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Thread: need advice - dog ran in front of my car

  1. #1

    Default need advice - dog ran in front of my car

    On Thursday while driving home with my kids in the car, i hit a dog. It ran straight in front of my car and i was unable to avoid it.

    I was not speeding. The owners gates were open and it was going for another dog being walked on the opposite side of the road. I stopped and the owner was running down her driveway screaming. Her kids were in the front yard screaming as well. My kids were crying. I felt and still do feel terrible.

    The dog died within a minute. I apologised over and over and told her the dog ran straight in front of me and i couldnt avoid it. She wouldnt speak to me or look at me. 2 witnesses there tried to comfort me, they told me it wasnt my fault and there was no way i could have stopped.

    But i feel devastated about it. I have pets and i love them dearly, so i can only imagine how bad the owner must feel. Everytime i close my eyes or drive my car, all i see is the dog running at me, hearing the thud and feeling the bump of running over it. I have woken up after dreaming about it, crying my eyes out. How do i cope the the guilt and sadness.

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    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-04-2015 at 07:09 PM. Reason: put some para breaks and detail in the hdr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Rural Western Australia
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    As upsetting as it was, it most certainly wasnt your fault. The owner was instinctively looking for someone to blame other than herself. The fact that you stopped and feel the way you do shows that you care. Unfortunately these things happen in life. The owner is probably kicking herslef for leaving the gate open and if in her mind she blames you then she is in total denial. Dogs are very much like young children, one lapse can spell disaster. As an owner you have to take full responsibility for what happens in a situation like that.

    I remember an unthinking young guy once on the beach threw a ball for my dog right into the path of a small 4WD. Fortunately with the soft sand my dog was only badly bruised as the tyre went over her. The driver of the 4WD felt terrible but I assured them it wasnt their fault. The young guy also felt terrible but it was ultimately my responsibility to protect my dog on a busy beach.

    I think that you just have to try and move on in the knowledge that there was nothing that you could have done.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    As upsetting as it was, it most certainly wasnt your fault. The owner was instinctively looking for someone to blame other than herself. The fact that you stopped and feel the way you do shows that you care. Unfortunately these things happen in life. The owner is probably kicking herslef for leaving the gate open and if in her mind she blames you then she is in total denial. Dogs are very much like young children, one lapse can spell disaster. As an owner you have to take full responsibility for what happens in a situation like that.

    I remember an unthinking young guy once on the beach threw a ball for my dog right into the path of a small 4WD. Fortunately with the soft sand my dog was only badly bruised as the tyre went over her. The driver of the 4WD felt terrible but I assured them it wasnt their fault. The young guy also felt terrible but it was ultimately my responsibility to protect my dog on a busy beach.

    I think that you just have to try and move on in the knowledge that there was nothing that you could have done.
    Oh thank you so much. I really needed to hear someone say that. It has truly traumatized me. Thank you for such kind worda to a stranger. Bless you

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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Bunbury
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    I hear your pain, almost exactly the same thing happened to me many years ago. Made more difficult because the family had a child in my class. They lived on a rural block with a long driveway down to the road. the dog ran out from behind bushes. I was so glad it was nearly the end of the year as I had to see them every day! Yes you do feel guilty even when it is not your fault, sympathy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Western Sydney
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    I know how you feel but it's not your fault...another dog pays the price because of an irresponsible owner. I'm not sure but if there's damage to your car caused by the dog...you can sue the owner...handy to know just in case the owner gets nasty.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you both. It is so nice of you to be understanding and caring. Yes there is a fair bit of damage to my car. Bumper broken in two. Interior wheel guard pulled off completely and water reservoir for windscreen fluid broken. Since i am a single mum with 5 kids, i cannot afford my excess or to pay for it. But i would feel even worse if i asked the owners to pay for it. But yes its good to know in case they get nasty. In all honesty i am still trying to not relive what happened 20 times a day.

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  7. #7
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    They wont have a leg to stand on because their dog was out of control in a public place with potential to cause an accident. It is fortunate that neither you or your kids were hurt. If your car is insured it might be worth talking to your insurers particularly as it was not your fault, you may not have to pay the excess.

    I do feel sorry for the dog that died and I can understand how you must feel but really the only people who could have prevented the accident was the dogs owners. It is not really fair that you are guilted into feeling like you do and with a broken car.

  8. #8
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    Marijke

    So sorry you had to go through this. You probably saved the dog across the road if that's any comfort.

    You did everything right - stopped and contacted (talked to) the dog's owner. Not much else you can do or are required to do.

    Hope your car is ok. Oh it's not. The dog owner is liable and maybe her home contents will cover it. Get a couple of quotes. Talk to the police and your insurance company and ask them to help.

    And remember to take care of yourself too. See if you can find someone in the community liaison or neighbourhood watch part of your local police and have a chat with them - they're usually very comforting, calming and supportive.

    If you find you're still beating yourself up about it in a few weeks you might want to seek some professional help to talk it through to a more rational place. Right now wishing you had a do-over is normal. Normal people don't want to hurt an animal if they can avoid it.

  9. #9

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    This is the first time i have posted on here and i am so glad that i did. Such wonderful caring people. All of you. Its been kind of like therapy for me. Thank you for your support.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Remove your emotion from the situation!
    So easy to say / write. So hard to do.

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