aggressive driving I’ve witnessed made
sense. Some aggressive drivers in my
neighborhood may not live here. ;ey
might not live anywhere near here.
;ey may not feel any connection to
the drivers around them or the children
crossing our streets. ;ey might—like
internet trolls—feel a certain protective
;at new reality struck me so hard
recently that I nearly cried. My Labrador
retriever had surgery to remove a malignant tumor. He’s a sweet big boy: 80
pounds. He was dopey from the anesthesia when I picked him up from the vet in
Potomac. Vet techs o;ered to let him stay
the night in a large crate in the surgical
suite of their o;ce. I didn’t want him to
be afraid, confused and alone in the night.
So the techs carried him to my SUV on a
stretcher. We all hoped that the anesthesia would wear o; during my drive home.
It didn’t. When I tried lifting my dog out
of the back of my Honda, I collapsed
under his weight and we both tumbled
onto the driveway. I struggled up and
tried every way I could to lift my good big
boy without injuring him. I didn’t have
the strength. So I sat and cradled my dog
at the end of my driveway, just a few feet
from the passing tra;c on Wilson Lane.
We were both in distress and increas-
ingly covered in blood from his surgical
drain. Driver after driver passed us. Some
looked at us, then looked away.
Two young girls from my neighbor-
hood walked over and o;ered to help.
;ey were kind, but too petite to help me
lug 80 pounds of dead weight up the stairs
from the driveway to my front door. So
I called a friend who has both the physi-
cal strength and the heart to help. He’s a
mergers and acquisitions lawyer who lives
in Chevy Chase. He’s a political archcon-
servative. We fight politics like cats and
dogs. Yet we always find common ground:
reverence for the U.S. Constitution and a
belief that in a democracy we are all, in
some profound way, in this together. I
warned my friend to expect to get his good
clothes bloody. He said, “I’m on my way.”
As I waited, I watched the afternoon
tra;c on Wilson grow heavy and slow.
I searched each driver’s face, hoping to
spot a burly friend or neighbor to flag
down. I didn’t. At least some of these
drivers, these strangers, had time to
ponder the odd sight of a scared, bloody
woman cradling an unconscious dog at
the side of the road. Nobody stopped
to help. I don’t know why. It’s a tough
spot to pull over. Maybe some people
thought it was too dangerous to stop.
Maybe some figured that whatever was
happening was not their business.
;ey all had places to go. ■
April Witt is a former Washington Post
writer who lives in Bethesda.
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