Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dog Tragedy

My youngest daughter, whom I call here Squirrelly-Girlie the Younger, is a great dog lover. She studies books about dog breeds, she visits the dog park regularly and makes friends with all the dogs there, she is getting ready to head out to see Barkus (a dog parade) with my B-2/3, and she's just a sweet, loving soul when it comes to "man's best friend."

That's why what she and I witnessed yesterday was so traumatic. We saw a beautiful "Pug" dog get hit and run over by a car. If that wasn't bad enough, the circumstances during which we witnessed this were, from my perspective, a bit creepy.

This is what happened...

I drop the two Squirrelly-Girlies off at their local Dance studio for their Saturday morning dance classes. Usually, they are at the studio from about 10:30am to 3:00pm, taking various different classes.

Yesterday, though, we had a bit of an alteration to our routine, because SG the Elder had won a Gold Key Prize for poetry and was being recognized at a city-wide ceremony held at the UNO campus at 1:00pm. So, I had to pick up SG the Elder a couple of hours earlier than usual from the dance studio.

After I dropped off the Squirrelly Girlies at 10:30am, I went to the gym for a workout. Once I finished with the workout, it was time for me to pick up SG the Elder. So I was driving back to the dance studio when, just 4-5 blocks from the studio, a dog (it looked like a dalmation to me) darted out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and just missed hitting the dog. I was a bit rattled, but very glad that I missed the dog. From there, I proceeded to get SG the Elder, leaving SG the Younger at the studio. From there, my B-2/3, SG the Elder, and I went to UNO and participated in the ceremony for SG the Elder. This event lasted about one and one-half hours, after which we headed for home, where I dropped off my B-2/3 and SG the Elder and then continued on the way to pick up SG the Younger at the dance studio.

I picked up SG the Younger and we started for home. As we were about 2 blocks from the dance studio, I started to tell SG the Younger about my near miss with the dog earlier in the day. Just as I was telling her that a dog had darted out in front of me earlier, all of the sudden, right at that moment in the story, we saw just in front of us a young man sprint across the street being chased by the Pug, who must have broken free of her owner to give pursuit, because we saw her leash trailing her. As the dog sprinted across the street in front of us (and we were far enough back to slow down easily to miss her), I pointed to the Pug and said to SG the Younger as part of my story about the earlier incident: "Just like that dog there!" It was all so quick you have to imagine it like this...

ME: "Oh, yeah, SG the Younger, I wanted to tell you that when I was coming earlier to get SG the Elder from Dance, a dog darted out in front of me, [and then the Pug chase scene instantly unfolds in front of us in a matter of seconds] just like that dog there!!!"

I didn't even have time to tell SG the Younger that I had missed the dog earlier and that it crossed the street safely when the Pug doubled back to go back to her owner and ran right in front of a car coming down the two-way street opposite the side we were driving on. That car had no time at all to adjust and ran right over the dog, right in front of our eyes. Being in the driver's seat, I saw the whole thing unfold clearly and saw the dog go under the tires of the other car. Fortunately, SG the Younger was in the back seat on the passenger side and didn't see the actual impact itself, though she did see the dog when it sprinted across the street in front of us the first time before it doubled back and she did see the dog on the street after it got hit.

Of course, we immediately pulled over to run and help the dog. SG the Younger got out and came with me. We were the first two to arrive at the side of the dog, who was still breathing. There was no external bleeding, but it was clear to me by the way the dog was laying on the street that her back was broken and that she had serious internal injuries. A few seconds after we arrived by the dog, the dog's owner and a couple of other witnesses had arrived and we quickly came up with a plan to put the dog in a makeshift stretcher (using someone's old sweatshirt) and carry it to the back of an SUV to transport to the animal hospital. This all took maybe 3-4 minutes. SG the Younger saw it all. Although she was quite traumatized, she was so glad that we stopped to help and it made her feel like we did what we could to comfort the dog and her owner. SG the Younger said a prayer over the dog, and petted her. She said that she petted her to make sure the dog was still warm, and thus -- in her mind -- still alive. And the dog was, of course, still warm. But, I had noticed that the dog had stopped breathing, and so I wasn't so sure about her still being alive.

The whole incident lasted about 5 minutes from impact until the time we left the scene, but it definitely made and impression. For my part, I just couldn't believe the creepy coincidence of the timing of telling my near-miss story to SG the Younger and witnessing at that very moment the incident repeating itself, but with a different and tragic outcome.

I'm not usually one to get emotional over pets, but I have to admit that I was very moved by this whole experience.

I only hope that today at Barkus, SG the Younger will get to see the happiness and joy of dogs in the streets on parade and be able to put yesterday's tragedy into its proper perspective.


Michele Benson Huck said...

I think the Barkus experience did help her recover from the shock of the accident she witnessed. She is already planning how Goldie will be dressed for next year's parade.

Michele Benson Huck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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