The thud of a car hitting something, car tires squealing, the yelp of a car horn, and then some angry shouting: somebody had had an accident, out here on South Street, which runs by my side yard and carries considerable morning rush-hour traffic. I phoned it in to the police, then went outside. One car, a van, was pulled up into the front yard of a home that was for sale at the time, and was vacant. Another car, a sedan, was parked at the roadside nearby. A light drizzle fell. Neither driver was with their car. The air had that just-torn-apart feel that it sometimes does after an accident.
Long story short: the van, coming north and doing the speed limit or maybe a bit better, had struck a neighbor's dog that had somehow gotten out of its fenced enclosure two houses down, and had run out into South Street. The sedan, following the van, had gotten into a minor collision with it somewhere in the midst of the swerving and braking that followed the dog being hit. The dog ran off into some bushes; that was a hopeful sign. His owner appeared, went to gather him up from where he had hidden, and, I heard later, took him straight to the vet.
The driver of the van and the driver of the sedan returned to their vehicles and had a short, fierce argument about who had been at fault for what. The driver of the sedan was declaring "I just want to state for the record..." though there was no one around to record his statement; the police were busy elsewhere and hadn't shown up yet.
Finally there was just the unlucky driver of the van. She backed out of where she had parked, inched out into South Street, then turned up Rockland Street to where I was standing by that time with my wife and another neighbor of ours, along with our respective dogs; the two of them had just been finishing a walk out on the nearby rail-trail when the accident occurred. The driver seemed dazed.
Her van seemed to be packed to the windows with plastic bags. It creaked in its joints and there was something wrong with the muffler. She proceeded slowly by us, made a Y-turn in my driveway, then pulled over next to where we stood, to plead her case with us: what had really happened just then, who had really been at fault. Then she drove away.
Later on, after my wife had fed the dog, I gave him a moosh (rhymes with "push"). We moosh him after every meal, which consists of giving his moustache a light scrubbing with a wet paper towel, to remove particles of food that tend to get stuck in there and can become kind of stinky over the course of the day. Even if we moosh him just once a day (and it's usually twice), we will end up mooshing him more than 5,400 times over 15 years, if he lives that long.