There was a split second before it happened when I tried to shift my gaze away from death, but my eyes were transfixed on the sedan speeding down the street towards Meisje, Amy’s dog. Meisje had just bolted across Rutledge to say hello to a neighbor that just came outside on the other side of the street and in a matter of seconds all I heard was myself screaming “ohmygod!,” Amy yelling “Meisje, COME!” and then suddenly a loud thud that dropped a weight on my chest. A moment later, Meisje let out a haunting howl, rooted deep enough in terror that I was sure death had taken over her body and was now voicing itself. In the street, Amy and a neighbor were petting a crumpled Meisje, who was laying where she was hit. Neighbors heard it and came outside with phone books and phone numbers magnets for the emergency vet. The driver got out of her car; she was a young woman whose face had drained of all color and whose hands were visibly shaking. We all gravitated towards the dog with hesitation, wondering what the next step in this situation was.
Then Meisje hopped up and limped over to the neighbor she had originally intended to greet. She tucked her nose in the hem of the woman’s long skirt, as though she were embarassed to have caused such a scene. Two hours later, the Emergency Vet confirmed what seemed too good to true: Meisje only had a bruised hip. For that, I am extremely grateful.