Last week my friend, Toni, posted this amazing story on her Facebook page. She said I could share it with my readers.
“Last week I was home sick, with my sick son, Tristen, who had a doctor’s appointment at 9 a.m. As we got on the freeway, it started to rain. I drive really slow these days, gas conservation and all, and I sure am happy I did, because just as we all merged on the freeway and started moving comfortably, it happened.
“A huge pit bull veered seemingly out of nowhere. Immediately I braked, having almost hit the dog. Then, I pulled over to get the dog out of the freeway. How would I do that? I had a 4-year-old in the car, and I wasn’t about to leave him in the car to chase a dog. I told Tristen not to move a muscle, got out, locked the doors and looked for the dog.
“It was too late. As soon as I turned to look for the dog, it had already run back out to the freeway and in front of a big semi. The semi screeched to a halt, and missed the dog. Unfortunately though, the car in the fast lane didn’t see what was happening and the dog ran in front of that truck instead. BAM. I can’t even put into words how horrible it was to see that happen.
“Another lady in a Jeep stopped too and ran out to grab the dog. This amazing person put herself at risk, as traffic was still very confused and trying to move, and picked that dog up and brought it to the side of the road.
“While this was happening, another person had pulled over. It happened to be a familiar face; Chuck he stopped because he saw me, and wanted to help. He didn’t see the dog get hit, (and later told me that’s why he had his wits about him), but he was there and another man who stopped as well. I think the other guy was actually the one who hit the dog. Mind you, he had no idea there was a pit bull running in front of him and couldn’t have avoided it if he tried.
“The three of us huddled around this hero of a woman who pulled this dog out of the highway. None of us knew what to do. So we lay the dog down as gently as possible, that poor broken dead dog. The second the dog was put down she started gulping air. She wasn’t dead, but surely she should have been. Surely she would die. What do we do?
“Chuck, the man who had stopped when he recognized me loaded the dog in his VW and sped off to the emergency vet in Atascadero.
“After the doctor’s appointment, Tristen and I went right over to the emergency vet in Atascadero to check on Chuck and the dog. When we pulled in, Chuck’s car was gone, and I was scared to go in. I knew that dog was dead, and how would I explain that to Tristen? I tried to talk Tristen out of going in, but he wasn’t having it. I said, ‘OK, big guy, but that dog was hurt really bad. OK?’
“They (the employees) said Chuck brought the dog in, and that she was in the back and in stable condition. It was incredible. The dog was going to be OK. I asked if there were any fees that Chuck had to pay, so I could pay him back since he was pretty much stuck with everything, and she said no. If they didn’t locate the owners, animal control would handle everything. The dog was going to be OK — all thanks to some pretty incredible people.
“Now you’d think this story ends here. Nope. It gets even better.
“The next day, when I called to check on the dog I just wanted to make sure the dog was doing OK, because I saw her get hit. She said, ‘You saw it happen?’ I explained the whole thing to her, and she asked for Chuck’s phone number — because the owners wanted to thank him! I started crying, gave her his info, and said thank you, that’s all I wanted to know.
“Here’s what I heard happened. Two people and their dog were driving along and were in an accident, the two young people were apparently pretty banged up, but their dog took off running and couldn’t be found. The dog managed to keep running alone, and confused, until she made it to the freeway, and then was hit herself.
“All three of them are now reunited, and all doing OK — happy ending thanks to some pretty amazing people.”
Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.