The following is a Letter to the Editor. Photographs were supplied by the author. Alicia, 24, is a student, artist and photographer and the mother of 9-month-old Hope. She is engaged to Crane Valley Hotshots crew member Omar Arce.
At about 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, my fiancé Omar and I heard a light knocking on our front door. “Tap tap tap;” my stomach felt strange, no one visited us these days.
A man was at the door and mumbled something to Omar with his head down. I was not sure what was mentioned because my fiancé forced me to stay inside. As soon as I heard his jeep rumble and leave down our dirt road, I of course darted outside to wait for them, wondering where our dog was as I began to look around for her, startled.
She never left past our yard since she had become pregnant and did not break out often. In the worst case she would take a morning walk and come home within 5 minutes.
“Naw she wouldn’t wander again,” I said to myself, thinking she was much too attached to her 10 puppies and would not abandon them. Also she loved food and had not eaten her breakfast, so I knew if I jiggled it she would run right back up to us.
Jiggle jiggle, “Come on girl,” jiggle jiggle. “Don’t be stubborn!” I jiggled her food around now, worrying for her sake.
“Come on girl, I’m sorry I didn’t give you your toy right away, but I found it!” I said now holding her beloved red Kong toy. “I got your Kong!” Silence.
I felt strange and a knot in the pit of my stomach started to grow larger. I was anxious for Omar to come back up our road. I knew our dog would be fine because we can hear everything from where our house sits on the road, and we had heard no vehicles break or stop.
The roar of an old 94′ Jeep came tearing up our road like a bat out of hell. My fiancé’s face appeared ghost-like, no color whatsoever. I knew something had happened then as I scurried over to him as quickly as I could manage. He wouldn’t let me past the door and held me back. I stared at him like someone slapped me. “Let me see my dog!” I knew she was in there somewhere, hurt or confused.
“No, its harder if you do that,” my fiancé attempted to stay strong for both of us, but of course I eventually got around him and saw Coco Bear. I screamed in sheer horror and tried to wake her up. I was so shocked to my core and I felt myself struggle to not puke from the reality I was now viewing. “She can’t be dead! Not my Coco Bear! My only friend! NO.” I refused for a good 10 minutes to believe what I saw before letting my fiancé cover her up.
Mother of 10, best friend, and loyal protector of our little family was hit by a car and left for dead in the middle of Road 620 Road in Oakhurst on September 22. What is even worse is the driver hit her and kept going: we heard no breaks or stopping or any attempt to stop. My neighbor found her but did not hit her himself, and we thank him kindly for coming to to tell us, because no one else did.
The person who was driving was probably going too fast and was reckless. Our dog has never gotten hit, even when we lived in populated areas before. She looked a bit mean and sounded like she would bite but in reality she was a playful and kind pit. Her intelligence always made her look across the roads and she watched out for cars. I wish I knew she was out past out yard because I would have changed everything about my day. Usually she never left, this was just an odd morning for us that we had no idea she would ever die. We thought she would be by our side for a long time.
Deep down in my gut I know my dog was murdered in a strange fashion. Perhaps drunk, perhaps lawless, or perhaps just an uncaring person…but we did not hear any attempt to not hit out dog. Whoever you are I would like to say you killed a mother of 6 week old puppies who miss her terribly, and you killed the only protection I have as I live alone when my fiance leaves for fires (sometimes he is gone for weeks).
All the friends who were dear to me could not compare to that dog, for she never judged nor lied or was cruel an any way. The thing about a dog is, their love is unbiased and unconditional. They don’t care what religion you are, what skin color you have, or if you are sick with a disease. She helped me during so many tragedies, and has saved my life from robbers while my man was gone. When I thought my pregnancy wouldn’t hold, Coco-bear would cheer me up by coming over to me and licking me to play with her as if to say “Everything’s okay! I love you and I’m here for you!,” her tail flashing because it was wagging so excitedly each time she would be near me.
She was the best looking pit you ever saw, I think maybe she was mixed with a smaller dog because she was pretty small in frame. The happiest golden eyes and biggest smile you ever saw on a canine is forever burned into my memory.
All I can say to the driver who hit her is, what if that had been a little child crossing the street? Or playing near the street? Would you have hit a kid and left him or her to die?
May you know you broke my little family’s heart and we will always wonder who hit our friend. You can blame the owner for a dog getting loose all you want, but when it comes down to it you should still try to not hit an animal (or make some sort of attempt to slow down). Hitting a pet and leaving them for dead, whoever you are, karma will find you.
Coco 2007-2013. You will never be forgotten girl, and the light is always on for you. We love you and always will. Goodbye dearest of all friends.
If anyone knows any information on this event could you please let our family know… we would really appreciate it. Coco would do the same for me if she was human.