I was going through some photos and decided to share a story about one of my day trips I took last November. I went out driving in the country that day to clear my head and also to get some new pictures. The thing about exploring is that you never know what you’re going to find. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and sometimes there’s nothing at all.
That particular day was freezing. The temperature had dropped and the wind was whipping like crazy. Even the sun was cold that afternoon, but I’ve found days like that are some of the best for exploring. There aren’t many people out and about when it’s cold so you have the rule of the road. That’s the way I like it. I usually drive in silence or with the radio down very low as I explore so I can concentrate.
It wasn’t long before I discovered a memorial marker on the side of the road, so I pulled over to investigate. There, among dried up weeds and grass was a white cross. A rosary, some faded silk flowers, and a crude wood-burned plaque that said WE MISS YOU JAMES lay against the base. I remembered hearing about the young man who had died in a drunk driving accident back in 2008.
There are many of those markers around where I live. I always wonder, Do the families put up these crosses in the spot where these people died? Or is it well-meaning strangers? It’s hard to imagine that a family would erect a shrine at the very spot the loved one took their last breath. That’s me, though. I paid my respects and moved on.
A few miles down the road I crested a hill and saw a pack of dogs down at the bottom. As I neared, I could see at least six large dogs of varying breeds standing in the middle of the road so I slowed to a stop. Three dogs hopped and squeezed through the barbed wire fence on the left of the road and ran. One took off straight down the road barking. I could see three or four more moving through the tall grass in a pasture before they disappeared.
The last two in the picture below stared me down through my car window. I’m no fool; I wasn’t about to jump out and try to pet them. There are tons of local stories about packs of stray dogs driven mad by hunger and turn to killing for sport. They stay on the fringes of society, hidden away during the day and coming into town at night. In fact, a few years ago, there was a rash of slaughtered chickens and small pets in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.
Finally, someone put up a motion-activated trail cam with night vision enabled. The culprits: a group of wild dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I have two pups that I love like my own children. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that they could never or would never hurt anything. Dogs descended from wolves, and even the most gentle animal still retains those primal instincts. It’s important to always remember that even a good dog can have a bad day.