Charlie died. He was killed on the road near to the entrance of our lane. Last night, just before midnight I let all three of our dogs out to pee. Bonnie and Judy usually do their business, mooch around for a few minutes and come to the door to be let in. Charlie does some rounds of the garden and yard and will either come in willingly or he might need to be persuaded. I had gone to bed so Bert was the one doing the persuading. Charlie did not respond so Bert called me and I grumpily got up to try my cajoling magic on him. I shouted, I called, I hoped, I prayed. No Charlie. I took a torch to the bottom of the lane and shone it around. No sign. I decided to take the car out. I'd only turned it out of the lane when I saw him lying at the side of the road. I got out and picked him up. He was limp and light as a feather.
This morning when I carried him from the shed to his grave he felt much more of a burden. I suppose that is what people mean when they speak of a dead weight.
Judging by the amount of blood on the road Charlie did not die where I found him. Someone, most likely the driver of the vehicle that killed him, gathered him up and placed him where no other vehicle would drive over him. I'm grateful for that.