Please Keep Your Dog On A Leash!

Yesterday, I had the unfortunate incident of witnessing a dog being run over by a car. It was one of the most awful and horrific events I’ve ever seen and it just served as a reminder for my following public service annoucement: No matter how well-trained your dog is, please keep him and/or her on a leash if you’re near any moving cars.

Beary and I finished our usual afternoon walk when we saw our neighbors — a young boy and girl with an elderly, probably grandmother — playing with their three chihuahuas. They weren’t playing on the sidewalk, but they stood around the corner, next to the entrance of our apartment complex, hidden from oncoming cars, on a little patch of grass that hugged a round-about. As soon as I saw the dogs from a distance, I made an immediate B-line to the opposite direction, since Beary has “little dog syndrome” and occasionally likes to establish himself as the alpha male of the pack upon meeting other smaller dogs.

While we walked the other way, one of the chihuahuas suddenly darted out in the middle of the round-about, as a Toyota Matrix turned into the apartment complex and the accident ensued. The little dog, which must have been 12 or 13 pounds, toppled over twice beneath the half-ton car, immediately sprung up and ran away, squealing bloody murder. Both kids bawling, the woman rushed out into the street, picked up the screaming dog and embraced it in her arms. The dog’s eyes closed, mouth opened and laid in her arms, motionless. Nobody knew if the dog was in shock or if it had passed away and moved on to doggie heaven.

The driver stepped out of her car yelling, “Why wasn’t it on a leash? Is it alive? Why wasn’t it on a leash!” She offered to drive them all to a pet clinic several yards away, but the woman, flanked by the kids, stormed up to her apartment. She didn’t want to hear it, perhaps, knowing that the best thing for the dog was to spend the last remaining moments with its loving owners.

It’s a story we’ve heard many times over from someone we know or even have been involved in — dog without a leash runs out into the street, gets hit by a car and doesn’t survive. It’s something you can’t anticipate and avoid, at times, but you can take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of such accidents. So to all you dog owners out there, please leash up your dogs and give him and/or her a good belly rub tonight so that this PSA will be the first and last of its kind.

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