The dog is ok

Keep the title in mind.

It’s a beautiful spring afternoon here, one of the first we’ve had, and I went out into it, and not ten minutes along I saw a dog get hit by a car.

I probably could have prevented it, and I failed to.

There’s this scenic walk a couple of minutes from where I live, overlooking Puget Sound and the mountains. Where the street curves from south to east, there’s a little open park overlooking the view and diagonally across the street a little closed park that used to be a private garden. It’s a busy spot on days like today. I was approaching the curve and the open park when a boxer came racing out of the enclosed park, across the street, and into the open one. Uh oh, I thought; uh oh, uh oh; danger danger; cars. I heard a child’s voice calling, “Freddy! Treats!” Then I heard a car approaching behind me. I turned to look, and thought I should signal it to stop until someone got Freddy under control – but I didn’t. The car kept going and the boxer changed direction and raced right smack into it.

I said shit really loudly – involuntarily – and turned away for a few seconds.

But the dog was still racing around, and ended up going back to the closed park where two little boys were waiting for him. A guy in the overlook park shouted rather angrily “you should have it on a leash!” I stood and quivered for a bit, and watched as the driver parked and got out and went into the closed park. Then I went there too, to tell the little boys they had to take the dog to the vet. I told them that, and there was a woman just ahead of me who told them the same thing. “I’m a vet tech,” she told me, and I felt oddly reassured.

The boys gathered up Freddy’s leash (which was now connected to his collar) and headed for home.

I think Freddy’s ok. It was the meaty part of his shoulder that took the hit.

Still. I’ll be watching for a boxer out for a walk for awhile, hoping to get a chance to make sure.

I wish I had signaled that car though. I didn’t have any real reason not to, I think it was just accidental passivity. But if I had – she might have stopped, and then seen Freddy race into the street without getting hit, and everybody would have been glad she’d stopped. Sigh.

It was horrid. An awful crunch-thump as the car punched Freddy’s shoulder.


  1. says

    Don’t blame yourself. Our brains are not made to make conscious decisions like that that fast.
    If we’re lucky our body works without bothering to register conscious thoughts first.
    I hope the kids learned their lesson and stop to put people’s and their dog’s lives at risk.

  2. says

    Yeh, it’s true – I just didn’t have enough time. I had enough time to do it but not quite enough time to decide to do it. But man, for the first few minutes I was just really wishing I had, all the same. I was there, I knew the car was approaching, I had the thought – but I just didn’t quite manage it, so zoom-crunch. Poor Freddy. I also wish I’d thought to tell them to put ice on it right away, and where the emergency vet is.

    I hope so too, and even more the parents. The kids are quite young. Not a clever plan.

  3. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Ouch! That’s awful. Glad to hear the dog survived at least. Hope Cooper’s doing good as well.

  4. says

    I hope so too, and even more the parents. The kids are quite young. Not a clever plan.

    Who lets young kids out alone with a boxer anyway?
    Our neighbours used have boxers when I was a kid/young adult. I have a very soft spot for them, even with their slobber-problem. And I used to walk them once I was an adult. And yes, that was when I had 65kg, which is not “light”. And that dog could get me into trouble if I didn’t have my feet right on the ground (very friendly, very badly trained dog. Wanted to greet many people by jumping at them which is not appreciated by 99,99% of strangers you meet on a walk.)
    So, no, letting kids out with a dog they cannot physically control and who is apparently badly trained as well is a very bad plan. But I guess they’ll scold the kids for not paying attention…

  5. says

    Not trained at all. I’m thinking it’s barely out of puppyhood, the way it just raced blindly into the street at top speed. The adults must be nuts! Letting the kids go alone, and apparently not having a policy of keeping the dog on the leash at all times.

    grumble grumble mutter

  6. rnilsson says

    Sometimes one just doesn’t have the time to make a difference, what with delays of perception, reaction, decision and action. It may help to possess a sort of morbid imagination and a reduced angst about what other people might think.

    I can readily recall two times when I happened to deflect a serious accident. One was when I drove a rented car down a clear, wide road in a sort of touristy spot in Ct and noticed a young couple bicycling on the wide bike path beside the road. The girl was somehow obviously very unfamiliar with her vehicle. There was a big hole in the path before them, and I thought, “Uh-oh, she’s gonna fail there and might fall into the street in front of me!” So I slowed the car even more and gave a wide berth so she would not get run over in addition to the humiliation. And sure enough, when she saw the hole in the ground she faltered and fell. But I avoided the dirty task of clearing body parts off the car and explaining damning dents to the rental company. (I confess I did not stop. She had a companion to look after her and her injuries could not have been too serious as they were going so slow. But I certainly did not need to be detained, questioned and maybe accused of having caused the accident. Anyway, it must be beyond limiting statutes by now.)

    Last year, as I was crossing a busy street in central Gothenburg, I looked carefully both ways for trams and buses. Trams were coming from both directions. One stood still at the stop right beside the ped-Xing and was about to leave, the other was approaching it the other way. As I slowed my steps to let it pass while watching if the other one would start, I saw a woman about to cross the street overtake me, looking intently at the stationary tram but not at the moving one. Just before she stepped into its path I shouted, “STOP!” She literally jumped, saw the danger, turned and ran at speed back the way she had come from. Then the tram driver rang his bell. I felt a little bad for scaring her so badly, but on the other hand I had probably saved her life, which would even out the record somewhat. 🙂

    Of course, more often one fails to actually act and realizes too late what one ought to have done, like the time in Rome when I might have impeded a purse-snatcher on a moped enough for him to get caught by the Carabiniere who turned up only moments too late.

    Both sorts of experiences tend to stay with you, but the failures keep gnawing at your conscience. If you survive.

    Ophelia, you have my sympathy. Let’s hope you spot the boxer again soon, well and hale!

  7. says

    Eek! I’ve never had an opportunity to shout STOP and save someone from being mashed by a tram.

    I’ve been planning all afternoon how I’ll ask everyone I see with a boxer, “is that Freddy?” and how I’ll explain why I want to know. I still anticipate an embarrassing few months ahead. (Actually maybe not. There are a lot of labs around here, and quite a few poodles, but not a lot of boxers.)

  8. Acolyte of Sagan says

    We used to have a dog that chased people on bikes….so we locked his bikes away.
    Sorry 😉
    But as we’re swapping accident stories: A few years ago I was attending a meeting in London. We had broken for lunch and I was looking down at the street from a first-floor window. A young girl crossing the road (at a pedestrian crossing) was clipped by a bus that should have stopped, and the impact sent her spinning onto the other side of the road, still on the crossing, and was laying still. Obviously, the traffic on that side was forced to a standstill.
    A couple of people went to her aid, but what I didn’t expect was for the driver of the car at the head of the queue to jump from his car, run across to the girl – pushing the samaritans out of the way, and without so much as a by-your-leave grabbed the still-motionless girl under the armpits, dragged her to the side of the road, dumped her unceremoniously half-on, half-off the pavement, get back into his car and drive off.
    Luckily, the girl was just shocked and bruised, but I dread to think what could have been had she suffered a spinal injury or similar.

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