Dying in vain. Is there such a thing? Not in this case.

I love my drive to and from work, using Daniels Park Road. I see turkeys, deer, and elk often. I pay close attention to the sides of the road so I can enjoy them without hitting them.

Recently, I was driving home after dark and I saw a deer lying on the side of the road with crash debris in the other lane. I slowly passed by then something, maybe a slight head movement, made me turn the car around.

I rolled down my window and spoke to the deer and yes, he or she was alive. I turned the car around again so that I was on the same side of the road as the injured deer, maybe 100 feet away and turned on my four-way flashers.

I called the Douglas County sheriff’s dispatcher, explained where I was and that a deer had been hit by someone recently and that deer was in distress. I said I would stay with the deer until a deputy showed up.

A little while later deputy showed up. I explained that the deer did try to get up once, while I was waiting with it, but was unable to stand. A second deputy showed up and it was determined that the deer needed to be put down. At that point I left.

The next day I drove the same road going to work. Instead of seeing a dead deer carcass I was surprised to see a canvas sheet covering the whole body. That night when I drove home in the snow, there was that canvas covering the deer, acting like a warm blanket. Isn’t that how you and I might handle a special pet we had to put down?

I stopped and called the Douglas County dispatcher, the same one from the night before, and asked about the canvas covering.

I was told that this was the first time this deputy had to put down an animal and he wanted to show his respect!

Wow, now that is a man’s man. This is the kind of officer you would want interacting with your family when you are in need. So, “No Virginia (`Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’), this deer did not die in vain.” Instead, this deer positively helped others to see a better self, a better America, one with respect for others.

Ed Allbright, Highlands Ranch

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