Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cam vs. Car Part 1 (#3 in the Dog series)

When Cameron had lived with us about 6 months, and was about 15 months old, he had an unfortunate encounter with a car. 

BestestHusband was walking the dogs in the Arboretum before work, per our usual routine. The dogs typically went off leash once safely in the Arb, chased squirrels and each other, then went back on leash to leave the Arb and come home. 

Well, that day, there was a Great Dane puppy (much larger than Cam, of course!) running around off-leash, too. He took a great interest in playing with Cam and Mandy. Who were not interested, of course (neurotic and shy dogs that they are). A more appropriate description for Cam would be "bug-eyed anxiety". Anyway, BestestHusband mentioned this to the owner of the Dane, and asked him to leash the dog. He did, the first time. But didn't after that. So when Cam saw the dog galloping over to "play," he freaked. He saw our house across the street. A very busy rush hour street. He looked at the Dane. He looked at home. He decided to make a run for it. Into rush hour traffic. 

He didn't make it. The woman who hit him was hysterical. He had just leapt out in front of her, and she couldn't stop in time. I heard the screech of tires and the yelp of the dog from inside the house. I lugged my 7 months pregnant self outside to join our neighbors who had also run outside. BestestHusband had scraped Cameron off the pavement and was running towards the house. I was given orders to grab Mandy and see if the other dog owner was around. Mandy was duly freaked, and thankfully didn't also get hurt. The driver of the car was hysterical and apologetic. I tried to convince her it wasn't her fault. I knew that there was no way to avoid a dog that bolted out on that road. And Cam was a freakish bolter. 

The other dog owner had vanished. 

BestestHusband was bleeding, as Cam had bitten him in pain and fear. He said Cam looked pretty bad. By then, he'd wrapped him in a towel and was putting him in the front seat of the car to go to the hospital. We have a world-class animal hospital 10 minutes away. Away they went. 

I went to work. I was hysterical. I got a call from BestestHusband after Cam was admitted to the hospital. He was alive, and would be ok, but had at least a broken leg, and a lot of road rash. More info would come later, but they were evaluating him for surgery. I called the driver of the car and gave her an update. She sounded truly thankful. I again reminded her that it wasn't her fault. I still feel so awful for her, she really took it hard...

The work day crawled by. We could go see him in the doggie ICU after work. 

So we celebrated our wedding anniversary that night in the animal ICU. Cam was drugged, he hadn't undergone surgery yet, and he was still a bit of a mess. Poor guy wanted to be in our laps, which was difficult with all of his bandages, IVs, and semi-sedated state. My pregnant frame was perched on the edge of his kennel, trying to comfort my poor baby. We were all a mess that night. When we got home, Mandy was not herself. She was glued to a towel. The one BestestHusband wrapped Cam in when he took him to the hospital. It had Cam's scent on it. Mandy couldn't leave it. It was one of the sweetest and saddest things I've seen.

Next time:  How bad could it be? (hint, it was ugly!)


  1. I'm crying.....poor Cam! Sometime I'll tell you the story of our sweet golden retriever Bear; also involves surgery but no cars were involved.

    1. The end of the story is happy! Check out part 2!