I had a late night yesterday and after alighting the final bus journey for that particular bus, I walked home slowly. The quietude was soothing and despite the flickering street lights, I feel no apprehension. I headed for the main road and then I saw them.
There were about 10 of them, all mongrels, congregating together and amongst them, there was one of them lying on the road. Casualty of modernity – possibly a hit and run. I walked towards the pack and peered at the carcass lying on the ground. Indeed, the dog had passed on. It was not an easy sight. Yet, I had do something. I cannot let the carcass lay in the middle of the road, to be further manipulated by the traffic. So, I walked towards the lifeless animal – that was when the pack started to growl.
One by one, they snarled and I could tell it was not just a scare. Two of them were in pouncing position. I retreated my steps and sat by the road. A few cars whizzed by and every time one did, my heart would skip a beat. Then slowly, I chuckled some noise and extended my hands. Slowly, one of the alpha males came over and sniffed. Then he allowed me to pat.
In no time, the pack was all around me, and seemed to express their remorse for the unfortunate accident. They did not wag their tails at any time and constantly looked at their departed friend. I gave a few of them hugs of condolences before I stood up and walked towards the carcass again.
This time, they allowed me.
I took the carcass to the side of the road and returned later with a trash bag. After allowing the other dogs to sniff the dead animal, I knotted the bag up and brought it to the nearest garbage center. At that hour, it was the only thing I could do.
The pack followed me all the way to the dumping ground before finally they came for their last pats and then headed off back into the street which led them to the old Fire Station – probably where they came from.
As I watched them disappear into the street lights, I could not help but wonder how many of us actually have friends that will do the same for us, should one day mishap seize our lives.
How many will stay with us even after we parted and remain faithful to the memory?