Susanna Salk


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Two Paths
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019


We found the dead body- or rather the dog found him- on a walk through Griffith Park last week. That morning I woke to a Facebook Memory of my post  1 year earlier about a heroic stranger who had found my own lost dog after his leash had trapped him around a tree trunk in the woods behind our house back East. The picture shows my dog looking elated as a stranger and his dog had set him free after 3 days alone. Now a rescue dog – newly belonging to my son- had wandered off the trail leading to the Observatory and following him into shaded grove- which could only be called peaceful- we saw the back of a man who had taken his life, slumped against a tree trunk. Today back home wandering the woods with my dogs (who are tethered to a Y leash) we came to a point where one dog wanted to take one trail and the other dog, another. I thought of the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken and how many get its meaning wrong: it’s not about taking the less travelled road but simply on the impact of life’s arbitrary decisions. We had been debating about choosing another park that morning,  if we had…if my son had not adopted his dog…if we had chosen another path…perhaps the body would still be there. We kept asking ourselves: did he want to be found? But the only answer was somehow, it was we who did.