Today was a beautiful day.
It began early with my husband, Andrew, insisting (over his doctor’s admonition) on running in a half marathon a mere two days after oral surgery that involved a bone graft. He completed it in 1:46:05 at a pace of 8:05 per mile, a personal best for him in the half marathon, coming in 82nd (out of 1,200 participants) overall and, at age 54, 7th in the over 45 age group. He is my fitness hero. ❤
After a shower, we decided to take two of the dogs (Sammy and Amiass) on a walk on the nature trail and ended up putting in another 4.9 miles.
The Sloughis saw all manner of enticing wildlife, including a rabbit so large that it must have been Bigwig from Watership Down, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and all of them ripe for the chasing. Amiass is extremely well behaved and can be trusted to give chase and return, so she enjoyed her afternoon.
We saw a brilliantly colored orange oriole, some enormous fish trying to swim upstream to spawn, and a beaver swimming! We also met some nice chaps searching for morels.
All in all, a perfect day.
I do feel the need to talk about something sad that happened on Friday morning. I was on my way out quite early. I noticed something in the middle of the road just in front of our barn and when I got close, I realized it was a very badly damaged opossum that someone had hit with their auto and left her to suffer. I stopped and got out of the car, weighing the options and trying to consider if there was any way she could survive. Just then, a van came down the road and attempted to straddle her in between his tires, which he did, but something on the underside of the van hit her in the back of the head, spinning her around. More blood came in a rapid trickle from her nose and mouth and still she stood there, unable to move. On top of this, she was pregnant, and perhaps from the trauma, her babies started to come. It was horrible. We made the decision to end her suffering.
I apologize in advance, but I am going to post a photo of the opossum below, not to be shocking, but only to demonstrate that it was clear she could not survive. I have often noticed that we see a dead squirrel or raccoon or skunk on the road and we are so habituated to it that we drive by, completely unaffected. If it were a human on the road, it would be shocking and traumatic, but for some reason, it is not. The difference between the value of a human life and the perceived diminished value of an animal life is material in a way that matters only to us humans. Animals are trying to survive in this world just like we are. If you hit an animal in your car, please do not let it suffer. Only hubris allows some people to believe that animals do not experience fear, pain and suffering in a way that is substantially similar to the way we do.