Yes...i've ran over a couple of squirrels before, probably a rabbit or two..but i've never hit a dog. Especially right in front of her home. Heres the story, I'll tell the truth and I hope I don't get bashed for not reacting differently.
Yesterday I took off of work early to go play some golf at a nearby course. I went out to my golf course with my trailer to pick up the golf cart and head off. I hooked up the trailer and loaded the cart and was heading back out. The small one-lane oil-paved road runs by the course on the right and some houses along the left. I wasn't going more than 20 miles per hour, mainly because of the cart and the trailer. When I get just about even with this one house, a dog catches my eye running along a little sidestreet/driveway directly towards the side of my car. She was white, and looks like some type of terrier...alot like LukefromGeorgia (I think thats your name!) little white dog. She wasn't going to go in front of me, because the front of my car was already passed her. But she came very close, and I got really nervous...because as you all know, when dogs chase cars...they aim right for the side and then file in behind the car to chase it off. Well, I had a dog before that got hit by a truck carrying a trailer, and I assume its just because he wasn't used to something being behind the car.
Sure enough, I am looking in my rear view mirror and she hits the first tire of the trailer and immediately flips over on her back with all four legs in the air and is immediately still. I knew she died instantly. At this point in time, my mouth drops open and i'm kind of in shock. I don't stop immediately, mainly because i'm still in shock and don't know what to do. About 1/4 of a mile later is the end of the road at the highway. I am sitting there still trying to process that I killed someone's pet (she had a colored collar on and tags). I am wondering "should I go back? Of course I should. But, what will I need to do?". I was mainly afraid of having to go up to her, read her tags, and find the house she belongs to and ring the doorbell to tell them I killed their pet. I had images of screaming kids and angry parents. I admit truthfully, for a half-second I thought about just tucking tail and leaving...but then I immediately thought of Ty and knew that if someone hit him and knew it, and didn't come back I'd be furious...plus it was just the right thing to do.
So, I turned around on a small gravel street that runs parallel to the one I was one, this street runs behind all of those houses. I get back to the house she came from and see that she's not in the street anymore. I didn't get excited, because I knew she was dead...I just knew somebody had already gotten her out of the road. Then I saw two kids in the front yard...no more than 4-5 years old...then I REALLY started to get anxious, but they didn't seem to be upset but rather just playing. I pulled alongside the house and I saw a man on the front, I know the guy vaguely. He sees me and immediately knows who I am and why i'm there. He starts walking towards me in a non-confrontational manner, so that makes me feel better. I start apologizing and he kinda pats me on the shoulder and says its alright, they've been trying to train her and she's been doing that lately. He said, "we've already had to spank her twice this morning. I saw her headed towards you and I called her twice, but she just ignored me." I apologized a few more times, and we shook hands and I left. Evidently he was able to get her out of the road and into the ditch before the kids saw. I came by later and she was out of the ditch.
I was relieved that it went so well with the owner, but I still felt terrible nonetheless. I just thought about Ty and what'd I do in the same situation. I felt really guilty at first, but there was honestly not a single thing I could've done to prevent it. Maybe if I had seen her when she first left the front porch, I could've maybe just come to a complete stop. But I was looking forward and didn't see her til she was maybe 15 feet from me. Slowing down wouldn't have done any good, she would've still hit the back tires. Swerving wouldn't have done any good she was still going to come in behind me.
Anyway, that was an experience I would soon like to forget...sorry for the rambling, but I just felt the need to get it out..
I ran over a cat a couple years ago and felt the same way In your case, it's certainly not your fault, that lands on the stupid owners who didn't contain their dog properly and "tried" to train out natural insticts (chasing prey) a rediculous way (spanking). I agree...I hope they never have another pet.
Don't beat yourself up..you went back. I had the same thing happen to me, a sort of Benji type dog..I saw it on the street..and as I started to pass it..it ran out between two cars..and went under the back tire of my van..I was heartsick..I stopped..and as I got out..he was sort of running away..there was a big church on the corner..and he hightailed it towards the front..I couldn't leave my van in the middle of the street..and there was no parking..so I continued onto my destination, which was in another city..and when I got there..called the local police of the town it happened in. I was bawling like a baby from the moment I hit him till many hours later..even while talking to the police I couldn't stop crying..they said they found him..dead on the front steps of the church. I was heartbroken. I offered to pay something..to do something..but the police were nice..there were no tags...nothing either one of us could do. To this day..I will never forget the feeling of my tire running over him. It was the only time I hit an animal.
Gah - This just sucks. For you. For the kids. For the dog. You did the right thing in stopping. If it were me, I know I would have not only stopped but probably thrown up. And then gave the owners a good piece of my mind.
Donít beat yourself up you did the knobble thing by going back and speaking with the owner.
If anyone is at fault itís the owner. He should have had the dog in control. If there was a known issue with it chasing cars then he should have been on a lead for its own safety. You didnít kill that dog the owner did by letting it run free in the first place.
Even more so, if your town has a leash law, If so the owner was at fault even legally and can take no action against you.
what is with the owner "spanking" the dog, that isn't right either....
Itís an unfortunate situation for all, for you being a dog lover knowing you ended an animal you loves life and for the owner and especially the children who the dog belonged to.
I feel for you, but just know that you did what you could.