Hurricane Ivan roars towards Pensacola while Karen Puno packs and scrambles to evacuate. She drives off the island in the blowing sand and gusty wind. Here, we join her dog, Putt-Putt’s point of view:
His body leaned forward against the back seats and then he huddled in the left corner as the car descended the bridge. At that moment it wasn’t the weather that created a thunderous explosion and pitched their vehicle leftward off the road and into a pole, but another car, whose front end made ripped canned dog food out of the right side of Karen’s car. The sensory experience overwhelmed him and he peed and he cried and he scampered over piles of boxes and bags inside the car. His back leg didn’t work right, and when he got close to Karen, her head was jammed between the car door and head rest.
He sniffed; she didn’t move. She didn’t acknowledge him, nor could he arouse her. If she awoke, she might be angry he wet the car. No, that would be okay, because what had happened, he sensed, was frightfully wrong.
Voices and sirens now howled in the wind. The metal crunched on the door Karen laid against and from the back window came a blast of air as someone accessed the hatchback window and door. A uniformed man crawled in, shouting. “Ma’am, talk to me!”
But Karen didn’t answer.