I had a different article that was supposed to be on this newsletter, but I needed to write about what happened a few days ago. This is important, and I don’t want any of you to experience a loss like this. I have to get this off of my chest.
I was on my way to an assignment a few days ago, and for some reason, I went a different way. Up ahead there was a slowdown in the traffic. From what I saw, a man on a bicycle was crossing the street near the tracks. Then, as I got closer, I saw a small dog crossing the street behind him, off leash. I was just saying to myself that this bonehead was taking a big chance letting his dog follow him off leash, AND crossing a busy street. “What an idiot,” I thought.
The van in front of me started moving forward, then all of a sudden, the dog came running back across in front of the van. The van did not stop, and it ran over the dog completely. The dog was a little Chihuahua, and it yelped out as it went under the tire. The dog did not move much after that.
This happened right in front of me, and I was horrified! I couldn’t believe what I had just seen, yet this little dog lay in front of my truck, not moving much at all. I quickly pulled over, and as I got out of my truck, I yelled at the man on the bicycle if this was his dog. He barely turned around and said no, it was not his dog. This guy didn’t even act like what had happened was any big deal.
I walked up to the dog, and I could see a great big hump on its back. I think the poor dog’s back was broken. I reached out carefully to see if the dog would snap back and try to bite me. My pet first aid training and knowledge told me that “any animal in pain, or that will be moved into pain, can and will bite.” I assessed that the dog could not feel anything, or that it was in shock, or both. You do not want to muzzle a dog in shock.
I figured the dog was not a threat to bite, and he was breathing and had a heartbeat. I stabilized him the best I could, and brought him into my truck. I knew I had very little time, and I was just a minute or two from the nearest vet. Unfortunately, while I was caring for the dog and readying him for transport, a commuter train began crossing on the tracks and I had to wait another few precious minutes. Finally, I was able to get the dog to the vet, still in just a few minutes after the accident.
I could tell during that short trip to the vet that the dog was starting to breath more shallow, and that he was really struggling. When I took the dog out of my truck, he was in even worse shape. I could tell what the outcome would be already. I rushed him inside, and the vet staff rushed him to the back. After about a minute, the vet tech came back out and I filled out a report. She told me that the dog was not going to make it, even though I already knew that would be the case.
Another concerned motorist had followed me to the vet office, and came inside. We were all talking to the vet tech and we were still amazed at what had happened in just a few minutes time. A dog needlessly lost his life, and all it took was a brief moment in time.
So, why am I telling you this tragic story? Well, certainly I don’t want to bum you out. I am telling you this story because this is an example of what could happen if we as pet owners relax too much and don’t take the time to make sure our pets are safe and secure. The dog didn’t have a collar on, but I could tell he was well taken care. This was not a stray, but someone’s beloved pet that got out. And, they would soon be looking for their dog, and may not ever find out what happened to him.
I don’t know where you are located geographically, but here in Fremont, CA we are having Spring-like weather. Of course, we just officially entered Spring. As the days get nicer, female dogs and cats can go into heat, and the males may start to wander. This time of year there is an increase of pets getting out of the back yards, and out of the house. Please, don’t let your pets get out.
You should always make sure your fencing and gates are secure, and that there are no cracks or spaces where your pets could get out. This is especially true as the days get nicer. And always be very careful when opening doors. Animals are very quick, especially if they have a mate on their mind. Make sure windows are secure too.
Please, if you know your dog likes to roam, or will not come to you on command, then get training for your dog. Teach your dog its boundaries. You can teach them not to exit the door unless you say so, or you can teach them never to leave the curb. It can be done, and should be done. You can also train your cats as well. Yes, cats are trainable, and if you only teach them one thing, then you should teach them their boundaries.
No one cares for your pets like you do. Certainly, the guy on the bicycle couldn’t have cared less about what happened to that little Chihuahua. He shocked me by his callous attitude. And the guy who ran the dog over didn’t care either. He didn’t stop to check on the dog. Some of the other drivers were concerned about the dog, but none of them got out of their vehicle to help the dog. Even though I could not help the dog, I feel that I was meant to go that way so I could at least take the dog to the vet so he could be put out of his misery.
So aside from myself, and the motorist who followed me to the vet office, no one cared enough about that little dog. Remember, NO ONE cares for your pets like YOU do. They depend on you to make sure they are kept safe and secure. Please, do this for your pets. They love you, and you love them, and you would not want to come home and find them missing, and you certainly would not want any harm to come to them.