Friday, July 15, 2011
We are all aware of car accidents; we hear of them on the news every day, but we never think it will be us.At 5 a.m. on July 29th, a rainy morning, I left my house to go for my early swim at the Cuesta College pool. Since there is no shelter for Bud, my Service Dog, there, I left him home. After merging onto the freeway, my driver had a seizure. His car spun out of control for nearly five miles, swerving wildly back and forth across lanes from shoulder to shoulder. I thought we might go over a cliff. My driver remained slumped over with his foot on the gas pedal, one shoulder leaning on me. It happened so fast; I tried to wake him; I hung on for dear life. Eventually I felt the car turn as we sped from our southbound lane into on-coming traffic on the northbound lane. We broke through a chain link fence, a picket fence, turned again and dove into a shallow creek, stopping abruptly when we hit a concrete bridge support. I remember watching the concrete speed towards us just before the windshield cracked into spider web-like lines that blocked my view. I tried to grab my driver’s cell phone, but I couldn’t reach his pocket. He then came to, but remained in a daze.
“We’ve been in an accident; I need to call 911. We’re okay, but I have to call.” I said.
The young man shook his head in disbelief, but gave me the phone. While I was calling 911, I saw a man walking toward the bridge. I asked him what street we were on, since our car was hidden from view, so the paramedics could find us. The paramedics came within five minutes. They removed me from the vehicle on a board and carefully put a neck brace on me. After a thorough exam at the hospital, I received a diagnosis of a bruised shoulder and probably whiplash. No one could believe that no other cars were on the freeway at that time, and no one else was hurt or killed. I’m blessed to be alive. I believe the Angels and my Jetta dog in heaven guarded us. I am thankful that Bud did not come with us because he may have been thrown around in the car with serious injuries, or killed.
I now always put Bud in his seat belt when we travel. They are easily affordable at pet stores for an affordable price. They are sized by the weight of the dog, and are proven to save dogs lives during the unexpected. We never know when an accident will happen. If you love your dog, spend the extra few minutes to attach the harness and seat belt, put them in a crate bolted to the floor, or leave them home. Our loyal dogs protect us every day, so we need to do all we can to protect them.