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Jack Was Hit By A Car Today


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I am beside myself. My precious Jack, a young Blue Heeler, was playing in the yard with his brother, Canon. I went inside for a moment, figuring it would be okay since they typically stay out of the street. I heard a weird, loud, horrifying cry 3 times. When I went outside I saw Jack laying across the road in front of my house(we live in the country). Canon came running and was scared and hid in his crate inside the house. I ran to Jack and noticed there were no wound marks, but his tongue was hanging out and he was not moving or breathing. I called my husband, Chris, and he came home immediately. He works at a ranch just a few houses down. He scooped Jack up and put him in the back of his truck. We drove him across the street and up our driveway. We noticed blood leaking from his side. There was no wound though. We figured that he had major internal bleeding and that he was bleeding out of his skin on his belly. We have wrapped him a blanket and buried him next to some trees and the woods behind our home. We have a little grave stone. Chris went back out a couple hours ago and dug Jack back up to make sure he was really gone. To watch the grief overcome my husband was horrible.

I am carrying a HUGE amount of guilt and I am in a place of hating myself right now. If I would have been outside then he would still be here, chewing on his toes at my feet and chasing his brother around. If I had been more responsible then he would be snuggled in his bed that I have spent the last 3 hours weeping in. If I didn't have to carry around all of this guilt and shame then I feel I could grieve so much easier. To grieve and then have these horrible emotions on top of it, is so hard.

I feel like I need permission to stop blaming myself. It has just been a few hours, but the anxiety from the guilt and the loss of Jack, that I am physically ill from it.

I just need a hand to hold right now..

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All I can say to you right now is that I am so very sorry for your loss. This was a terrible accident and not something that you did.

I am here for you right now and will find some links that you can read that could give you some comfort.

I cannot take your feelings away from you but I can assure you that you are not alone. Guilt is normal during this time.

You could find some comfort in reading about Pet Loss on one of our moderator's sites. Marty has written extensively on this subject.

There are other posts here on the Pet Loss thread that could be of comfort to you.


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You surely checked to make sure he was completely gone before burying him, I hope. I can understand your anguish, guilt is very common after losing a pet. I hope you'll take the time to read some of the other threads here because the links included in them on guilt, etc. can be very helpful. I, too, lost a dog years ago to my negligence...he'd climbed into my van without me knowing and I'd driven to work (hot summer day), the windows were all closed, and I didn't discover him until I got off work that night. Accidents do happen, and they happen to even the most vigilant of us. I know this is a day you will never forget, but it will lessen in intensity over time. Right now I hope you can focus on Canon and helping him with his loss as they grieve too and we can't explain it to them. Just spend time with him, give him plenty of attention, and understand if he acts out of loses some appetite.

So no one stopped after hitting him? That's against the law, although it sounds like he couldn't have been saved regardless. Poor baby!

I wish I could say something to comfort you. You have plenty of company here, we are all animal lovers and most of us have had our losses. We're here, listening, if you want to talk. Do you have a picture of Jack you could post here?

I recently bought markers for my buried pets, I found out about them here, it helps to memorialize them in some way, let them know they will never be forgotten. http://gifts.personalcreations.com/gifts/Memorial-Stone--Dog-or-Cat-30075735?REF=pcrorderconfirm_PAO&viewpos=5&trackingpgroup=PSYMBSL&noresponsive=true%C2'> They also have picture frame memorials.

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My dear friend, I'm afraid that all I can offer you is a virtual hand to hold ~ that, along with our supportive presence here with you, and the assurance that the permission to stop blaming yourself can come from only one person who really matters, and that would be you.

When a terrible accident like this happens, it is completely understandable for you to feel guilty and to blame yourself ~ but I want to remind you (gently) that you did not set out today with the intention of placing your beloved dog in danger. This was an accident. A terrible, horrible, devastating, entirely unwanted and unfair one to be sure, but an accident nonetheless. You are a human being who made a mistake, and an accident happened when you went inside. My prayer for you is that one day you will forgive yourself for being human ~ and the guilt you feel in the wake of this accident only tells me that you are a really good person at heart. Have you ever noticed that only the good people feel guilty?

I invite you to spend some time reading through some of the other posts and threads in this forum, which I think will help you to feel less alone and give you a better understanding of what you are feeling and why.

I also want to point you to some articles that I hope will be helpful to you (and do make sure to follow some of the links you'll find at the base of these articles):

Pet Loss: Is It A Different Kind of Grief?

Losing a Cherished Pet: Common Myths and Misconceptions

Grief and The Burden of Guilt

Guilt and Regret in Grief

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Thank you ladies,

This all happened a few hours ago. I have my husband beside me, but I need more support as he is falling apart as well. My husband, Chris, checked multiple times to ensure he was actually gone. He was. He is. I am trying to just focus on just the loss of him and not on guilt over it. It was his time to go. The people did not stop and that is a real sick thing to do. Thankfully I was able to be there shortly after it happened. My husband said it was best that I was not out there to actually see it happen. I agree. I am a visual person and I over analyze everything and replay things in my head to try to understand what he may have been going through. I do pray that he died instantly. I assume that because of how hard he was hit.
I am going through something weird where I am almost angry at my other dog. Like it was his fault. It wasn't, of course. I am thankful that at least both of them were not killed. I just have a billion thoughts and emotions taking place. I looked at a lot of his pictures and videos and cried. I have laid in his bed and cried. It is hard to see my husband so broken over this loss. I know that time heals well and I need to give it time. We had to put down one of our dogs a few years ago and it hurt something horrible..this is TOTALLY different. We made that decision because it was best for her. This event is so much harder.

Some of the things that you said helped soothe my soul. I appreciate them. I also appreciate the others that are being here for me even though you do not know me. I will post daily, maybe more than daily, as I venture through this heartache. I will post pics as well.

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I am struck by your statement, I am going through something weird where I am almost angry at my other dog. Like it was his fault. It wasn't, of course. I am thankful that at least both of them were not killed. I just have a billion thoughts and emotions taking place.

It reminds me of my own reactions following the death of my cockapoo Muffin several years ago. Like your Jack, he was hit by a car, and because his injuries could not be fixed, I later had to make the agonizing decision to have him euthanized. Like your other dog, Muffin's sibling Raisin was with him at the time of the accident, and she survived unhurt. She was just fine, and for a while I found myself literally hating her. You see, Muffin was MY dog ~ my "heart dog" as some would say ~ and I was far more attached to him than I was to his sister. "Why didn't Raisin die instead of Muffin?" I kept thinking to myself. "Why did MY beloved dog have to die ~ Why not the other one?" I was really mad at God for a while, too. In hindsight, I know that my reactions were totally irrational and unjustified, but at the time they were very real ~ and they made me feel terribly guilty. After all, it wasn't Raisin's fault that Muffin died instead of her! But at the time, it simply did not matter! Fairness and rationality didn't enter the picture!

I've since learned something very important about grief: In grief, our feelings are not always logical, rational or justified ~ They just ARE. What we think and what we feel are quite different from how we behave and what we DO with what we are feeling. That is to say, even though I found myself thinking ugly thoughts and feeling things that made me feel very guilty and ashamed, I was very much aware of it, and in reality I did not "take it out on" Raisin ~ in fact, I worked quite hard to persuade her that I did NOT "blame" her for being alive while her brother had died. I found a way to separate my feelings from my behavior.

This is one of our biggest challenges in grief, my friend: to find a way to separate how we think and feel from how we behave. So much of grief looks and feels just "crazy" and it can frighten us. That is why I think it helps so much to learn what is normal in grief. I believe with all my heart that the more we understand loss and grief, including pet loss, the better prepared we are to manage our reactions.

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You are very right, Marty. I am loving on Canon like crazy. I just got through laying on his chest while he pressed his face against mine. I cried and when I looked at him it was like he knew I was hurting. I know he is confused as well. I spent the evening talking to a friend and praying a lot. My husband and I are talking about it a lot. He is helping me to believe that the cries I heard where not Jack's and that he passed instantly due to the look of things. And that I should not carry the guilt as it was his time to be called home by God. Knowing he didnt suffer matters to me, knowing that I can eventually forgive myself. Trusting that God is sovereign and was not taken by surprise about any of this brings me comfort as well. My emotions go in stages. I am fine for a few and then I have a meltdown and cry till my eyes are swollen.

I have lost pregnancies and have had to put down animals in the past. I don't know why it all feels so different this time. Maybe because I feel it was preventable and my husband told me a million times not to leave them outside by themselves for even a moment. I never had a problem before, until today. Guilt on top of grief is so much more difficult than just grief itself. This too I shall overcome, through friends, wonderful people like you and lots of prayers and scripture. And I choose to believe that he is heaven with Jesus, playing and at peace and not looking down sad on me, or angry. There is no grief in heaven, no tears or sadness. Just joy and peace.

So I am trying to replace my thoughts of guilt with thoughts of trust in God that he can take all this mess inside and make something beautiful from the ashes that are in my heart right now.

I am sorry that you lost your sweet dog too. Thank you for using your experience to help people like me feel like they can still wake up and face the day with some hope. It is going to be a long journey and I am thankful that I do not have to do it all alone.


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You know, I don't think we can make sense of our feelings like we can analyze them and they make sense because they don't always, they just are, and they're to be gotten through. Our minds are complex and it kind of reminds me of survivor's guilt which makes no sense either, only instead of feeling bad that you lived, you're feeling bad that your other dog did. It just is what it is. I do hope you know this was an accident, not something you could have foreseen. I totally believe in the Rainbow Bridge, where our animals wait for us, meanwhile, they're playing and chewing on bones, and getting treats and totally happy. It wouldn't be heaven without them! After all, dogs are the BEST kind of "people"! :)

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I am so sorry to hear about your dog ,Jack.. your story breaks my heart because our dog, duke, died in a similar situation, he was hit and killed by a pickup when I took him out swimming one day. I understand the guilt you feel, as I have felt the same thing. wishing I would've done things different, so he'd still be here today.. its still hard almost a year later.. what helps me cope, is knowing how much I loved him and knowing that he knew how much I loved him.. we never want anything bad to happen to our beloved pets, as they are apart of our families..this site is truly a blessing because you can talkto others who know what you are going through.. we are always here for you. I pray that you find comfort..

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Thank you to everyone for your kind words. Everyday things become a little easier, but still have their ups and downs. My husband had an amazing dream the other night. I would love to share.

On our way to church Sunday my husband, Chris, told me something happened to him overnight. He said he had a short dream but it felt so real. So much so that he could still feel the texture of Jack's fur between his fingers.

Here is the dream in his words:

We were at the base of a big beautiful mountain. You(me) and I were standing a little ways down from each other, both enjoying a stream that was tucked between some trees. We could see the mountain in the distance. Jack and Canon were on the other bank of the stream, playing and running together. All of a sudden Jack runs to me and begins to kiss me and let me pet and love on him like he always did. I kept telling him I loved him and that he was a good boy. He then ran across the river and began playing with Canon again. When Jack would hear something or someone, especially if his name was called, he would pop his head up high and his ears would pop up and move up and down as he listened. He did this and stared toward the mountain as he did. Then he calmly started walking towards the mountain. He usually runs, but he was so peaceful this time. He walked for a little bit and then turned around and stared at me, as if to say goodbye. He was interrupted with the same "calling" and again perked his ears up and stared toward the mountain. He then began to walk to the mountain until he disappeared behind it. Then I woke up.

We both cried after he shared. It gave us a lot of peace. My husband felt like he could move on peacefully.

Last night I started to worry that in the dream I was a little away from everyone and Jack didn't come to me or look at me. Jack was VERY attached to my husband. I am trying to believe that is why the dream was how it was..it made it even more special. I guess I am just hoping that it wasnt that way because he was mad at me for not protected him. That is a silly thought, but it scares me.

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Jack would not have blamed you, they are the most understanding and accepting creatures, so loving, forgiving, that is one thing that makes them so special. Your husband's dream sounds like it was a message from Jack to let you both know he is okay and he chose to walk to the mountain. I had a near death experience once, many years ago when my children were still quite young. I was donating blood and my blood pressure dropped, they couldn't get a reading. My kids were there, watching, scared. People were working on me. I felt a peace, and I felt like I had a choice, I could go or stay...I didn't want my husband to have to raise the kids by himself, so I chose to stay...but I knew, I knew that place was wonderful, and I'll be there when it's my time...just as your Jack is there. I truly believe we'll be reunited. The Bible says there are animals in heaven, and there's no doubt in my mind, that God would not waste such special creatures such as ours, but would preserve them for eternity with us.

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