Crippled CEO Blog #166:
I’ve been thinking a lot about Parker, Saxon, and Boyd.
Parker was the golden retriever that we found at the park near my house. He followed us home one day, we couldn’t locate his owners, and he stayed with us for the rest of his life. He was an amazingly intelligent and compassionate dog. As a small child with cerebral palsy, when I’d be on the floor playing with toys, he would routinely push things closer to me that were out of reach or help me to move to where I needed to go.
I didn’t realize how unique this was at the time, but he also came in and out of the house freely as he desired, and often spent his days wandering around the neighborhood. When my friends and I were out playing, he was often with us, without a leash, just following us around and hanging out — watching over us and playing along with us. It was never even a question of whether or not he would come back home. He always did. Every single night.
One big reason why it didn’t seem very weird is because the exact same thing was happening across the street. My best friend, Casey, also had a dog that came and went as he pleased, and wandered about the neighborhood with no restrictions. Saxon was a German shepherd and husky mix, and the lore was that he had a bit of wolf in him. He was a lot scarier than my golden retriever, Parker. Everyone knew that when he was circling you, you just had to sit still inside the circle until he was done.
Parker and Saxon were also best friends. They were often together as they went on adventures in our little neighborhood.
Unfortunately, Saxon had a habit of getting into people’s trash cans. Most people forgave this because the dogs were so well loved, but one neighbor, Boyd, hated Saxon. He hated that he wandered around without a leash. He hated that he got into his trash. He hated that we didn’t take his complaints seriously.
On one particularly sunny day, we were out playing in the street, and Saxon was out among us, as he so often was, loitering on the edge of the road, smart enough to be out of the way of what little traffic came down our street. While Saxon was on the edge of the northbound lane, Boyd’s truck came driving south, in the opposite lane. We all saw him coming, stopped playing, and got out of the way. And it was at that moment that he sped up, swerved to the other side of the street, accelerated again, and deliberately smashed into Casey Buckley‘s dog. It seemed absolutely surreal as his beat up pick up truck rode over Saxon, went back into his lane, and continued down the street until he pulled into his driveway and went inside.
Saxon laid twitching and crying in the street. His white and black fur was matted with blood. Pretty soon, the commotion had everyone’s parents and other neighbors out in the street, circled around him.
Wordlessly, my dad went back into the house for a moment, returning with his pistol in his hand. “He’s dying,” he said. We all understood. He didn’t tell us to look away, but one of the moms pleaded that we do. I didn’t. I watched my dad raise the gun up and shoot Saxon in the head. His body stopped twitching. I was 9 years old.
I don’t know what happened to the body, but I remember Casey, only 10 years old, rinsing the blood of his dog from the street with a garden hose.
Boyd became our enemy after that. On Halloween, we egged and toilet papered his house. One time, we painted the words “DOG KILLER“ onto a sign and put it in his front yard. My mom encouraged us and helped us secure the supplies. He eventually moved away.
When I look back at it now, I am struck by the depth of understanding we showed at such a young age. Maybe we don’t fully appreciate what young people are capable of.
Also, today, I only feel bad for Boyd. I can’t imagine how angry and miserable his life must have been if he was capable of something like this. I really hope things turned around for him. It’s easy to villainize people who do us wrong. It’s important to remember, though, that everyone is just out for themselves, trying to survive and thrive as best as they can. I’m sure that was true of Boyd, as well.
(Do you know who was out for herself last night? Your mom. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)