From Durango, CO on 09/20/20 by Leigh LaRue
I think I might leave town. I’ve loved it for the two-three weeks I’ve been here, but you start to intuitively pick up when it’s time to move on. I was already feeling it early this morning upon waking. I just wasn’t looking forward to the whole river routine, which is strange since it’s so amazingly peaceful and healing. It’s not like you find a place like this everyday. Although, I have actually been thoroughly blessed to have enjoyed a river spot in practically every Colorado town I’ve stayed in. I’m hoping to have the same luck elsewhere.
For the past five days or so I’ve been ‘van buddies’ with a fellow traveler named Bryan. When he drove up and parked in front of me several days ago, I shouted out to him ‘Hey, you have my van!’. He has a silver Ford like mine except longer and with a higher top. We’ve been parking alongside each other every day and hanging out and bantering back and forth. It’s been comforting and relieving and a nice change of pace. It does tend to get rather lonely as a solo traveler.
His dog Buddy sealed the friendship, so to speak. He took to me instantly. He’d come visit me throughout the day, and he’d just sit there staring down his dad waiting for him to come over to us. And, he would lay halfway between our vans with his back to me as if protecting me like I was already part of the pack.
But, sadly, when I rolled up to the river this morning around my usual 11:00 or 12:00, Bryan was parked oddly and just sitting in his driver’s seat sideways facing the road. This didn’t bring a good feeling. And, sure enough, it wasn’t good. His first words were ‘Buddy’s dead’. And, this is where the day took us. The entire day. Crying, sharing our disbelief, burying him, and crying some more. I can only imagine his pain. I felt the immense loss, and I’ve only known his little Buddy for less than a week!
We spent hours gathering foliage and river rocks and piling them over the burial for surety and safekeeping. It’s Bryan’s goal to continue adding rocks to make a monument to remember! He also built a cross and carved into it ‘RIP Buddy/Leave A Rock’, in hopes that people will leave rocks instead of removing any that are there.
It just doesn’t make sense hat he ran into the road. He said he’d never done so for the year and a half he’d had him, and I saw for myself what an amazingly smart and obedient puppy he was. All dogs are puppies to me, by the way. It doesn’t matter if they’re twelve years old. But, Buddy was only two. He was so loyal and loving, and he knew how much he was loved.
The car who hit him just sped off after impact. It was a hit and run, and no one around bothered coming to check on the situation. Is this what this world has come to? Thank goodness, Buddy’s death was almost immediate, sparing unnecessary suffering.
This simply shouldn’t have happened. The only thing that makes sense is that there was a higher plan in place. We can speculate the whys and wherefores, but we never really know God’s plan. I’ve come to learn that though something may make zero sense, there ultimately is sense in it.
I’ve had many reminders as of late that loved ones can disappear all too suddenly and how important it is to be mindful to express our love and appreciation for them in the moments that we have. We just don’t know when that last opportunity to do so will be.
I might be saying my goodbyes tomorrow and moving on to a new destination in short order, relying on divine guidance on where to go next. I’m thinking New Mexico. I just don’t want to be here after this experience, but we’ll see what tomorrow holds. If you’re ever in Durango, and you’re parked alongside the river, I hope you’ll honor Bryan’s Buddy by ‘adding a rock’.