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Dogs are great protectors. 

It was December night, Christmas was only two weeks away. The sky was overcast, but the roads were dry. All was quiet in our small town as I drove to my grandmas house. I heard the sirens first. Ambulances with their interiors lit like television screens in a dark room flew by, escorted by police cars on the way to the hospital. When I arrived to my grandmas house she was on the porch struggling to put on a coat. I was 17 then and it would take a long time before sirens lost their power to reduce me to tears. 23 years have passed, but only recently have I realize how deeply affected I was by the events caused by a drunk driver so long ago. My sister who was 12 for sitting in the front seat. When the accident occurred my youngest brother was eight.

He was sitting in the backseat of our families large city a.m. The force of the crash sent him flying headlong into the back of the front seat leaving him with a swollen eye. He was admitted to the hospital for observation. He didn’t talk much when I visited him he just sat in the bed. My sister had severely fractured her school that required immediate surgery. The resulting facial scar became our families probably a reminder of how close you came to diamond night. My mother was admitted to the intensive care unit and had to be stitched up. Dad tried to prepare me before we went into go see her but tell me she looked and sounded worse than she was.

When I was temporarily held in place by bandage wrapped around her head. My dad, brothers, my sister and I spend Christmas at the hospital visiting my mother. Sometime she was so out of it for medication she barely recognized us. We celebrated 25 others birthdays one only days after Christmas and the other early in January there too. I am never watching the police escort the drunk driver out of the hospital the night of the accident. He looked about 40 years old, but I could only guess. The man was jailed over the weekend and lost his license for 30 days. I don’t know if that was his first violation but I know it wasn’t the last. Many local people who know the driver our surprise when they hear about the accident and are quick to defend him.

They tell me he Was a war hero. In the afternoon, just days before Christmas. I had started down the back staircase of the building on my way to visit my son, when I recognized my neighbors new pick up truck as it poured down the street. The driver is the entrance to our shared parking lot he reversed crookedly and slammed his transmission. He looked at me drunk and said did I scare you.

He did scare me and he scared my dog too. My dog started barking as loud as she could and it scared the drunk. He ran away scared like a little girl. My dogs are super friendly, but they can also sense when something is not right. That is why they are great protectors.


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