Andrew Knapp

Becki & Nalu

Andrew Knapp
Becki & Nalu

Becki drove us to one of her preferred parks in Salt Lake City. She cruised carefully in her Honda Element as Nalu sat in back, maybe a little more guarded than Becki, but nothing unusual for a border collie. 

She recounted for me her accident, it chilled my spine. She had to piece together most of the details from what was told to her, because the last thing she remembers was driving home on an August evening, just having picked up Nalu from daycare.


Her own memories offer nothing more than a few lights and sounds. The reality of what happened could be seen as a heroic event. Imagine disrupting a high-speed bank robbery, albeit unintentionally. Police cars were racing at 90mph to catch up with a Suburban escaping the crime-scene. That Suburban totalled Becki’s first Honda Element, broke 14 bones in her body, and started a year’s worth of recovery.

Nalu was in the car, unscathed, marked only by a smear of blood which turned out to be Becki’s. And as the story was recounted by the rescue team who sawed off her driver side door: Nalu was there, standing on top of her, as if protecting her, or perhaps seeking comfort in a familiar body.

Today, driving to the park, Becki showed a humble resilience. One would think that driving altogether would be a traumatic experience, even more so driving in the same make and model that would have traumatized you in the first place. Nalu in the back mirrored this resilience, still a little more guarded than her, still nothing unusual for a border collie.

Nalu did healing for her before the accident. He showed her companionship and compassion after a relationship ended abruptly and she moved to a new city. And though “I stopped a high-speed chase” makes a real good story, Becki seemed more interested in sharing the story of her dog.

Nalu showed up in her life for the heaviest events: the emotional shock of a failed relationship, the abrupt adjustments of moving states, the loneliness that could follow both of these, and the physical trauma of a high-speed collision. It seems Nalu is now Becki’s constant, her healing apparatus, her symbol of resilience.



If you liked this story, consider donating to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Salt Lake City, Utah, or donate or spend some time helping out at a local rescue you prefer.




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