DEAR ABBY: I want to share my experience with being a distracted driver. One gorgeous, sunny day a few months ago, I happened to glance down at my iPad and the next thing I knew, I had hit the car in front of me. The airbags engaged and hit me and my golden retriever, who was in the front seat with me. He was so freaked out he jumped out the window into oncoming traffic. I chased him, but lost him as he darted through traffic on the busy streets.
Fortunately, a couple found him and brought him to a vet who scanned his chip. I got him back, and it is a gift from heaven -- but he was severely injured. With time, he will make a full recovery, but my stupid mistake hurt my most cherished companion. I can't forgive myself. From now on, those devices go in the trunk. -- REFORMED DISTRACTED DRIVER
DEAR REFORMED: That's a start. And in the future, your cherished companion should ride in the back seat -- with the windows closed and wearing a restraint so that in the event of another traffic problem he won't be reinjured. Because you are in communication with your veterinarian, ask him or her what type is recommended.