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Lessons to learn in the death of a dog

On Thursday night, a client of mine took her young dog outside for some exercise. When the time came to go back in the house, the dog didn’t come immediately when called, as they often don’t, being distracted by the excitement of the world at large.

Unfortunately when she did come, she ran right in front of an oncoming car with predictably terrifying results. The owner was witness to this event and ran bawling to pick up her fatally injured puppy. The driver of the car sped away.

There are so many bad things in this story that I had to write to the paper to point them out in hopes that we can all learn from such a tragedy.

First, the owner did not have the puppy on a leash. This is against the law on Kauai, but more importantly it’s just not smart, especially around a busy road.

The driver of the car was a callous, careless creep for not stopping. Shame on them. No one will blame you for hitting a dog that in all likelihood darted unpredictably in front of your car. But have a heart and compassion for your fellows. Stop and help.

But most importantly was the part of the story that comes next.

A young man named Elijah Woolley of Anahola happened to be driving by moments after the accident and instead of just looking at my poor client holding her bleeding dog by the side of the road, he stopped his car, got out and helped her put her dog in a towel and drove her and the dog to me at 10 p.m. I suspect there was considerable mess in his car due to this activity and more than a little inconvenience to him.

I salute Elijiah and hope all of us will choose to behave as he did when given the chance.

•••

Scott Sims, DVM, is owner of Pegasus Veterinary Clinic in Kilauea and known as the nation’s “Aloha Vet” with a show on the Nat Geo Wild network.

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