Be Careful Out there People!

On my way to the gym, I parked in the Olympic Athletic Club lot on busy Shilshole Avenue NW, when I heard a loud ‘thump,’ a scream, and traffic come to a halt, but only for a moment. I turned to look, and in the middle of the busy road (afterall, it was about 4:45pm and traffic is so busy at that time of day), was a dog, lying there.  She lifted her head, and within seconds, her owner, was kneeling over her. I came back and yelled if she needed help. I walked with her as she picked up the injured dog and took it to the side of the road. She was upset, saying ‘it was her fault.’  A gray, smallish car, like a Kia that had hit the dog, slowed down but never stopped.

The dog’s condition. The owner, a 30-ish blonde who said she had only lived in Seattle about a month, was understandably emotional and distraught. (I was upset and it wasn’t even my dog, but it is my neighborhood). I asked her if the dog needed to go to the vet. Unbelievably, the dog was now standing, looked alert, but had to be in shock. I don’t know my dog breeds like I should, but I’m guessing it was a boxer/pit bull mix. The dog’s mouth was a bloody mess on one side, pieces of fur were missing from the side and various small patches, but overall, the dog appeared to be doing better than the owner. She debated taking the dog to the vet, saying she’d been a vet tech for three years, and knew what to do, but was worried about internal injuries. I crossed the busy road, found the dog’s leash along the railroad tracks, and brought it back to the owner so she could take the dog home. Luckily, the owner said she lived nearby.

Make sure it’s safe. Here’s what I learned happened. The owner, (I never got her or the dog’s name) had taken the dog off the leash and the owner was throwing a tennis ball in the area near the tracks. Unfortunately, the ball hit the railroad track, and it bounced up and into the road. (You know what’s coming). The dog followed — right into traffic. The gray car couldn’t have possibly had time to stop before it hit the dog, but it would have been nice for them to pull over and check things out. A nice man in an older blue van slowed to see if we needed help, but traffic wouldn’t let him stop completely, so he kept going. Once we assessed the dog’s condition, and decided she could probably go home for now (and at least so the owner could collect herself), the man in the van came back to see if we needed help. Again, even though he pulled to the side of the road, traffic started backing up, horns started honking, and he ended up leaving once we told him we thought the dog would be okay for now.

Too upsetting. I went on to the gym, but ended up being too upset for a good workout. I was upset that the owner would play ball along a busy street, upset that the car that hit the dog didn’t stop, upset that the dog was hurt, and upset at the reaction of some of the other drivers. Yes, I know you’re on your way home and it’s a busy street. But let’s be careful out there, people!

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Julie Szmania
12 years ago

Hi Margo:
Just ran across your site from the facebook connection. Loved reading so many interesting notes about your business, your connections, your friends and thoughts. Was particularly touched by the “hit and run” dog story. Tragic that it happened – could have been so much worse, but such a shame that humanity can’t slow down and pets are played with next to traffic. I recently read the most relaxing place in any house is the least used–yup–the yard. Take care,

Margo Myers Communications
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