Hello everyone...I know I've been 'dead' for a while. (Well...because I have almost NOTHING of value to say so I just keep my yap shut around here :P) Anyway...
First of all, I urge EVERYONE with dogs to invest in car safety harnesses/seat belts for them. Use them for EVERY car ride, EVERY time...no matter how short the trip or where you're driving! I know you can find them on several websites as well as larger pet stores and pet supply catalogs....use one specifically made for use in the car. Or use a crate with the seatbelt fastened through it somehow. But above all, don't let your pet loose in the car and never tie them by their neck!
I was only driving to a neighborhood a few blocks away to walk my dog when this happened: http://www.cyoc.net/albums/northwolf/totaled1.jpg
Basically, my Outback was broadsided by an SUV going 40+ miles per hour. I was going 20 miles per hour, maybe a bit slower, as I was preparing to yield. I was coming to an intersection and blinded by the sun so bad that I didn't even realize I'd gone past the sign. I was in the intersection of a very busy four-lane street before I knew it. I had NO time to react.
It really is amazing how my deliriously-happy Saturday was absolutely SHATTERED in just one moment. The crash happened in the blink of an eye- I only had enough time to accelerate hard to get me and my passenger out of the strike zone. As a result of this action, the impact happened at the read 1/3 of my vehicle. If it had hit closer to where I was sitting, I might still be in the hospital now. As it is I got whiplash and banged my knee pretty good. I have a bruise the size of an orange on my left knee. My passenger (my best friend) was completely unhurt.
Riding in the vehicle with me was my 12 year old collie. She was laying down loose in the cargo area. When we collided, my car spun several quick revolutions and she was thrown right through the side window and landed several yards (25+ feet away) from my vehicle. I absolutely cannot describe the sheer horror of spinning around and seeing my dog'* body flying through the air in front of my car. I am still having nightmares and flashbacks of the events. But I digress...
As soon as my car stopped spinning my friend and I both bolted and ran up to the body of my dog. To my shock she was still alive. She was panting and bleeding from her mouth. I just held her and cried and cried, totally oblivious to everything around me. I thought she was dying right there. People were trying to pull me away from her but I didn't move away.
I can't really remember a lot from what happened, other than that there was a lot of noise and commotion and police officers and...PLENTY of gawkers. Even people shooting pictures and video that I suspect were not from the local news crew (although apparently this did make the news).
Finally four strangers offered the help I desperately needed. A woman let me use her cell phone to call my mother (who could not leave work) and the boys ran up with a board to carry her on (like a stretcher) and some blankets. They loaded her up in their truck and my friend went with them to my vet'*.
She SURVIVED...with no fractures or internal bleeding. The blood in her mouth turned out to be from road rash on her chin. All of her x-rays were clean. However she sustained a brachial plexus injury to her left front leg which resulted in nerve damage...possibly permanent. I am rather optimistic for two reasons; she has shown marked and daily improvement, as far as feeling sensation in the leg and otherwise improving in health...and two, she is one HELL of a fighting spirit. It'* absolutely miraculous that she was not killed on impact. Right now she is doing fairly well. She has a few lacerations on her body that are healing nicely. A nasty-looking bruise on her belly. I have been doing physical therapy at home to help her regain use of her leg. Apart from not being able to move around much (she is not too strong on only three legs) she has been acting normally.
Interesting fact: Before my dog was en route to the vet'* I called my dad and asked him to come to the scene because he has a wagon he could transport her in. He never showed up and later I found out why: he got rear-ended on the way to my accident, and on the same road too. Talk about one hell of a bad day. He was okay...a little whiplash...but the rear of his Audi was crunched.
Bottom line: get a safety harness for your pet. The vet bill was $700+ dollars. A safety harness might have ran me $70 dollars and would have totally prevented my dog from flying out the window. I can't put a price on my pet'* life whatsoever. It'* just dumb luck she'* still alive. Everyone pretty much agreed that her survival was nothing short of miraculous. A safety harness is an investment you can't afford NOT to make.
By the way...My '97 Subaru Outback Limited, AKA 'Sue', was declared a total loss. I have actually been grieving over this...complete with sobbing and anger and all that. I really did love her and will miss her dearly...
...But the search for a new car is on! Now I am EXTREMELY torn...do I get another of my beloved Subaru Outbacks? Or do I indulge my darker Bonneville fantasies?