Consider a dog I treated recently. He was playing off leash in his owner’s front yard. A stranger was walking her dog on the other side of the street. My patient saw the other dog and, in the words of his owner, “ran over to say hi” right as a car came down the street.
The owner was in shock. She stated that her dog had never run into the street before and that she didn’t think he ever would. I’ve heard that one more times than I can count.
Fortunately, the dog did not suffer fatal injuries when the car hit him. He did, however, break his ankle in a fashion that is extremely unlikely to heal without a $3000 surgery. The owner’s other choices are to amputate the limb or to let the dog live in pain (which, of course, isn’t really a choice at all). I prescribed heavy pain killers for the unfortunate dog while the owner tries to muster the resources to call in an orthopedic surgeon.
Dogs–even dogs who never have before–run into streets. They don’t know better. They don’t understand how dangerous cars are. It is up to you to keep your dog safe. Use a leash.
Photo: Henry’s injury was not the fault of his owners.