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Updated on October 2, 2015

Burning Grief

This is probably the most difficult article I ever wrote, but I feel I owe it to a dog who's name I didn't even get; and a owner that tried so hard and now only has one thing left: Grief!

On a Saturday morning at roughly 4:30am I was on the way to pick up a friend and take a yet even longer trip. A this time of the morning I am often by myself on miles of miles of highway.

I was tired; half awake... Missed the ramp to the highway and had to turn around. I still ask myself what would have happened if I would have not gotten on the wrong road for no more than a few minutes! It leaves a burning question: "What if...?!"

I made it out of town and found myself as usual as only one of a few cars on the highway, when I noticed the burning car on the side of the road. One car ahead of me had stopped and, as I found out later, called 911.

Jumping out of the car and dialing was one motion. I almost sunk my non-off-roading qualified car in the muddy center strip.

The driver was out and walking restlessly around the car. In between talking to the 911 operator I kept yelling at him to stay away from the car!


When you look at things afterwards you have a thousand thoughts come to your mind!

What if I would have had that damn fire extinguisher that had died years ago and was never replaced!?

What if I would have been there sooner!?

What if I would have actually put something away after using it and had been able to pull that old crowbar out of the trunk where it was suppose to be!?

What if!?

I honestly thought it was too late! I was looking at a car that was over half of it on fire! I thought it was too late!

When he told me that his dog was in there, I think I stopped breathing! But that would not be the worst of it!

The sound of an animal in such despair will become glued to your memory! He had called his dog and we heard the horrible howls! All I could think of: TOO LATE!

When the fire department arrived the car had practically melted in front of us. I brought him to the ambulance and watched them extinguish the fire in seconds.

What if they had been faster!?

What if another car had been there sooner and called them?!

What if the guy had been able to take his own cell phone when he was jumping out of the car to safe his life!?

What if!?

I talked to the fire fighters and they gave me no hope!

I stumbled away and some bystander said: "Thanks for what you did back there!" No! Don't you dare say that! I didn't do enough! Or so it feels!

What if I could have done something to safe this dog!?

I will never know!

I tried to find a single note about this tragedy on the local news that day and the next! Hoping that maybe the dog had escaped!

Not a word!

I doubt anybody knows that a life was lost that fateful morning!

This is in memory of a beloved dog who's name I don't even know; and a owner who almost got himself hurt trying to safe him!

May you rest in peace, baby! I still cry about you and driving down that road will never feel the same!

What if!?


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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It is a sad story but we can only do what is possible.

    • picklesandrufus profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Can't imagine the an animal lover, my heart is deeply saddened. May you rest in peace little buddy and I hope both you and the owner feel less sadness as time goes on. So very sorry.

    • landscapeartist profile image

      Roberta McIlroy 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      oh god! i dont know what to say about that. definitely dont blame yourself. you couldnt have known. we are here for you. give yourself a big hug and pray for the owner.

    • Dewette profile image


      7 years ago from NV

      Aw Cat, I`m so sorry. I know all the what ifs are streaming through your mind, in part because you`re such an animal lover. Please don`t blame yourself for not being able to do more. Go forward...put the crowbar back, fix the extinguisher and pray for the owner. Hugs to you


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