Will Dog Owners Ever Learn?

Some people never learn from their mistakes. When a mistake hurts the one who made it, we take pity and sometimes we pass laws against it, like the anti-drug and anti-smoking laws. We also might say, “that will teach him a lesson.” When a mistake hurts another person or an animal, however, we might feel anger and we often pass laws making it a crime of some sort. But not everyone obeys those laws. Here is an exchange of email that I had with a dog owner today, telling two stories about mistakes that should teach a person a lesson:

Hello Mr. Phillps.
I ran across your info. online. I have a question..
My little dog, a 5 lb. Yorkie was mauled by another dog in our neighborhood. However, my dog was not on a leash as she should have been AND she is not licensed or registered.
I have had her for several years. She walks with me like that every day/night..and says hello to all the dogs in the neighborhood. she went to say hit to this one and he immediately grabbed her by his teeth and shook her like a rag doll.
She has been in the ER for 3 days. She has several broken ribs, lung damage, crushed diaphram, muscle wall damage, multiple lesions, etc. And, had surgery today to make sure there was not further internal damage. I have missed 2 days of work and I have not slept since it happened. My daughter is traumatized.
She barely made it through..
This has cost me over 6,000 so far. And, it’s probably a long ways from being done.The other dog was on a leash..and, the owner/walker was mortified. And, we were both hysterical and in shock. I did not get her name or anything.
But, I’d like to try and find her to see if she will help me pay these bills…and, I do think the police should know that he has this capability or tendency..
As even if my dog was on a leash, it would have happened…as R___ wasn’t doing anything to provoke him.
I’m scared to report it as I didn’t have R___ legally licensed, registered, etc.
Can you tell me if I should report it and/or if I can or should expect this person to help with the medical bills?
Thank you for any advice you have. [Name withheld for the sake of privacy.]

Dear _____ :
My wife and I owned a great little Yorkie, and we miss her since she passed away about 3 years ago.
I don’t have anything positive to say to you, other than sending my heartfelt condolances. It was a terrible mistake, and probably illegal, for you to have your dog off leash like that.
A Yorkie owner has to know how delicate the dog is. They are easily killed or injured. Being terriers, they are unafraid to approach bigger dogs, even pit bulls, which kill Yorkies every day.
Let me tell you a true story that could help you in the future. One day, I was driving down the street and I saw a lady with an unleashed pug, the dog running merrily along the sidewalk. I swerved my car because pugs are fearless and will charge under the wheels of a truck. As I passed the dog, I shot a look at the lady but she didn’t see me.
I saw a UPS truck approaching from the opposite direction. I looked in my rearview mirror to see where the pug was. I saw it jump off the sidewalk and run at the UPS truck. I heard the woman scream.
I stopped my car and got out. The UPS truck was still headed up the street. Behind it, the dog was crushed into the asphalt, dead. The woman was standing on her lawn with her face buried in her hands.
That’s not the end of the story. A month later, I was driving down the same street, thinking about the pug that had been killed. As I approached the scene of the accident, I saw the same lady. She was with an unleashed pug, the dog running merrily along the sidewalk. I swerved my car again.
Don’t be like her, please. Learn from this terrible experience with your Yorkie.
Kenneth M. Phillips