This morning, I was walking Wendy a half-block from our townhouse when a loud boom rang out. Wendy, a retired hunting dog, recognized the sound immediately. So did I, from my skeet and trap days -- someone had shot a shotgun, and it was close.
Wendy and I started running for our house, picking up speed I didn't know she was capable of in her old age. When we got inside, I took off her leash and noticed her legs were shaking. Then I noticed mine were too.
I called 911. When the police arrived, I told the policewoman what I knew, which was not much. "Do any of the neighbors have guns?" she asked. I told her that a young Iraq vet, his wife/girlfriend, and friend rent the end townhouse two down from ours, where the blast seemed to emanate from. From the cars out front, it appeared that only the vet was home. We knew it was his by the bronze star license plate.
The police canvassed the neighborhood a bit and confirmed that there'd been a boom. Nobody else had called 911. The police knocked on the door of the house at the end, but nobody answered. It's now 14 hours later and I still don't know what happened. The vet's truck sat in its space all day. (I worked from home today.) Nobody else ever came home to that house after work, and no lights are on right now.
Maybe someone was just shooting a snake in one of the tiny backyards. Virginia's a red state, after all.
Hopefully, it was something like that.