A dog died. I do not own any dogs and the recently deceased was not the pet of someone I knew. The dog, however, was one I passed by frequently, whether it was going to the train station or taking one of the few routes to go the very few places that I go. That dog was always there. Now there is a bouquet of flowers.
When my wife told me she saw the flowers instead of the dog my initial response was "Good." This may seem cold, crass or even heartless. Especially if you consider that I am particularly not fond of dogs. However seeing this dog as often as I did, it was clear it was suffering. A large, unsightly, clearly cancerous growth consumed the dog and always made me wonder why the owner had not done anything. This is not to presume they could have done anything. I felt bad for this dog, however, as it angrily barked every time I walked past it.
My son's reaction to the dog was different. Despite it howling out an unholy rage every time we walked past it, all he would do was point its way and say "doggy". He is quite fond of my mother-in-law's dogs and he is far too young to differentiate between ones that are friendly or not. He thinks they are neat.
I do not know how this dog went, but I hope it was relatively painless. There is an empty space that I go by now, and while that dog will never mean as much to me as it did to its owners, it is still outstanding how such a seemingly small thing can impact my day and likely the day of everyone who stops at that intersection.