DEAR ABBY: I just finished reading the letter about the husky dog who jumped from the back of a pickup truck into traffic. Here is our story:
We were camping Memorial Day weekend three years ago. Our dogs were tied up on short leashes in the back of our pickup truck. One of them climbed onto our cooler next to the side of the truck and fell out. The collar slipped over her head and she went under the wheel of the truck. When we got to her, she was still alive, but barely.
We drove 20 miles to the police station in Payson, Ariz. They called a vet at his home and gave us directions to his office. That wonderful man tried valiantly to save her, but couldn't. Her death still haunts us.
Needless to say, none of our dogs ride in the back of our truck anymore. I am now a volunteer for the Arizona Humane Society. Please, Abby, tell your readers to treat their pets as they would want to be treated. Pets are our friends. -- KAREN IN TEMPE, ARIZ.
DEAR KAREN: I'm printing your letter in the hope that the tragedy which befell your dog will discourage other dog owners from transporting their pets in the back of pickup trucks. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I'm responding to the letter regarding people who allow their dogs to ride unprotected in the back of their pickups. I believe in divine justice. When these people go before their maker on Judgment Day, they will be sentenced to ride aimlessly in the back of a flatbed truck over bumpy back roads, wondering when the devil at the wheel will make his next sharp turn.
Remember, each of us will be judged by how we treated the least of God's creatures. -- ALLEN IN EMORY, TEXAS
DEAR ALLEN: If common sense doesn't rule, then perhaps your letter will scare careless or thoughtless pet owners into doing the right thing: keeping their dogs safely inside the cab of their trucks and out of harm's way. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I have another story to add to the one about the dog that nearly didn't survive a ride in the back of a pickup.
We have two sons, one of whom owns a pickup truck. One Saturday night a few months ago, they were headed downtown. Our oldest son jumped in the back of the truck while his brother and their buddy sat in the cab. His brother had to swerve to avoid an accident, and our son in the back flew out of the pickup at 65 mph on the highway!
Every time I think of that night and what could have happened, I am grateful to God. My son survived with only minor fractures and lots of road burn. He is now back to work and is one lucky young man.
Our sons learned a hard lesson, but animals do not have a choice whether or not to ride in the back of the truck.
Abby, please stress to your readers to THINK before they allow riders -- human or animals -- in the back of their trucks. They may not be as fortunate as we were. -- GRATEFUL MOM IN TEXAS