WARNING - this post talks about an animal that was seriously injured, so be warned
Last night at about 10pm, on my way home from the grocery store I was was on high alert... keeping my eyes peeled for deer, moose and other wild animals that hang in our area out here. There was a car to the side of the road with their hazard lights on. I slowed down and really started looking to see what was going on. I was so busy looking at the side of the road that I hit what was already laying in the middle of the road.
The sound made me sick to my stomach. It was obviously an animal of some sort.
I turned around and went back. There was a guy standing on the side of the road talking on his cell phone. I could see the animal in the road, and it was still alive, as I could see the puff of steam each time it took a breath. I grabbed my cell phone and got out of the car.
I asked him what happened and if he was ok. He said that he saw something in the road, and stopped, and in that time 2 other people had hit it again. It was a dog. A fairly big one. I told him that I felt terrible since I was one of those people who ran over it. I asked him if he called someone (it needed to get out of the road - first so there wasn't an accident, and 2nd so people would stop running over it). He said he was trying to stand in the road - but it was so dark and with the curve there he was afraid of getting hit. I had a white coat on - so I volunteered to stand there. I didn't want to get too close since I know that animals in pain can bite, but I desperately wanted to get down and pet the dog. I stood by him and talked to him instead.
I was dialing the non-emergency police line when, another car stopped in the road - two people jumped out. There was an older man and a teenage girl. She was sobbing. It was their dog. They said there was another dog missing too, and asked if we had seen him. Then another truck pulled up and it was the girls father and brother. Her brother was crying as well. The dad was trying to figure out what to do and ended up picking the dog up and putting it in the back of the truck. It was an awkward carry - and he hit the dogs head on the edge of the truck. The girl was hysterical and started screaming at her dad for hurting the dog. He was trying to explain to her that he wasn't really still alive and that he needed to get him in the truck to take him to the vet. I could just see the turmoil in the dad - trying to be practical and detached - but also trying to support his obviously distraught kids. He went to them and hugged them both at the same time. It was heartbreaking.
The father than walked over to me and the other guy who had stopped. He asked us if we saw what happened, and then asked us if we hit the dog. We told him what we knew and he thanked us for stopping. I asked if he needed help looking for the other dog. He said no, they were going to stop at home and see if he was already back there, and then go directly to the vet.
It was just terrible. It brought back memories of searching for my parents dog Gretchen after their accident to find out that she had been hit by a car a week later. It also brought back memories of when an elderly lady went into a diabetic coma in front of Julia and me at the grocery store 2 Christmas' ago. That same helpless feeling. Not good things.
So - I hope they were able to find their other dog and that he's safe. I pray that the dog that was hit was quickly put out of pain.