Robin looked out the window this afternoon and saw our neighbor's dog lying on the front walk with two women bent over her. It appeared that the dog had fallen out of an open third-story window--it was extraordinarily warm today, in the mid-70s; we could see that the screen had broken and the dog must have fallen through it, and the two passers-by had found her, lying still on her side and panting. Our neighbor wasn't home, and it being a Sunday the animal clinic a few blocks away was closed. So with help from several people we managed to get the dog into the back seat of our car and drove up to an emergency animal clinic up on the North Side--with Sunday afternoon traffic this took at least thirty minutes, although it felt like hours, with me weaving in and out of traffic and hoping in some bizarre way that we'd get pulled over and get a police escort. They took her in right away and did some X-rays, which showed what I guess everyone but me had already known: her back was broken, and there was nothing they could do for her.
We'd left a note but our neighbor still hadn't called, so there was nothing we could do but leave the dog at the clinic (where they at least had her sedated and on pain medication) and go home and wait. An hour later our neighbor finally got home and we all got in our car to return to the clinic; as we left the building our neighbor picked up what looked like one of the dog's nails from the ground and put it in her pocket. The trip was almost unconscionably fast this time, and massive gray thunderclouds were beginning to appear. When we arrived our neighbor went in to be with the dog as they put her to sleep, and as we waited the rain started, and our neighbor came out and signed some papers and we drove home in a downpour.