Friday Beef

On my favorite radio show, the week always ends with “What’s Your Beef Friday.” I never call in to share, but today I have one: the fact someone else’s irresponsibility made me a murderer today.

One of the hazards that I encounter almost daily is the fact that there are stupid people who live along the highway between my home and my job who do not keep their dogs safely barricaded inside of a yard. As my own two dogs have proven to be escape artists from time to time, I am sympathetic to the fact that sometimes dogs get out. But I think that as a pet owner, it is my job to fortify my yard fence by whatever means necessary to prevent habitual wandering of dogs, especially given our proximity to the highway. There is one bend in the road where four or five dogs are always lazing around in the grass mere feet from the edge of the paved road. These dogs (as well as many others who live along the way) usually stay out of the road, but they do not always, and I have had more close encounters than I am comfortable with.

So this morning, I took a different highway route so that I could drive by Starbucks on the way to work. I do not drive this road often, but a rural highway is a rural highway, and the dangers are the same, as I was to find out. Since it was a workday/conference day rather than a regular teaching day, I was not in a hurry to arrive early, so I was driving attentively down the road at a moderate 65 miles per hour. All of the sudden, somehow, there were several dogs trotting across the street. I slammed on the brakes, but I hit one anyway.

This was the first time I have ever run over any kind of a living creature, to my knowledge, and I didn’t know what the etiquette is for one who has just, in all likelihood, killed an animal. I was slightly worried that either the dog that I had hit would still be alive but would now be viciously defensive, or that the other dogs in the pack would attack me in defense of their fallen comrade. Plus, it was seven in the morning, and I was not about to go knocking on people’s doors, possibly waking them up, to inform them that I might have killed their dog.

I called Stephen and he said that as long as my car seemed to be running smoothly, I should keep going, so I did. But I deliberately took another route home, and I worried all day as I drove around that I had some sort of incriminating evidence of my hit-and-run on the front of my car and that I would be arrested for animal cruelty.

So, if you are reading this and it was your dog, I am deeply sorry, and I feel really bad. If this story was not about your dog, but it could have been, let this be a lesson to you! Please don’t make me a repeat offender.

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7 responses to “Friday Beef

  1. Aww that is no fun! Don’t feel bad about it, you couldn’t help it. I know that it was a bummer to your day though. Maybe it was just a stray anyway.

  2. How horrible! I would have cried.

    I’ve run over one animal, and it was a skunk. I’m pretty sure it was already dead when I hit it. I didn’t know what it was (very dark highway), so I turned around to go check on it. When the skunk smell hit me, I decided against the impulse to rush the wounded animal to the vet. Instead, I turned back around and continued on my way, feeling awful for having run over it, even if it was already dead.

  3. if it makes you feel any better…i ran over the head of our closest pet we ever had named “baby”. since i ran over her head, i had to be the one to get the shovel and scrape her out of the gravel road. i still contend it wasn’t my fault as the other dog, “missy”, chased baby under my wheel. it was a small bump, she was a chihuahua.

  4. I hit a dove once. It actually left feathers in my license plate.

  5. It’s always traumatic to hit an animal. You described the feelings I’ve had also.

    Unfortunate, unavoidable, undo-able.

  6. Clint, I love it when you come out of blog lurkage. It’s always great to have my animal cruelty stories put into perspective.

    And for the record, the dog I hit was no chihuahua…it was a pretty big bump. Sorry if that’s TMI.

    But…at least there were no feathers.

  7. Yup, I’ve hit birds… the kamikaze type that fly across the road. I seriously thought it was some sort of bird gang initiation… if you make it out alive, you’re in.

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