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Thread: I hit a dog today

  1. #1
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    I hit a dog today
    So, I ran over a dog today when I left the house. I feel like absolute crap about it, even though it wasn't my fault.

    Here's what happened. I was driving a long in the Left turn lane leaving my neighborhood, when I hear not one, but two thuds. I thought I hit a pothole, but when I look out I see the dog's family running out to the road. I stop, get out and walk over to them. They teenage girl is SCREAMING at me "You killed my dog!". All I can say is "I'm so sorry". I didn't know what to do, I was in shock, said "I'm sorry" again, got in my car and left.

    I know this wasn't my fault, the dog should have been on a leash or something, but I still feel horrible. So I need your help getting over this:

    Has anyone else had this happen?
    Is there an ettiquette to this?
    Should I have stayed longer?
    Should I send them a card?

    I have just had this replay in my head all day. I'm trying to get over it.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Hello Michael,

    Sorry to hear about your accident ... but I agree that the dog should have been on a leash and not in the roadway.

    I don't know what to say other than I'd probably send them a card stating your apology for the unfortunate accident. You may offer to replace the dog with another from the local pet shop ... it may be a kind gesture, as well as a healing method for their family and you personally.
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  3. #3
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    Wow, Dude, Very Deep.

    It's a tough loss but I am sure she'll get over it. I don't have any advice for you besides that, just.... WOW!

  4. #4
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    Hey DesignerWiz,

    I thought about that, but wouldn't that be too soon? I don't know, maybe I'll just offer.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. #5
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    Hey Jon,

    Yeah, it sucked.

  6. #6
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    I don't think I would offer to buy them another dog... I think a card would be enough. This is just an unfortunate accident, it is not like you did it on purpose. Life happens, death happens, then we move on.

  7. #7
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Sucks there is no winner when that happens I feel for you. No clue what i would do. Maybe in a few days I would get their phone number and call them, I really don't know. I know I wouldn't send a card though. I just hate paper trails in any fashion. Not to sound bad but a card with your name on it could be an admision of guilt in court if it ever came to that.

    This sounds like a good Yahoo answers question. I am sure this has happened to someone else. Like I said I feel for you
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  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I think you should send an expensive apology card and perhaps an "I'm Sorry" bouquet to boot. The dog was a member of the family!

    But do NOT offer another dog! Each dog is unique and lovable in his own way...to offer a "replacement" as if it's some interchangeable, disposable gizmo that you "broke" will only add insult to injury.

    If it was a purebred, you may be in for paying some financial compensation, once they calm down enough to remember the hundreds of $$$. It probably won't be the first thing on their minds, though.

    Should I have stayed longer?
    Maybe a couple more "sorrys" worth would have been better, but there really isn't much to say, and anything further in the heat of the moment would have likely ended up badly anyhow.

    Edited to add:

    Not to sound bad but a card with your name on it could be an admision of guilt in court if it ever came to that.
    Yeah, he's got a point! I didn't think of that.

    But you do need some way to apologize beyond the shocked and probably mumbled "sorry..."

  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    An apology will suffice. I'm not sure where you live but Vegas and most other metropolitan areas have leash laws that are designed to prevent this type of thing from happening.

    If you feel like going a step above, consider a donation to a local rescue in the family's name, or offer an adoption fee at your local SPCA. That way the money will be there waiting for them whenever they're ready for a new pet.
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  10. #10
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    Hey Anne and Vinny,

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Leader,

    Why do you think I would be "in for paying some financial compensation"? Their dog ran out in front of me. If anything, I believe florida law says that they'd have to pay for any damages to my car (for not having it on a leash). I was just thinking of getting them something as a nice, human being thing to do.

  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    You can't beat yourself up for a dog. I know it's the owners you are sad for, but if they think it's your fault a card won't help. If they now understand that it's not your fault then your are already forgiven. Give it a few days before you decide maybe, but what do I know?

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Nunez
    Hey Anne and Vinny,

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Leader,

    Why do you think I would be "in for paying some financial compensation"? Their dog ran out in front of me. If anything, I believe florida law says that they'd have to pay for any damages to my car (for not having it on a leash). I was just thinking of getting them something as a nice, human being thing to do.
    I'm not familiar with FL law, especially as it'd pertain to something offbeat like that.
    I just know that some people are sue-crazy, so if it was some expensive breed, they may try to get it from ya. If they wouldn't stand a chance, no need to be concerned about losing, then.

    IMO the nice thing to do would be to offer a proper apology, but then NYFalcon made that comment about an "admission of guilt"...if the law's on your side, then don't worry about it, send the card!

    While I see the logic in what Bumpaw says...if they have forgiven you, they'd probably still feel better with a card.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
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    You can Google some stuff:

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Personal-...njured-dog.htm

    People really need to keep their dogs on leashes or on their property. Not only so the dog doesn't get hurt or killed but also so people don't get in accidents. I've had a dog and made sure it never ran free (meaning off the property). Where I used to live they were running loose all over the place and it used to piss me off. First, like I said, the dog could get hit. What kind of owner lets their dogs run around like that, you wouldn't let your kids play in the street. Second, where I used to live, if I swerved to miss the dog, my car would flip down the mountain and I would be gone or seriously jacked up. And it was an accident, they happen. It wouldn't have happened if their dog wasn't out there running loose. Not a good situation for anybody. Can happen to anybody.
    Last edited by Trust; April 30th, 2007 at 06:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Joe, Bumpaw, Leader, and Trust.

    I guess I just have to come to terms with it. As bumpaw said, I feel for the family.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I understand your feelings ... but it does come down to the point of responsability being theirs. That is what leashes and collars are designed for.
    Ray Thomas
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  16. #16
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    Well said, DesignerWiz. I'm sure it will just take time, Michael.
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I came close to hitting a loose dog just last week. Fortunately, I was far enough away when it bolted across the street that I could safely slow down without someone behind me ending up in my trunk.

    I have little sympathy for people who punt their dogs out the door to run loose in the neighborhood. A former neighbor of ours did that and their dog ended up biting 2 bicyclists and attacked our dog with us (she was half the size of her attacker, but she held her own and chased the other dog off... her leash trailing behind her! Spunky little mutt... Fortunately, we caught her before she followed the other dog into the owner's house. Hehehe...)

    The only place our dog goes without a leash is our fenced backyard (with the wooden planks buried in 4-6 inches of cement). Period. She's half beagle and prone to take off after a scent, as we discovered when she slipped out through the front door, as we came in, a few times after we first got her. Fortunately, though she gave us a good chase, we got her back before she got to any busy streets. If she had gotten hit, we would've blamed ourselves for not being a little more careful.

    As nyfalcon said, there's no winner here. It could be that the dog just got loose even though the family had taken proper precautions. That happens. If they didn't take proper precautions, I'm sure they will now. It's a tough lesson to have to learn.

    But the point is this was an accident, plain and simple. Try not to beat yourself up about it.

    That said, I think a donation to the ASPCA would be a nice gesture. I know if it was me, I would appreciate that.
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  18. #18
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    Sorry to hear it Mike. It's not your fault. Not the dog's fault.
    As for protocol, you apologized. It's not like you did it on purpose or just refused to stop when you saw the dog run out in front of you. I'm not sure more than that is needed.

  19. #19
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Oh hon, I'm so sorry. I ran over a pigeon once, (the guy in front of me swiped it, it got disoriented and I couldn't maneuver out of the way fast enough). It's a horrible feeling, I'm so sorry. I like the idea of donating to the SPCA...that's definitely a beautiful way to honor the pup's memory.

  20. #20
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Sorry Mike, I know it's rough. About 20 years ago I hit a stray dog on a dark country road. Took some friends and I over an hour to find it. I was devastated. Takes a while to get over it.

    I think donating to the SPCA is a nice gesture and would make you feel better.
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  21. #21
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    Glad that you are OK and I pitty the family that just lost the dog. As mentioned by Ray, most likely the dog is part of the family.

    Doubt that you can do much except to apologize.

  22. #22
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    You can't beat yourself up over an unfortunate accident. Dog shouldn't have been there for you to hit. When ever my dog used to get loose and take off I would panic until we retrieved him, but if he got hit it wouldn't have been the driver's fault. It would have been just an accident.
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  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    A "sorry for your lose" card with a hand written message would go a long way for both youself and the family.
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  24. #24
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    Mike, I wouldn't buy them another dog. Animal shelters have a ton of animals which need homes. A Card and maybe helping to pay for the burial or like others had suggested a nice boquet with a card.

    Another thing which could be a nice gesture would be a donation to an animal charity in honor of their dog and then send them the certificate. It could be for a no kill shelter, a local park, obedience courses, etc.....

    Hope your feeling better. =0(
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  25. #25
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    Hi Everyone,

    I feel better, thanks for your thoughts. I'll sleep on it and see what I think in the morning. Joe and Lox, didn't you guys have a shelter that needed donations? Is that still going on?

    -Mike

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