Our new arrival had only been here a month when she was run over.
The lorry had come at lunchtime as usual, and I was making my way back through the front door with my box of frozen veg, when the screaming started. The result of a romantic encounter at a shepherds’ meet, Câline seemed to be half Border collie and half something a lot bigger. She was also a mixture of affection and indefatigable energy that led her to places where she shouldn’t be. I suspected immediately what had happened.
I never knew that dogs could scream, but her howling was more child than canine. Almost simultaneously, I was hit by the revelation that you can actually FEEL the blood drain from your face. I had always thought that it was just an expression, but I felt it stream downwards as a series of drops, before it melded together in the pit of my stomach like wax in a hot lava lamp.
Câline was rolling on the ground and nipping at anyone who came close. My son had run outside at the sound and my husband had materialised, managing to catch hold of her and calm her down. He stood her up and checked her over thoroughly, nothing seemed broken, but she had difficulty walking and her ears hung low.
The lorry driver showed very little remorse and said that she must have been behind the wheel when he started reversing back. I just willed him to shut up and go away.
We cleaned her wounds and my husband decided to take her to the vet’s in the afternoon. While she was settling into her basket, I noticed that my son had disappeared. I went inside to check; worried that he might have been traumatised by the experience. Instead of finding him in his bedroom though, he was sat at the kitchen table, finishing his dinner. Obviously nothing as trivial as the dog being run over was going to come between him and his pork chop.
That afternoon, we laid the puppy on a floor cloth in the car and my husband took her to the vet. I was terrified that he would come back without her and felt responsible for the fact that she had been run over.
Two hours later though they were both home. Câline had a fractured pelvis, but it would mend by itself. According to the vet all she needed was a few weeks rest, to be as good as new. My husband’s smile had miraculously returned and so had his sense of humour. He took the floor cloth out of the car and threw it at me. I caught it instinctively, just as it hit my t-shirt with a wet thwack. “You might want to wash it” he said.