December 16th, 2019
By Tara Lenehan, RedRover Education Coordinator
It all happened so fast. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was driving home on Highway I-5 with my dog. I had pulled over at a rest stop so we could stretch our legs before we continued with the remaining three hours of our journey. As we were merging back onto the freeway, I noticed a dog in the road, far from any human. I knew she belonged to someone, as I could see a pink harness draped around its back and shoulders.
I immediately pulled over to the shoulder, opened my door and gently called for the dog, hoping she would come towards me. The dog stopped, turned to look at me, and then bolted in the opposite direction from my vehicle – straight into the middle of the highway lane! I then heard a faint yelling from behind me. I turned to see a man running towards the dog yelling, “ZOEY! COME BACK!” I opened my car door and told him to get in so we could catch up with his dog.
Zoey was now in the middle of the freeway as cars zipped past her. Luckily, two good Samaritans saw what was happening and helped me slow down traffic to a stop. I pulled in front of Zoey, hoping that she would come to her owner, but instead, she turned the other way and ran into oncoming traffic, going the opposite direction of where we just came from. Because I couldn’t turn around, I pulled over to the shoulder again and watched Zoey’s owner jump out of my car and run after his dog. Many people had gotten out of their cars to try and catch her. Unfortunately, I don’t know how Zoey’s story ended because she ran so far away that I lost sight of her.
During the remainder of my drive home, I began thinking about how important it is – particularly around high-travel periods like the holidays – for pet parents to practice safety and precaution. Many people travel with their pets over long distances, so it’s inevitable that families will be stopping in unfamiliar areas. What can we do to keep our pets safe while traveling?
Here are some key tips:
The holidays are a wonderful time of year when many people have the opportunity to spend time with their families. RedRover wishes everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!