View Full Version : Mans Best Friend

Greg Cole
02-27-2008, 3:02 PM
Long story & a question.
Here's the story:
Our house dog a 6+ month old puggle named Rudy was hit by a car on Sunday afternoon. We (kids, dog and I) were all outside enjoying a 45 or so degree day.... LOML was hosting a Mary Kay or Avon party (lack of interest on my part rendered the brand name as unimportant:rolleyes:). I was getting ready for guests outside picking up the doggie doodoo around the front walkway as snow was melting etc... done with the poop patrol I walked into the garage to dispose of the poop. I no sooner turned around and walked in the garage and "it" happened. Neighbors ex g/f was leaving the house directly across the street & she 100% KNEW 2 kids age 6 and 7 were outside playing with our dog (she shares custody of a dog with her ex boyfriend & our dog plays with their dog alot.. meaning our dig is in their yard). She took off at 90mph from the driveway (driving like a typical 21 year old, not paying any attention other than to the damn phone in her hand). She never knew she kit a dog or anything, she never even slowed down.... all the while my little dude at 6 saw every second of what happened from 10 feet away. She came back about 5 minutes afterwards as her ex bf called her (while she was driving on the phone again, pet peeve of mine can ya tell?). She's admitted-owned up to it.
THAKFULLY the dog wasn't killed, but had one very badly broken leg with the foot pointed the wrong way :(... and 3 broken hearts at the house between LOML, me and the little dude.
6 + hours at a vet emergency room Sunday, one vet visit Monday and surgery Tuesday to put in 2 metal pins to put things back where they belong... and about $1500.00 out of the tool-lumber fund. Nevermind the time off work etc.
Full recovery is expected and 2 months from now Rudy will never know the difference. In the mean time, I have a poor little dog with a shaven spot on his butt from an epidural and a big old cast on the r/r leg.
The coulda-woulda-shoulda's surely have been bouncing around between my ears... and FWIW, I could have paid for a couple lifetimes of pet insurance with the $ outlay to get the leg put back together.
I am very thankful my little dudes are both ok, one will heal from a broken leg and the other won't have to deal with seeing his best-est buddy being killed.
Now the question:
What would you do in regards to the medical bills? I'm leaning towards a 50/50 split. Is that fair, reasonable... or am I pipe dreaming? (FYI the ex bf said her folks are very well to do and give her $ for any & every thing).


Joe Pelonio
02-27-2008, 3:14 PM
I'm really sorry to hear this, we have always had dogs and they are part of the family. We had to spend over $3,000 on our Golden when he was about 2 years old after he swallowed a sewing pin and perforated his intestine.

Still, around here the law is on the driver's side, with the leash laws. My suggestion is that you ask for the 50% and hope, because without proof of her speed and/or inattention, and since your dog was on the street, I doubt you'd have any chance in court. Hopefully she and her family will feel generous.

Best of luck for a fast recovery for Rudy!

Greg Cole
02-27-2008, 3:23 PM
Thanks Joe.
I'd rather eat the bills than bother with any legal proceedings. Oh wait, they're already eaten. Not like I'm going to starve the family from this, as the $ was my "fun" $... but but but ya know.
I'm very thankful Rudy will be fine and as a matter of fact he's here back on the day job with me today as he is every day. What still bothers me is that could have easily been my child or one of the kids from the neighborhood....
In the long run, it's only money. I still have both my little dudes for a good long while. Bad luck sometimes allows a good perspective on life in general, thanks again as I need to think along these lines more often.:rolleyes:


Belinda Williamson
02-27-2008, 3:32 PM
Greg, I'm glad that Rudy is okay. It is a sad day when a pet is injured or killed and I'm sorry your little guy had to witness it. I see Joe's point about leash laws, but if you and your neighbors have an agreement about the dogs being allowed to roam between houses, then I personally think the ex GF should cough up the entire amount for the medical bills. Now, having said that we all know it probably won't happen, so the 50/50 split seems fair. Good luck and speedy recovery to both Rudy and the hearts of your family.

Jeffrey Makiel
02-27-2008, 3:34 PM
In my State, you (not the police) have 30 days to write a ticket against her for driving too fast for prevailing conditions and/or using the cell phone while driving (which is a law in my state...but unfortunately not enforced). The ticket holds the same power as a ticket issued by the police. If she decides to contest, then you and her go to traffic court and tell your story to a judge. You would be surprised that testimony alone by the parties is usually sufficient to render a just decision.

Just something to think about if you need added leverage for payment...or you simply want her to rethink her driving habits and treatment towards others.

-Jeff :)

Al Willits
02-27-2008, 3:51 PM
Every year I take a continuing drivers ed class (Smith system) and every year I'm told I'm responsible for my driving.
And I am.

Make them pay for it all, anyone talking on a cell uis not paying complete attension to their driving.

It could have been a kid she ran over, she needs to be taught how to drive.


Jim O'Dell
02-27-2008, 6:32 PM
Or have her turn it over to her insurance company to pay. It was damage caused to your property while driving. I would think they would pay up. Then if she decided to pay it all instead of having it reported to the insurance company, fine.
Give Rudy a pat on the head from me. And it's a good time to teach your kiddo about cars and how not every adult watches for dogs or little kids, so he needs to keep an eye out for them! Jim.

Tim Morton
02-28-2008, 6:21 AM
I think it's all on you. Should keep the dog in your yard. Unless she came into your yard and hit the dog. I walk my dogs a lot and that's my biggest pet peve (no pun intended) is people let their dogs run around without a leash. Can't tell you how many times a dog attacked and if I see one I keep my distance too. This is just my opinion which isn't worth a whole lot. Hope the dog make a full recovery, been to the emergency vet a few times so I know it isn't cheap.

Dogs need to be allowed to run around and play off leash too. I let me dog out every morning around 6am...he frollicks around the yard with my neigbors dog...sort of a play date :)

This is an unfortunate accident (for lack of a better word)...but i believe that she should assume some of the responsibility here. If it were my daughter I would expect her to be willing cover 100% of the expenses and offer such to you.

Good luck with the puppys recovery and hopefully this will be just a bad memory in a few months like you said:)

Steve Campbell
02-28-2008, 9:49 AM
Greg I can feel your pain. Hope Rudy gets better soon. I am a dog "LOVER". I would say that unless you actually saw her hit Rudy don't be too sure it was all her fault. As far as her paying for the vet bills. I wouldn't even try to collect. Whenever a dog is "OFF" your property or "OFF" leash you are at fault period. You are lucky if she doesn't bill you for car damages.
I sure don't want to sound gruel but if a small dog is allowed to go in the street it is going to get hit sooner or later. They move a lot faster than anyone can react.
Sure hope Rudy has a quick recovery. Move on and chuck it up to a learning experience. Maybe think about a fence.


Doug Shepard
02-28-2008, 10:35 AM
Glad everybody's OK. IMHO a 50/50 split is probably called for. Yeah, she probably is 100% at fault for the accident, but I think those are some of the lumps and risks you take as a dog owner if they're outside your yard off-leash. I've got pet insurance on mine but would still have a deductable that I'd rather not pay but it's still reassuring.

Dogs need to be allowed to run around and play off leash too....
FYI - I found a great nearby group on Meetup.com that gets together once a month and turns the mutts loose for a couple of hours in the organizers 1 acre fenced yard. Last month had 35 people and 43 dogs. They have a blast. The nearest bark-park is about 50 minutes and not real convenient and this group has been great. Might be worth checking that site to see if there's something similar in your area.

Greg Heppeard
02-28-2008, 10:55 AM
She should pay it all and have her cell phone privileges revoked, I hate that too. Don't forget to add some for pain and suffering!!!!!

Sorry to hear about Rudy and hope for speedy recovery. Remember, you can't keep a good dog down.

Greg Cole
02-28-2008, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the recovery wishes. It's amazing how tough the little guy is, just wish he'd be a little more restful at night as he's keeping me up all night. I've have a few big boo boo's.., shoulder dislocation, complete elbow joint reassembly, broken ribs & collar bone.... and he's got a threshold for pain right up there with mine but he's the only one with some steel in his bones now. I "argue" with nurses about not needing nor wanting local anesthetics etc for stitches et al.... my dentist thinks I am nuts too(so we agree on that one:D). The little pain from a filling bothers me far less than local anesthetic lingering for 1/2 a day....:rolleyes:
That's a cool idea about the meetup.com thing for dogs. The insurance quote I got yesterday was so ridiculously cheap & the deductable isn't bad either... much less than what I have paid out to date.
I have a fence on the to do list as I had a pool installed late last fall, sinnking fence posts in frozen ground is a wee difficult. Thankfully the winter is about to pass the torch to Spring here in Kansas City.... sadly the fence materials are about on par with the vet bills.:cool:
The boy and I have talked at great length before the accident about the dog & cars and how an 18 pound dog will lose that battle every time. I doubt I'll have to say a word to Elijah about it again, he'll have "bad pictures" in his head for awhile, but as even the little guy will say.. "Rudy could have been dead". FWIW, the only insurance company that covers pet damages is Progressive & it has to be your pet you injured, go figure.
Again thanks guys & gal.

Greg & Rudy

Doug Shepard
02-28-2008, 12:44 PM
I cant get a direct link on the address bar but if you go on Meetup.com and navigate to the following, you can punch in your zip to see if somebody already has a group set up near you.
Home (http://www.meetup.com/) > All Topics (http://www.meetup.com/topics/) > Pets (http://www.meetup.com/topics/pets) > Dogs (http://www.meetup.com/topics/pets/dogs) > Off Leash Dog Recreation Meetups Everywhere

You can always be the sponsor and start one up yourself too, but would then have to pay the fee they charge (not a lot of $$ but dont recall the amount).

Lee Schierer
02-28-2008, 1:36 PM
As I started reading your post, I was concerned tha the dog hadn't made it and the kids saw it. Whew, at least the dog is alright.

I'm not sure you can collect anything from your negihbor or his g/f. Yes, people drinving and talking on cell phones i a pet peeve here too. But you have one more expense that you need to add to your cost. Invest in an under ground fence system and train the dog to use it. It will prevent a second occurance. If you think that zapping the dog with a small electric shock from teh collar is cruel, weigh that against the pain of a broken leg or worse.

Innotek makes some great products and you can install it your self around all or part of your yard. Fencing your yard will keep your dog home and it will be the neighbors dog that roams the streets to play at your house. I have one, teh dog is trained and it works. My dog won't even chase a cat past the boundary...

Joe Chritz
02-28-2008, 1:48 PM
Don't know about your state but here in MI she would have to be convicted or found responsible for some violation to be held for any of the bill. Even then MI isn't a transfer state (you give up the right of way when speeding but not absolutely) so some if not most would still be on you.

To make matters worse, if she would have swerved and been injured in the resulting accident, you and/or your homeowners would have been on the hook for the damages and resulting bills.

I assume from the post that you didn't see it so you would be hard pressed to get any settlement from a court. Especially if the insurance companies get involved. They are pretty good at weaseling out of a payment.

This is for MI only and I have no knowledge of the laws in your state so take it for what its worth.

Glad the dog is OK. Maybe you can at least salvage a learn experience for the kids from it.

And for having dogs off leash to "frolic" that is true if you have 100% off leash control. If not they have to be contained in order to do so. Many areas have places set up for that, like dog parks. I used to use baseball diamonds to train my dogs in.


Greg Cole
02-28-2008, 2:11 PM
Innotek makes some great products and you can install it your self around all or part of your yard. Fencing your yard will keep your dog home and it will be the neighbors dog that roams the streets to play at your house. I have one, teh dog is trained and it works. My dog won't even chase a cat past the boundary...

Good idea, in the running around the last few days, that's one idea that's slipped my slippery mind, thanks for the reminder. And you brought a belly laugh from a story from last summer....;)
My sister in VT has one of those invisible fences... my Dad tried to take her pug for a walk and I was crying laughing at my Dad trying to get the dog down the driveway... the dog with the "brakes on" and Dad tugging on the leash muttering about the dog's intelligence.:D After about a minute, I had to say something, but I did get a big kick out of it in the interim.
I'll venture the kid, Elijah, will never forget Sunday. Not to be sadistic or anything like that, but I hope he never forgets it either. Some lessons are best learned once.

I'm not really being adamant about monetary compensation, if she's willing to buck up, I'm not too pround to accept it. After a monetarily frivolous vacation in FLA at the Daytona 500 and seeing the big mouse and Shamu.. this wasn't the "welcome home" the checkbook needed. If she doesn't offer to pay anything, I'm almost over it now that we all have the peace of mind knowing our little buddy will heal with no lingering problems.


Ken Werner
02-28-2008, 2:15 PM
Glad to hear that Rudy is ok. And your children too. I'm gonna keep out of the legalities. Just glad that the outcome is good. The rest is only money.

Pat Germain
02-28-2008, 4:02 PM
Colorado Springs has "Doggie Parks". The park nearest my house was a softball field converted for canines. It's a completely fenced in area where you can let your dogs run loose. You just have to clean up any messes they leave.

Be careful about pet insurance. This is one policy where you have to really read the fine print. Consumer Reports writes about pet insurance occasionally. As I recall, it typically doesn't cover expensive emergency procedures like your little pupster had. Thus, pet insurance isn't any help when you need it most.

Greg Cole
02-28-2008, 4:35 PM
Thanks Pat. I simply called the insurance company (forget the name already) that the Doc recommended. Why does it not suprise me pet insurance would be underwritten to not pay for the most common things, ie accidents..... (no offense to anyone that might work in that industry).
IIRC you make the hall tables with the Newfies inlaid in em.... ?