There are times when responsibility for an occurance should be shared. I believe that such was the case in the death of my step-mother’s 2 dogs. My brother was accepting his share of the responsibility for the dogs being in the road, he felt that he was responsible for possibly not seeing to it that the gate latch was secure when he placed the dogs in their play yard that morning. They were safely penned all day without managing to open the gate. No examination of the latch and pen walls has provided any answers as to how they managed to pop the gate latch open. Both dogs had received obedience training, yet the taste of freedom they were experiencing seemed to override it and they refused to come when called. Which resulted in their running into the road to greet a friend who had just stopped to visit and ultimately their death.
Our family and the neighbors who were familiar with the dogs were having a hard time with what appeared to be a lack of accountability on the part of the driver of the car. She denied speeding, she denied using her Bluetooth. She claimed that she applied the brake as soon as she saw them however it was not in time to avoid hitting them. We could not figure out how 2 dogs weighing 85 pounds and 65 pounds respectively could have been killed instantly and thrown at least 20 feet if she’d only been going the 35 mph speed limit. She claimed blamelessness for this devastating accident. She never said a word of condolence to my step-mother, never said to my step-mother that she wished she had seen them sooner, nothing. She spoke to neighbors at the scene, and told a different story to the investigating officers than she told the neighbors. She was mostly concerned with the damage done to her car.
She found supporters, although she has no idea they exist. The owner of this site submitted my post for debate to a site that he is a member of. Despite proof that use of a Bluetooth while driving equals as much impairment as having a BAC of .08 which is the legal definition for Driving While Intoxicated, debaters chose not to address that and solely focused on our “irresponsibility”. The debate became a personal attack against me on the part of some debaters. I quote: “This writer/dumbass is just looking for an excuse to feed her bitterness.” Then there was this: “I say to this dumb bitch with dead dogs and a penchant for hating on hands free devices, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT YOU DUMB BITCH AND YOUR DOGS WERE RUNNING LOOSE!!!!!!” Apparently on the computer it’s only necessary to have one side of a situation in order to point the finger of guilt.
Fortunately, the neighbors familiar with my family didn’t feel the same way. They have small children who sometimes don’t mind any better than the dogs did and there has been a developing problem with speed on that road. They, in their anger at the situation, spoke among themselves, and while comparing notes discovered some interesting information. Information that they then contacted the authorities with. There was the neighbor down the road with the damaged front lawn. The driver behind her who witnessed the entire action. The cell phone camera pictures of both the impact and the final resting place of the mangled bodies of both dogs. Enough for an accident reconstruction team to return to the scene and determine her speed. The dogs were actually thrown more than 100 feet. Buster at 65 pounds was thrown 109 feet. Junior at 85 pounds was thrown 102 feet.
Final results indicate that she was traveling between 55 and 60 mph. In a 35 mph speed zone. She hit the dogs at a point that was to the left of pavement markings, she obviously didn’t have control of her vehicle. I would hate to believe that she saw the dogs and drove right at them. SHE BROKE THE LAW. As a matter of fact, she broke quite a few laws. Speeding, reckless endangerment, driving to the left of pavement markings etc. There is a total of 7 charges being brought against her and if found guilty of any of them she could lose her license to drive. She has marks on her license from a prior speeding conviction. My step-mother’s dogs died as the result of a law breakers decision to drive while not paying attention to what she was doing. We still suspect she was using her Bluetooth. Cell phone records will tell us that since they are being requested by the authorities. I am surprised at that since it’s legal to use a Bluetooth in my state.
None of this will bring the dogs back. None of it really answers the question of why the gate opened. If anything positive has resulted from the efforts of my step-mother’s neighbors it is the knowledge that people can be caring and compassionate enough to attempt to right a situation they believed was wrong. Something that apparently gets lost when we sit in front of a computer screen and set aside our humanity enough to allow ourselves to champion technology at the expense of human grief and loss.