I just witnessed somebody’s beautiful dog get hit by a car on Ridgeland Avenue. The dog was wearing a collar and was obviously somebody’s beloved pet. It was running in fun with another smaller dog. The big, beautiful fluffy dog with a curly tail, happy pointy face, and bright, button eyes came prancing across Ridgeland towards me and my dog, dodging traffic. The other dog disappeared into darkness.

As I always do when I see this increasingly common and disturbing sight around Oak Park, I started yelling, “SOMEBODY’S DOG! GET YOUR DOG! DOG! BEAUTIFUL DOG! DOG! DOG!” Well, guess what happened? The dog ran into the street and got hit by a car. Really hit. It screamed, its body in agony, twirling, screaming, rolling into the gutter. Somebody kindly pulled over to see, but the damage was done.

What matters is that I run into too many off-leash dogs around town. If the owner is there, and I’m in the mood to say something of a friendly reminder about our leash laws, the reply is usually defensive and curt, something like, “Oh, he’s trained” or “She’s friendly” or “Go ahead and call the police.”

None of these things are going to keep your dog safe from traffic should an unexpected event trigger a dog bolt. I’m sure the owners of the beautiful white dog with the happy face and curly tail never thought their dog would run into Ridgeland Avenue and suffer a horrendous death and traumatize a poor driver, not to mention a potential car accident with human injuries.

Please, please, please take care of your dogs. You are alpha, no excuses. It is your responsibility to obey the dog leash laws, period.

Nancy Trock
Oak Park

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