Friday, June 01, 2007

Let slip the dogs of negligence….

I was just about to cross the last main road before home the other night (Limestone Ave for Canberrans and those who would love them) when I saw this guy on the other side with two small dogs – Jack Russell terriers, I think. I stopped to wait for the considerable volume of traffic only to see the two little dogs bolt across the road towards me.

‘Oh God those dogs nearly got hit,’ I thought, what an idiot. What an idiot I was, assuming that they would make it across. Assuming that bad things just don’t suddenly happen within a metre of me.

One dog crossed but the slower one… Bam! Yeeeelp! It was knocked by the bumper bar of a 4-wheel drive that hadn’t slowed down at all. It rolled into the gutter and lay there, twisted, unmoving, staring up at me with huge eyes. The other dog now barked excitedly while the owner simply watched from the other side; because the traffic had not let up he was unable to cross. He seemed curiously calm, waiting patiently for the break in traffic.

He was eventually able to cross and walked right past the hit dog to the second dog and put the leish he was carrying on it. I looked down at the struck dog and saw that it was alive and that it had now got up, still in the road, and was walking in a very awkward fashion. I assumed several of its bones were broken. I was worried it might be hit again so I stepped onto the road and picked it up, holding it carefully under the rib cage. Amazingly there was no blood and the dog did not seem to be in pain. I put it down next the other dog and their owner. He was still very calm, talking to the dogs as if they were fetching slippers.

I’ve felt this before, rarely. When you’re in what ought to be an emergency or extreme situation, and yet everything is banal, ordinary, unremarkable. I felt like I ought to be angry and yet the moment was so dull.

‘Mate, try using a leish next time,’ I said, in my best manful chiding tone and crossed the road, looking back at the injured dog which watched me as the man put its leish on too. He had mumbled something, shrugged, in response to my mild telling off.

And then I was around the corner and they were out of sight.

I recounted this sorry to some friends over dinner. One, a female colleague, laughed out loud that I had been so 'insensitive' to a man who ‘was probably suffering from shock at the injury to his pet’. But I didn’t see it that way. I just saw a thoughtless man whose stupidity and negligence had allowed an innocent animal to be injured, possibly seriously, or even killed. I owed him no consideration.


Enny said...

I woulda taken it to the vet and taken it home.

Sure it's dognapping, but the pet deserves better.

redcap said...

People like that don't deserve pets. I bet he didn't even take the poor little guy to the vet afterwards!

The Man at the Pub said...

I want a pet moose. At least if they get hit, they destroy the car...or a greyhound, because they are they only dog that can actually catch the seagulls at the beach.

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