The Wagging Tail

r to l: Earl, Ellie, Jett – The Corgis

The humble dog, he is always there for us when we need him; there to play, there to cuddle, there to cry upon.  And yet accidents come to these animals just as much as they do to their human counterparts.  But as humans we can survive a broken leg or gash or sometimes even a stroke – a dog has less of a chance.

In my life I’ve had ten dogs.  There was: Dacey, a long-haired Dachshund; Courtney, the feisty Cocker Spaniel; the family of Golden Retrievers starting with Bridgette, her daughter Riley and Riley’s daughter Mackenzie; (I am going to count my family’s dogs because I do love these guys just as much as I love my own fur babies) Molley “Miggy”, the English Bulldog and Murphy, the spastic-blonde Golden Retriever (no relation to the girls above).  With my husband we have raised three Welsh Pembroke Corgis: Earl (12), Jett (11) and Ellie (8) photographed above.  Each one of these dogs has been a good, if not, best friend of mine all through my life.  My heart swells for each animal and it is never easy to say good-bye.

Now, as a reader you might think that I lost one of my beloved pets today, but I did not.  I witnessed a horrific accident that involved someone else’s pride and joy.  At eight a.m. Cameron and I were driving to school and he saw a blonde, pink-nosed lab sticking his head out the window in the cool, Spring air.  Ears were flying, tongue was waving and drool was hitting the back window as he blissfully enjoyed the ride.  Cameron got a big kick out of him, laughing and pointing as we drove by, passing the black SUV.

Suddenly, I heard the squealing of brakes, my eyes darted to the rear-view mirror and I saw plumes of black smoke coming from the wheels of a red car behind me.  I had no idea what had happened.  I’d barely cleared that very intersection only seconds before with no trouble at all.  But then I saw it, a fluffy white tail wriggling in the air and the sweet blonde lab writhing his way across the street.  All traffic had stopped.  I pulled into the preschool parking lot and watched the scene unfold out my side window, Cameron’s view carefully obstructed, he did not need to witness the next few moments.  The SUV darted into another parking lot, one owner, then two running over to the injured pet.  The red car swerves into the same lot and exits, his hands are on his head, his face wrought with fright and sadness.  It’s obvious he can’t believe what had happened, he’d tried so hard to avoid, but still couldn’t move away from the animal fast enough.  The female owner cradles and strokes the dog, the male comes over to the red car driver, patting him on the shoulder, perhaps giving him words of comfort since both men shake their head in dismay.  The red car driver wipes his face, fallen tears for the actions he couldn’t help.  The men cross the street to the woman and the injured canine.  It is the last thing I see: the three people sitting around the dog and his fluffy white tail still wagging, still lapping up the attention and love from the humans around him.

I’m praying, gritting my teeth and shaking as if this darling lab was my own.  Cameron is in the backseat, worried, asking, “Mommy, what happened?”

I tell him, “A little accident happened.  The sweet doggie we saw in the window fell down and hurt his leg.”  It’s the watered down version of what a five-year old can handle.

I drop him off and cry my way home.  I open the door to my townhouse and immediately call for Jett and Earl then uncrate Ellie to catch them in my arms and bask in the comfort my dogs bring.  Later on I tried calling the surrounding vets in the area and no one has had a car accident victim come in all morning.  The last woman I spoke with gave me some words of reassurance as I cried softly to her on phone. “Dogs are stronger than we think.  Just the other day we had one who was hit by a car and he’s already home with some stitches and a cast, doing just fine.  Take with you the fact that the dog you saw was wagging its tail as you left it.”

I did just that and until now. I thought I was ok with the situation that happened over fourteen hours ago, but I wasn’t.  For a second I thought maybe someone would’ve reported on the story, since it was so vivid to me, but after checking the newspaper, no one had.  And that’s when I wanted to dedicated my blog to the sweet yellow lab with the pink nose who I last saw wagging its tail.



  1. Awe. E. I’m so sorry to hear about that sweet family pet. I pray he will recover 100 percent – but it was so sweet of you to think of him/her and remind us all to take good care of our family pets since that could happen to any one. Big hugs to you my friend!!! Love you 🙂 Mishy

  2. How horrible! I’ve never seen that and I hope I never do. I got sick to my stomach the other day because a squirrel was lying in the street splayed out, it’s eyes still open and it’s tail flapping around. It was awful. Some people will say they’re “just animals,” but the life drains out of their eyes the same way it drains out of a human’s. Suffering is something we have in common and it doesn’t matter to me if you’re seeing it in a human’s eyes, or the eyes of an animal, it’s still suffering and it’s heart-wrenching to witness. My prayers go out tonight for this dog, his/her owners, and the poor man that hit the dog. I can’t imagine what that would be like, for everyone involved.

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