Last night, we took a “family” walk. Marion, Haze the Dog and myself went walking up Bailey Ave in Amherst which is one of the busier streets in my neighborhood. Haze, our chihuahua, is not fond of other dogs but lately he’s been tolerating them well.

Marion and I were engrossed in conversation when I heard the sound of barking. That’s not unusual and Haze tolerated it well. Then, I felt him lunging to my left. I yanked his leash gently and looked to the left to find a black dog darting right for us from his front yard across the street.

He ran just a few steps into the street and WHAM! A small car smacked into his hind legs turning him 360 degrees around and crashing to the pavement. The driver pulled over and was devastated.

A man came running and grabbed the dog, Dexter, by name. I handed Marion the leash and sent her home. I walked toward the alleyway to see if he was OK, feeling terrible that he was hit. Dexter walked a few steps and then crumbled to the ground, whimpering.

Dexter wasn’t the man’s dog. He was just watching him for a friend and he took off on him. He heard the barking in the next yard and then saw us as easier targets. He just wanted to play, clearly as he was as friendly as can be.

I knew where the 24 hour emergency vet was and offered to go with the man to the place, if he wanted to. He took me up on my offer and I picked up Dex and we got him to the ER. They walked him around and he seemed OK. Next they took a few X-Rays and he was found to have no injuries other than a bruised leg.

Several times my companion on this journey offered to drive me back home. But I know if Dexter was my dog (and Haze ran into the street after breaking out of a collar into NYC traffic once in our early days–and I ran right out after him with complete disregard for my own life), I know I’d want someone there. I also wanted to make sure that he could secure him in the truck by himself so they wouldn’t have a second car accident.

It was an accident, but folks, if you have a dog, keep him or her on their leash. Too many things can attract them and they don’t have the sense to stay away. Even a well-trained dog can go awry from time to time.

I was glad to have made two new friends by day’s end. But this could have ended much worse than it did.

I said an extra prayer to St. Francis on the way to the Emergency Center, so the patron of animals stood by us well. Let’s pray we don’t ever have to call on him for this again.

Blessings to the folks at the emergency animal treatment center in Williamsville who did a wonderful job.

If you have a dog like me, then give them an extra hug today. I know I did.