is looking (maybe especially when no one is looking).  I have no words to describe what I think of that driver – no wait, I do; but this post would be taken down within seconds if I put those words in this post.

Our neighbors are grieving, and we are grieving with them.  Having gone through the loss of a pet, there is not much we can say or do to help, but I do hope they know we feel for them and with them.

The street Zoe was hit on is the same street that I and others in this neighborhood go for morning/afternoon walks.  Does that mean that the next time that driver is careening down the street, the same fate might befall one of us?