“Why Aren’t People Ashamed To Ask A Question Like This?,” The Sequel

In this post from yesterday, I asked the question in the headline regarding a woman who wondered whether it was ethical to dump her dog-walker because a friend claimed that she had posted insufficiently woke opinions on social media. I have a question to top that one now. On “Social Q’s,” the New York Times weekly advice column on manners and social interaction dilemmas that I seldom read any more because of columnist Phillip Gallane’s addiction to gratuitous partisan talking points, a question from “Anonymous” caused me to do a spit-take at breakfast. Here it is:

A few days ago, while I was driving home — way below the speed limit! — the neighbors’ dog darted into the street. (It looked like he was chasing something.) I slammed on my brakes and felt a thud. I got out of the car and saw that I had hit the dog. He was dead. I carried him to my neighbors’ house, but no one was home. So, I left him on the doorstep. I was going to write a note, but I chickened out. Now, the neighbors have posted signs around the neighborhood asking if anyone knows what happened. I feel terrible! Is it too late to speak up?

Left him on the doorstep??? That’s like leaving a horse head in someone’s bed! Would the hit-and-run driver do that with the neighbor’s child? You know, he just might.

The inquirer is a college student; when Gallanes introduced the question by saying it was from a “young reader,” I thought for a minute he was 8, and I would hope even 8-year-olds have better ethics alarms than this. How negligent must the family, teachers and culture be to produce a human being who thinks leaving a dead family dog on a doorstep is defensible conduct whether the dog’s owner posts signs or just suffers in silence?

Honestly, I don’t know why I bother. What am I doing with my life?

12 thoughts on ““Why Aren’t People Ashamed To Ask A Question Like This?,” The Sequel

  1. One of our dachshunds, Harley, took off across the street after a rabbit as we were standing in our front yard chatting with a neighbor. Dogs. Rabbits. A lady in a Cadillac drove right over him (I doubt she could have done anything in time. She was not at fault.) and just proceeded on down the road.

  2. My wife witnessed something similar from her office window. 2 fellows in a pick-up were rushing down the street in front of her building and a miniature Schnauzer ran into the road and was struck and thrown by the truck, which didn’t stop. She got an empty box & disposable blanket from her nurse, went down to the street and placed the dog into it. At that point, an elderly woman came running over saying that her beloved dog had gotten out again. My wife explained what had happened and told the woman that (though the dog appeared to be alive) she was glad to have helped but didn’t think there was anything to be done for the dog. Of course, the two guys in the truck were laughing & never slowed down.

  3. Obviously he should come forward and let the family know what happened, so that they have closure. I’m dismayed that the anonymous student either doesn’t know how good character works or, more likely, is fishing for an excuse to remain silent.

    Just to clarify, would the proper etiquette in such a situation be to a) leave a note with the dog’s body, b) take the dog’s body home with him until he could visit the family in person (and possibly leave a note in the meantime), c) remain on the doorstep until someone returned home, or d) something I haven’t thought of?

    • See…. That clarification was what I was going to ask. I know my neighbors and have contact information for them, so my process would be to call them, if I couldn’t call them, I’d leave a note…. But from there it gets trickier. If for some reason I can’t call them, and I don’t have note stuff… Is the right thing to hide the body until you can talk to them? God that seems awful, but I don’t know if it’s more of less awful than leaving a dead dog on the front step.

  4. A few years ago here near Roselle, I think, someone hit a mother and daughter crossing a road so hard they were knocked out of their boots and killed. The person kept right on going and VANISHED. and since this is before there were cameras everywhere, no one was ever caught.

  5. As all Ethics Alarmists know, our dog, Lord Remington Winchester Burger, I, Esq., Dog of Letters, is a spectacular beast. He has an uncontrollable affinity for chasing cats and squirrels, but can do without possums.

    One evening in November 2019, Remington decided that chasing a cat would be fun. Well, he doesn’t really understand the laws of physics so he darted off after one, running into the street and an on-coming pickup truck driven by a neighbor. As luck would have it, the driver was driving very slowly, saw His Spectacularity, and tried to stop. And only too soon, as if he hadn’t my son would have never forgiven me for Remy’s demise.

    Remy darted in front of the on-coming truck, pulling the leash out of my hand and nearly got hit by the truck’s rear tire. I can still see the scene in my mind. He got scared and tore off down the street. The driver got out of his truck, horrified, thinking that he had struck the Pooch. He was apologetic, on the verge of tears. I reassured him that it was my fault, and that Remy didn’t look to be hurt but I needed to go after him. I thanked him for his concern and ran off looking for Remy.

    I saw Remy running between houses a few doors down but when I turned to thank the man for his concern, Remy disappeared. I mean, vanished without a trace. That scared the hell out of me, thinking that Remy had actually been hurt, was injured, and needed medical attention. I ran to the house where I had last seen him but he was nowhere to be found. He was gone. I didn’t hear him, see him, and i could not figure out where he had gone. I was concerned, looking everywhere. I went home, grabbed a flashlight, and searched everywhere.

    Here is the reason our society still works: Our neighbors heard me calling for him. One neighbor, whose dog Grayson plays with Remy, came outside because he had heard the truck skid and wondered what happened. He helped me look for Remy. His wife and their daughter drove the neighborhood looking for him, too. My wife and son drove around the neighborhood, and my son posted an “APB” on NextDooRNeighbor, which brought out even more neighbors (because everyone knows everyone else’s pets and most neighbors are pretty decent people).

    We simply could not find him. After about 3 hours of looking for him, I gave up, to my son’s great disappointment. Now, remember, this was early November, and in Houston, that’s not a big deal. But, that evening was the coldest since the previous winter, the wind was blowing hard and it had started raining, one of those horrible, bone-chilling rains. Couple that with a northern breeze, and it made for a miserable evening. There I was, heartbroken that Remy was lost, probably hurt, and most definitely scared, with my wife and son worried beyond consolation. They eventually surrendered to sleep but for me, that was not to happen. Every branch against the window was a hope of his return, which faded more and more into the past with each passing hour. A long night just stretched into eternity.

    At 4:45 am, I heard scratching again. Dejected, I figured it was branches against the window. Again, more scratching. I got up, turned off the alarm and opened the door. Lo and behold, there was Lord Remington Winchester Burger, I, Esq., Dog of Letters, at the door. He sauntered into the house, unhurt, tired, a bit damp and cold from the rain, and mostly annoyed that I had left him outside all night. It took a good hug, a dry towel, and a big treat to make him happy. My wife and son wrapped him in hugs and blankets, and he was fine.

    I don have to say that I was deeply moved by our neighbors’ response and their willingness to help. People from two streets over looked for that fur ball. It restores one’s faith in humanity.


    PS: I suspect that Remy had somehow gotten caught in someone’s backyard and couldn’t get out. When the neighbor left, he was able to make it home.

    • Thanks, I needed a story like that.
      Spuds, for some unknown reason, suddenly decided that one particular car offended him, or looked like fun, or something, and took me by complete surprise by dashing into the street so hard that my extendo-leash didn’t catch properly, and he was headed into the car’s path. I instinctively reached over with my non leash hand to stop the leash from extending in time, and did, narrowly, at the cost of about 5 layers of skin between my fingers and a bloody hand. The sound and the experience reminded me of “Jaws” when the shark runs while Richard Dreyfuss is holding the line.

      What we do for love, as they sing in “Chorus Line”…

  6. These folks went to the Andrew Cuomo school of canine parenting. It takes a special kind of bastard to abandon a pet or leave one dying in the street or a doorstep.

    • I yelled out loud when I saw the headline that Cuomo left his rescue dog at the governor’s mansion w/a simple “anyone want him?” The dog is a living creature, not a freakin piece of furniture! He should be banned from ever owning a pet again. Well, banned from anything again except spending the rest of his miserable life in a jail cell, chained down by the obscene amount of crimes he’s committed over the years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.