This weekend, my dog Molly was hit by a car in McLean, Virginia. Molly (shown here after teaching one of my classes) is still in intensive care but is expected to survive. However, it will take a while for me to get over my anger toward the driver who left my son on the side of the road after hitting our dog.
Molly got off the leash while being walked by Benjamin down Westermoreland Avenue in McLean. She was hit by a large SUV and collapsed in the street. The man driving the SUV stopped and expressed concern to Benjamin and then left my son with his dog. Fortunately, a nurse with an animal welfare hospital was driving by and stopped to assist Ben as I rushed to the scene. I could not be more thankful to the nurse. (A second man who just also happened to work at an animal hospital lived in the house next to the accident and also came out and was wonderful). However, when I arrived on the scene (dragging my own broken foot from an accident the day before), the driver had long ago left the scene. A shocked witness said he checked his car for damage and expressed concern before taking off. He gave no explanation and just left the accident scene without leaving his name or number.
There was never any question in our minds of suing. Our dog got off her leash. It was our fault. However, I cannot imagine any man leaving a boy on the side of the road with a dog that he hit, even if another man had come to assist. It was a disgraceful act, particularly since the driver did not know if the other man would stay with Benjamin. He just got in his jumbo SUV and carried on with his day. This is someone who desperately needs to look at his priorities and consider the lack of humanity shown in leaving a terrified 13-year-old boy cradling his seriously injured dog on the side of the road. Since I arrived within minutes, he could not have lingered long at the scene. His departure also prevented us from knowing the speed of the accident or any other details — information that the hospital wanted to have.
My faith in humanity however was restored by the two men who stayed with Benjamin. We put Molly in my car and rushed to the hospital. She was in shock and her breathing was beginning to fail. Sean, the nurse from McLean Animal Hospital, caught up to me in his truck and told me to follow him to the hospital to be sure that I did not get lost. I would have gotten lost without him. The other man from the house was equally kind and helpful. They both helped carry Molly to my car. I am in their debt.
We have been visiting Molly in the Hope Animal Hospital, which has 24-hour care. She is now standing for short periods. She has serious bruising and some bleeding internally as well as a torn up side. She also has four fractured ribs. She still is unable to breath on her own without the help of an oxygen tank. However, she is showing improvement and was able to stand and walk this morning. She is one tough dog. She did not cry once through this whole ordeal. We hope to have her home in a couple of days once she is breathing on her own.