What kind of monster, I asked myself, would hit a dog with a car and keep going?
We weren’t first on the scene at a somewhat remote back road in a large public park. A young man held up one hand, palm out, telling us to stop the car. He crouched ten feet from the injured pit bull, and it tentatively approached him. His passenger door was open, the edge of a towel or blanket dangling. He was going to do right by this animal, if he could get him in the car.
The flesh was missing on silver-dollar sized parts of the dog’s head, and one ear was torn. It limped, but it steadily approached, still trusting humans.
When there was room, we circled wide to let the good Samaritan get down to business.
But for days now, I’ve wondered. What was this animal doing more than a mile from the nearest house? Why didn’t it have a collar and tags? Why didn't I see anyone looking for him during the 90 minutes I was in the park? Did the truck we passed going the other way, driven by a white-bearded man in day-glo vest telling the world he worked where there were cars, hit him? Or was it the car a hundred yards past the scene, its young driver stopped at the side, hunched over a phone? What kind of monster would do that?
What kind of monster was I, not stopping to help?