Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Photoless Rant: Dogs In Truck Beds

Two days ago, as I was driving on a busy 4 lane highway that runs through our little town, I watched in horror as a dog tumbled out of a pickup truck bed and onto the pavement below. The truck had stopped at the traffic light I was approaching and two pitbulls were walking back and forth across the top of a large dog box that filled most of the truck bed.

When the light changed the teenage driver lurched forward. One of the dogs who had decided to peer over the tailgate at that moment did a slow motion end over end fall to the concrete below. The teenage driver rolled forward, oblivious for the moment, to his dog's dangerous and painful predicament.

The dazed dog was limping, tail between his legs, into the oncoming traffic from the north. I pulled the JEEP off the highway onto the right road shoulder and called and whistled to the dog, trying to get him out of the traffic lanes.
He didn't know me, but he started limping my way.

The teenage girls in the car behind the dog dropping truck beeped their horn to get the truck driver's attention. He went forward about 50 feet and then stopped in the median.

Meanwhile the injured dog had made it all the way to my JEEP and was safely off the roadway. I had the JEEP door open talking to him, but not getting out, since an injured, frightened pitbull is even more of a time bomb than a "normal" one.

That's when the truck driver and the girls now all parked in the median, began calling the dog back ... across two lanes of approaching traffic!

His ears went up and he looked over at them. I said, "No, stay boy, don't go, don't go, stay, good dog,, stay ..."

I wasn't really expecting him to stay, as we had only just met, but he did.

At that point, his idiot owners jumped back in the truck and drove rapidly backwards across two lanes of traffic, braking and sliding past me in the slick grass of the road shoulder. The dog left me and went towards the truck.

Great, this poor dog survives a highway tumble and now his owner is going to run him over.

The kids jumped out and began fawning over the dog.

I started up the JEEP and drove on ... too ticked off to trust myself had I stayed.

28 comments:

dani813 said...

This happened to my daddy and I once too when I was little. The outcome was not good. I shudder now when I see doggies in a back of a truck and all I can think about is that pretty beagle that got killed. I'm amazed that it never occurs to some people to crate them if they are in the back.

debbie said...

FC, You have more self control then I have. I would verbally attacked them for their stupidity. Then I would have contacted the animal control people with the tag number of the truck. It may not be abuse but it's certainly neglect.

JG said...

You definitely are more polite than I would have been. and you know that driver learned nothing at all from the event. I feel sorry for those poor dogs.

lesle said...

FC, I don't recall the specific details now, but I do believe Florida law now requires a short leash for animals in a truckbed.

Not that that's any help in this case...a good ol' girl or boy redneck uses a leash; a yahoo like this one doesn't.

You did the right thing! Good for you. And thanks.

Danielle Says Hello said...

I was on Hwy 44 one day and a man wrecked right in front of Meadowcrest. He was okay, but his dog died at the vet. He was thrown from the truck bed. Rant. Rant. Rant. all you want...perhaps these crazy people will listen. I have even seen them chained in the back ;(

Jacki said...

All I can say is....ugh. Idiot.

freste2715 said...

We're pretty touchy feely with our animals on the Pac Coast. Can't possibly imagine the degree of restraint you had not to yank their squishy entrails from their gut, show them to them, then toss the sloshyy mass to the gravelly tarmac to teach them a lesson.

There is no good reason an animal should ride uncrated or unleashed.

Ya done good, FC. Real good. Let me buy you a beer. Then we'll talk about stupid stuff and laugh and fart.

robin andrea said...

I'm so glad you pulled over and coaxed that poor dog off the road to safety. It would have been good to say something to the stupid kid, but stupid kids don't usually listen (especially the ones who display this kind of driving sensibility). There may be some laws that cover unleashed dogs in pickup trucks, and hopefully a police officer will notice someday and pull this kid over before he kills his dogs. Good rant, fc.

kathy a. said...

the driver is criminally stupid. his tricks with the truck could easily have hurt other people, too. poor pup.

Cathy said...

You blow me away. May every road traveled by the foolish, the weak, the vulnerable - have an FC in a red JEEP watching over it.

Mark said...

You did what you could. My wife would almost certainly have burned their ears off if she had seen it. I don't know about Florida, but unfortunately, in Georgia the law is not especially protective of animals.

SophieMae said...

Dogs in truck beds... one of my biggest pet peeves. I cringe every time I see some eejit obliviously speeding down the road with his dog(s) pacing the tool box. I agree with the others who admire your self-control. Over the past few years, I have managed to stop myself from fussing at strangers quite as much as I used to. 8-}

threecollie said...

The poor dog recognized an ally when he met one. What possesses people to be so stupid!

Suze said...

You were smart not to say anything:

1. They wouldn't have listened.
2. The dogs could have attacked you.
3. The idiots could have attacked you.

Getting the license plate and reporting them sounds like the best plan.

Too bad the dogs weren't driving - the drivng would have been better and the stupid owner would have been the one to tumble off the back into traffic.

Anonymous said...

Heart and soul, fc, and a good dose of common sense. You did good; hope those kids get some sense before any creatures get hurt or killed. (But what a bummer)
momadness

Floridacracker said...

Thank you for your wise comments ...

Just for the record y'all, I confront teens every day in my job, and before that, in LE, confrontation again.
In those instances, I am Mr.Cool and deal professionally and calmly with the offenders.
I wasn't feeling real "professional" or especially "civilized" at that moment.
The dog was safe, the owners were in danger so I left.
Life is all about choices.

Stacy said...

I would have taken down the owner's license plate number and made a little phone call once I was down the road. He might not have gotten charged with anything, but maybe he'd have got an earfull from someone official. He endangered not only the dogs, but innocent people as well.

Thunder Dave said...

FC here's my thoughts: You have to have a license to hunt, fish, drive, or sell things, but anyone can own a pet or have kids no matter how irresponsible they are!

Somthin' ain't right here!

Paintsmh said...

Oh that poor poor poor dear dog!!!! How awful. And I don't even like pits. But i just feel so terrible for it.

Hurricane Teen said...

Agh, that story makes me sick. I was hoping when I read it earlier that it was your annual April Fools joke...well I guess there were some April Fools involved, but it was no joke.
I hope he does okay...Sometimes internal bleeding can be caused by that :-(

Sharon said...

Ugh. I won't say any more, people like that make me want to lose my religion...

Doug Taron said...

I read your post this morning and waited till now to comment. Otherwise the profanity would have been inappropriate for a family blog. What morons.

Floridacracker said...

Ditto folks.
HT ... the rain on 3.31 ruined this years little April one plan.

dog training and care said...

dogs and children really no one belongs in pickup bed

Floridacracker said...

Dog,
I agree ... even though I have to admit enjoying slow pickup bed rides down country lanes as a kid.

thingfish23 said...

Freste - if it's drinking and farting you're fater, you will need to find ruder company. Alas, Fc is exceptionally well-mannered.

I, on the other hand, would probably be more to your tastes for the aforementioned imbibements and subsequent flatulence.

lej619 said...

All I could think while I read this post was O MY GOSH!! I really dislike STUPID people.
To bad there's not a license for stupidity. Not sure what good that would do but I think there would be a lot with that license.

Floridacracker said...

Thingfish ... heehee.

Lej,
LOL!
Too funny.