Today, Brutus Maximus was hit by a Comcast truck.
It was my fault. Entirely my fault.
Because there is a LEASH LAW in my town. And he wasn't on a leash.
Brutus Maximus, my constant and faithful companion, is a greyhound, and has the distinction of being the largest greyhound in the state of Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Greyhound Association, the organization which rescues greyhounds and finds them homes.
I adopted Brutus Maximus on August 8, 2007, and the photo above is the day we met. The photo below, taken by photographer extraordinaire Shamus Ian Fatzinger of Washington DC, was taken in a warehouse soon afterwards.
Folks, I cannot blame the fellow driving the truck. I can only blame myself. There is a leash law in my town, and despite my six-months of near-military training, and Brutus' response, he still gets excited when he sees our neighbor friends, Kevin and Lucille. After our usual morning ritual of me with my Cuban coffee and Brutus peeing across the street, he saw me speaking with Kevin and bolted across the street...at the exact moment a Comcast truck was speeding by (headed down a dead-end street, I might add). Despite the fact that I was practically in the middle of the street waving for him (the driver) to stop, it was the perfect storm of dog and vehicle. Brutus bolted across the street to see Kevin just as the driver was about to cross his path...but the driver looked at me and didn't stop...
And he hit Brutus.
Brutus bounced off the front bumper of the Comcast vehicle and bounced into my car (which was parked right at that spot) and the Brutus bounced and rolled up on all fours, shaking, nervous, and somewhat shaken. He ended up running behind Kevin's house and Kevin went down the driveway and I went down the other side of his house. I immediately palpated Brutus' entire body, and he didn't even whimper. There were some cuts and abrasions, but nothing "major."
We went to the VCA Emergency Hospital in Shelton CT, and they were absolutely wonderful. The doctor who attended Brutus did an ultrasound, and there was no internal bleeding, which was my biggest fear. After we discussed Brutus' possible needs, we settled on an x-ray to ensure there were no "air pockets" (piercings of the lungs which could cause air to collect in the ribcage area of the dog, leading to possible expansion and pressure which could cause the internal organs to move and possibly cause a heart attack). The x-ray was clear, and the doctor noted that I was a bit knowledgable about the care of animals (I did work for a few years at The Humane Society of Greater Miami) so rather than keep the dog overnight (ca-CHING!), she felt confident that I could take Brutus home and keep an eye on him myself.
Since then, we've been ON THE LEASH and out for several walks. I made sure he saw Kevin because Kevin was subjected to seeing something no one should see: a dog being hit by a vehicle. Then I made sure he later visited Lucille, who is terribly fond of Brutus, and is another one of the people he bolts across the street to see. So Brutus has eaten plenty, and he's on his pain meds and antibiotics and he's resting on the bed.
Folks, let my lesson be your lesson.
LEASH YOUR DOG!
It's called "an accident" because that's what it is: an accident.
But "trust" is the #1 killer of dogs, simply because you "trust" your dog off the leash. Turn your back for a moment, and you never know what will happen, even on a dead end street.
So, again, thanks to the doctors at the VCA in Shelton, and Maria at the FCU for understanding, and I personally thank God for sparing Brutus from my ego-driven moment. Special mention to St. Francis of Assisi and his sister St. Clare.
I don't know what I would have done had the outcome not been as positive as it was today.
But, as I said to Brutus Maximus in the SUV on the way to the vet:
"Brutus: Daddy was hit by a car when he was seven, and is still here. Now you have been hit by a car at the age of seven, and you're going to make it as well."
A very humbling experience, to say the leash.
Got a dog?
GET A LEASH, and USE IT!!!