Our family consisted of three children, a mom and dad and pets.
We live in the rural area of Sheridan on a road with a 45 mile per hour speed limit. Throughout the years we all flourished together.
At times the pets numbered three cats, three dogs, a guinea pig and hamsters along with occasional goldfish.
Our children were raised to adulthood with pets. Of course, as they grew up our pets came and went but it was a lesson the children learned about loving something and having to let it go as well. We always worried about the road in regards to our pets and our children since many see that a rural highway is a place to test out their speed.
Our worst fears happened on April 1. Our wonderful 1-year-old male Springer spaniel, Churchill, decided to cross the road at the same time someone was flying up the road. This person hit him and left him on the road to die!
The hit was so hard the neighbor across the road, who was quite a distance away, heard the hit and came running to find a dark-colored vehicle speeding up the hill. Churchill was lying in the road gravely injured.
My husband and our neighbor put him in our truck and took him to our local vet. Dr. Jon Redfield and Fredonia Animal Hospital kept Churchill alive. Knowing that his injuries were beyond his expertise, Dr. Redfield suggested taking our family pet to the Orchard Park Medical Center for his extensive injuries.
Our pet has spent three full weeks at the medical center as well as intermittent multiple days and five surgeries to date. He is home with us now still facing at least one more surgery and unable to walk at all due to multiple fractures and torn soft tissues in three of his four limbs. If we can get him healed, he still will need months of extensive physical therapy as well, to hopefully walk again.
Churchill is still a loving pet who in his first year of life had achieved his AKC Star Puppy Award and was working on his Canine Good Citizen status. We had been preening him to be a therapy dog in hopes of visiting hospitals and nursing homes in our area.
A negligent person has deprived us of our wonderful, romping, fun loving pet and potentially others with medical issues from forgetting their illnesses for a short while and enjoying a happy dog. My husband and I have to hand feed him, carry him outside multiple times during the day and night to do his business and loving him every minute of the day. Being not able to stand at all, Churchill still provides us with a wagging stubby tail and face washes even though he is in pain and unable to be a puppy.
I hope the person who did this reads this article and realizes what a horrible thing they have done not only to our pet, our lives, but the lives of others.
Mary Lou Dewolf is a Forestville resident.