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Monday, April 18, 2011


No, this is not about those kinds of brownies. It is about Brownie, a pit bull I met this morning on my run. I will warn you ahead of time, this is not a happy story and if you are faint of heart don't continue reading. I wouldn't if I were you but I have to get it out.

This morning's run started like any other. Drake (my dog) and I headed out about 8 am for an easy 45 minutes. It was raining but was so fresh out that I really didn't mind it. I won't say the same for Drake. He tends to think he is drowning and the more it rains, the lower he gets to the ground as if he can somehow avoid getting wet that way.

We started our run as usual, on the College of Idaho campus (across the street) and ran a couple of loops before we ran into Pat on his run. He joined us for a few minutes, mainly to hold Drake while I used the restroom...morning movement, ya'know. For some reason I woke up wanting to go to Brothers Park - I can let Drake off the leash there and he gets more energy out - so we headed that way, via Indiana Avenue.

What happened next was in slow motion, I swear. It is blurry and a bit faded, by choice I guess. A few minutes before arriving at the park I saw a pit bull up ahead, loose. His owner was nearby and I thought to yell ahead and warn her that we were coming up - in case her dog was aggressive - but rather than make a hassle out of it, Drake and I crossed the road. But, as it was the dog saw us and in a moment lifted her head and bolted across traffic toward us. A passing minivan pummeled her. There was no avoiding it.

It was horrid. In a swift motion the owner drug her out of the middle of the road and onto the grass. She was not in good shape. Drake and I ran across the road and I tied him to a tree while I knelt beside the dog to see if I could help. Her name was Brownie. "I usually have her on a leash when there is lots of traffic, just not today. She must have seen your dog." Brownie was breathing rapidly and just lying there in shock. She was pretty messed up. Her head was pretty banged up, all the hair scraped off in one area. Her legs were twisted at odd angles and blood oozed out of her mouth. I took off my vest and wiped the blood from her mouth as best I could, then covered her with it - and held her head in my hands.

The driver was a teenage girl. She was so upset. I felt terrible for her. She left when she saw there was nothing to do. Brownie used what strength she had left to push herself onto her side. After about 15 minutes the owner's brother showed up and they lifted her into the back of the truck and drove away. I realized Drake and I were shaking uncontrollably from the wet and cold so we started running. My chest hurt, my throat ached. As we ran, it hit me that a variety of choices made by completely unrelated people collided in just one single moment. If one of us had made just one single different choice, this would have never happened. But we didn't and it did. We got home and I finally let it out. I wrapped my arms around Drake and cried on the porch for a long time.

Rest in peace, Brownie. I am sorry for my choice in the matter.


  1. Shannon and I had a similar experience in Caldwell my freshman year. We were on the canals near Lake Lowell. A dog came running at us as we were crossing a road. Shannon started yelling at it telling it to go away. The dog turned in the middle of the road to go home, but at the exact wrong moment. A car hit the dog, the loudest, ugliest noise I've ever heard, and Shannon became upset immediately. To make it worse the owner yelled at us like it was our fault. So either we yell at the dog and not get bit or harassed, or yell at it and it gets hit by a car. Horrible. The dog bounced back though but took off into the fields and I'm not sure if the owner found it... :(

  2. Girlfriend, I'm so sorry. That is awful, but you are not to blame. You did the safe thing. And a bigger heart and dog lover than you I do not know. Take it easy!

  3. Gosh Genny. I never heard that story. Very sad that the owner yelled at you two. Damn owners fault for not having dog restrained and it makes me sad for the dog. I know it's not my fault but it still makes me super bummed thinking that if just one of us had made a different decision or been a little ahead or behind it would have turned out differently. Our lives are so connected, even when we can't see how till that moment.