Letters to the Editor

Cherished life

July 9, 2010


To the editor:

Someone dear died Tuesday night on Highway 40 between Lawrence and Topeka. We saw it happen. We had pulled onto the shoulder to help her when we saw her walking slowly down the westbound lane. One car hit her full force from behind. It sped off. We raced to help her out of the road when another car sped toward her and threw her to her death. It sped off. Of all the cars that flew past, only one other stopped to help.

Together we looked for some way to identify her, but we found nothing. We had no way to notify her loved ones. It was up to us to pray and mourn her loss. She was someone’s child, someone’s best friend. She was a blessing to this world. She had a heart of gold. How do we know? Because she was a dog.

Please be careful wherever you drive. May we all cherish life more and take care of each other, not just those we know but all beings everywhere.


GardenMomma 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh! How sad.

How drivers can NOT stop when they hit something is beyond me!

slang4d 7 years, 9 months ago

I will say this- sometimes it's not possible. I was driving down Kentucky on a Friday night and the car right in front of me hit a raccoon. I just saw it spinning in the road, swerved to avoid hitting it again (I didn't, thankfully), and pulled over on a side street completely shaken. My options were:

A. Running out in the middle of a busy street on a dark night B. Calling animal control

I went with B. Someone else had called in for the same incident, an indicator to me that not all people are heartless. I do however cringe whenever I see roadkill on back and country roads- it's not like another car is going to come along and wack you if you stop to help the animal.

devobrun 7 years, 9 months ago

"someone" definition: "person: a human being". Redefine a word and cleverly change the meaning of life. Raise the meaning of one life form and diminish the meaning of others. Or raise the meaning of a life form to enhance the human experience, i.e. guilt. I don't write this to justify driving away from hitting an animal. Responsibility is also a human virtue, but irresponsible behavior is a separate issue from the characterization of a dog as being a someone.

Clever by half. It was a dog, not a someone. There is a difference.

whats_going_on 7 years, 9 months ago

either way, the dog probably meant something to someone.

And what a horrible thing to see, I want to cry just reading this. This is so terrible. I hope by "sped toward her" you didn't mean did it on purpose. If so, I honestly hope that person or people come to a very sticky, disgusting end.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

And why do you assume that human life is superior to other forms?

I could give you a list of things that other animals do better than we do, and ways that we destroy the planet that they don't.

Of course there's a difference, but also a similarity.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago


Just interested. How do you define human being?

Doug Peschka 7 years, 4 months ago

"It was a dog, not a someone. There is a difference."

I want to see you say that face-to-face to someone whose pet has just died, either from an accident, or from illness, or from old age. To whoever loved that animal, that animal was somebody. If that animal had pups, she was somebody to them.

How does anybody on this thread even KNOW: if that animal was deliberately turned loose? that it wasn't stolen, then escaped from it's captor? if that dog was anybody's pet in the first place?

There are a few cases of jumping-to-conclusions going on around here, don't you think?

Centerville 7 years, 9 months ago

Judy, thank you for stopping and trying to help 'someone'. Very heartbreaking. At least, 'someone' was there for her at the end.

md 7 years, 9 months ago

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Judy and Michael for taking the time.

Drivers hit cyclists,speed away and leave them to die.

People hit pedestrians then speed away.

Some people........

Irenaku 7 years, 9 months ago

This broke my heart! I love my dog and I cannot imagine how empty I would feel if I lost her, particularly in such a manner.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

Nice to hear from one of the local PETA members. Shouldn't you be out picketing a burger joint though??

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

Nothing like a little ad hominem attack to try to divert attention.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago


Your post and right-wing's are the ad hominem attacks I was referring to.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

I would have cell-phoned animal control. You know what they say; the most dangerous animal is an injured one.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 9 months ago

Any living thing is someone. A person's lack of compassion for animals is a indicator of thier lack of compassion for humans. Any person who would intentionally hurt animals or move on after doing so, even if unitenionally has a predispotion to other acts of violence and disregard for life.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 9 months ago

"Any living thing is someone." I'll remind you of that the next time you take an antibiotic.

slang4d 7 years, 9 months ago

Here's my problem with cruelty to animals: a human can has the ability to think rationally and can understand their circumstances and situation. Sure, if you're a victim of random violence, that's a different story. But if you're in a car wreck and feel pain, you have some understanding of what's happening to you.

An animal just feels pain and fear. It doesn't understand what's happening. It's the same thing with children. I consider anyone that hurts either one (animals or children) to be on the lowest rung of humanity- disgusting, cruel, and not worth any respect. I'd give a dog, cat or raccoon more respect than I would a human that hurts one.

Thanks Judy for being someone that cares. I wish more people were like you!

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

tange - I looked and looked for a Bible passage that you might be referring to, but the closest one I could find is this:

1 corinthians 2 [15] The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone brought up the responsibility if the pet's guardian*? This is a somewhat remote area...why was this animal running loose? Was it perhaps dumped by someone who didn't want to take care of it?

(* I use the term 'guardian' because of my admiration of Bolder, Colorado where you're not allowed to 'own' a pet, you are merely permitted to be a pet's guardian. From some other things I've heard Bolder may be even more liberal than Lawrence! Maybe we could ship a few of you libs over that way.....happy sheeple!)

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

my LIBERAL spell checker changed that and I didn't catch it. Left-wing conspiracy.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

Most people who have been there know it as: The People's Republic of Boulder

Doug Peschka 7 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Right Wing, you're right about the responsibility of the person[s] whose dog that was - and you and I are both assuming that dog was not a stray animal.

My wife and I have cats, and they are indoor pets. We don't let them run around loose.

But if we had a dog, our answer would be the same. A dog needs to be walked every day, but letting a pet run around loose is irresponsible. On that, you and I agree.

I commend Ms. Carman and her husband Michael for having the heart to stop and try to comfort that animal that they saw struck down. The reason we still need our Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms, and maintain a strong Navy, Marines, and all other branches of Armed Forces in defense of our country is NOT because of people like Judy and Michael, but because of people who want to do harm to others, be it to animals or to other people.

Oh, Judy has rose-colored New Age lenses in her eyeballs, all right. I don't deny that. But her compassion for animals has never injured anybody, as far as I know, either.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

That's certainly possible - I've heard that students routinely take animals out to remote areas and let them go when they're tired of caring for them.

Apparently they haven't heard that they can simply take them to the humane society, or maybe they just don't care.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 9 months ago


Why do you mock animal guardianship over ownership. Who gives you the right to own another living creature? Animals deserve all of the rights that humans do, including freedom of the press, religion, and to bear arms.

If that dog had been armed, this would not have happened.

puddleglum 7 years, 9 months ago

Please be careful wherever you drive. May we all cherish life more and take care of each other, not just those we know but all beings everywhere."


dear 98-01 black trans am w/t-tops that passed me on wakarusa @8:30 friday... I was riding my bike-you know what you or your passenger yelled at me. You got it comin' chickensh**

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

I had a really, really bad exerience many years ago.

I turned onto an Interstate entrance ramp, and as I always do, don't really get in to much of a hurry when there is hardly any traffic.

The first thing I noticed that was out of the ordinay was that a van was parked illegally, on the left hand side of the road,. Well, not the road, parked illegally on the left hand side of the entrance ramp onto the Interstate where you're supposed to be gathering speed to merge into Interstate traffic.

I suppose that it was a good thing for the driver that a police officer was not there to give him a ticket for that.

I slowly proceeded, wondering why someone would park illegally like that. The only thing that came to mind was that there had been an accident on the Interstate, and that the van had parked there illegally, in order to get a better view of the crash. So I looked for the crash, too.

I very slowly idled my car past the van with my eyes wide open and my window down. Just as I slowly rolled my car past the van, a man made the strangest sound, one I had never heard before, quite loudly into my open window.


What? I thought to myself. Why is he saying WOW to me over and over?

A moment later, it was as though I hit a railroad tie. BANG!

Since I had only been going at an idle maybe 5 to 10 mph, I stopped within two or three feet, with no damage to speak of to my car.

I sat there, wondering why there had been a railroad tie on the road, and why the man had not warned me to stop because of it.

Suddenly, a small puppy, it appeared to be a very small cocker spaniel, came running out from underneath my car. It ran to the shoulder, with the man, a woman, and a small child running after it.

I could not understand why the man had not warned me!

He could easily have yelled "stop!", "my dog!", or "watch out!", or perhaps there was a language barrier.

Or, why hadn't he just kept his mouth shut, so as to not distract me from what was on the road ahead?

But WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW? Is that Spanish for something?

What did that mean? He was amazed that someone was making an entrance onto the Interstate?

I realized that there was nothing I could do, and that the damage to my car that they were responsible for was minimal, so I slipped my car back into gear, and idled away.

I still feel really badly about it, and I sure do wish he had not distracted me with WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW-WOW, so that I would have seen his puppy on the interstate ramp, and driven around him.

Mabye both of us learned a lesson - it's not a good idea to distract a driver on the Interstate!

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

Looking back on the event after all these years, actually a couple decades now, I still do not understand why they let their puppy out to relieve himself on the Interstate. This was way out in the country, and there were literally thousands of other places they could have allowed him to do that.

But on the Interstate?

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

It's always sad when a pet dies. It's one of the very few things I care about.

We stopped on the interstate in south Missouri to try to catch one of two large dogs running loose. The other was already dead beside the road. We just about had it but it ran almost in front of a semi and I realized we were just making things worse. In the end all we could do was call 911 and watch the dog run away. Nobody else would stop or even bother slowing down from 75 even with our car on the shoulder and 4-ways flashing.

In general, I hold humans in very low regard and couldn't care less about what happens to most of them. Deep inside I hope the people that passed us without regard that day get what they deserve.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

I do have to wonder what you would have done with a large dog had you actually managed to catch him.

If you really care about animals, the Humane Society here in town would sure love to have you help walk the dogs waiting adoption, and spend some time with the cats that are also waiting. The more contact they have with people, the better chance they have to find a home.

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

I do have to wonder what you would have done with a large dog had you actually managed to catch him.

No you don't. I would have put him in the back of the jeep and taken him to the local animal shelter. I constantly chase down stray dogs in our neighborhood, catch them, then call the animal shelter to give them our number in case anyone calls looking for the dog. I'll then go house to house knocking on doors asking if people know who owns the dog.

We adopted our last dog (of 4 we have) from a lady that couldn't stop her from escaping her fence. Dog #3 was saved from the shelter when a friend of my wife moved and couldn't take him. Dogs 1 and 2 we bought. Dog 0 (who is now dead) was saved from the shelter in Tampa. He was a chow and unpredictable and could be vicious, but we stood by him against all advice until the day we took him to be put to sleep because cancer made most of his teeth fall out. I cried like a baby that day. I didn't cry the day my mother died.

As for helping at the animal shelter, I don't have the mental strength to do that. I would die with every dog they have to put down. We always donate food when we visit the pet store, even though that is a sorry replacement for the real work better people than I do.

Cats... cats not so much. My neighbor's cat just died of some mysterious bite and It was sad, but dogs will always be the ones my heart breaks for.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

I share your feeling for animals.

My understanding is that the local humane society makes every effort not to kill any of the animals they have.

Also, I wonder how it is that you didn't grieve your mother's death - I know that's kind of personal, but you included it in your post. Did you have a terrible relationship with her?

Liberty275 7 years, 9 months ago

My mom and I always had a typical relationship. When she died, I lost something that was supposed to take care of me. When I lost my chow, I lost something I was supposed to take care of.

Another way of looking at it is that my mother raised her sons to be independent of her while we raise dogs to be entirely dependent on us. In both cases the same bond was broken, but the one between my mother and I had been played down for my own sake while the one with my chow had been nurtured for his entitre life for his sake.

To me, dogs are like kids.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

Oh - in my case, I wouldn't have had any way to transport him!

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

I helped at the shelter for a few months - but it was so frustrating. It seemed that by the time my friend and I got there, all the smaller, easier to control dogs had already been out for a walk, leaving only the larger ones with some problems.

Of course, not all the larger dogs had problems. I'll never forget the sweetest dog, but looking at him would be enough to strike fear into the most bold of intruders. Capone was huge and looked fierce, but was wonderful to play with, he would play catch the ball, walk with me, let me pet him, and never, ever struggled with the leash or caused any trouble in any way.

But, as with all the really nice, sweet dogs, Capone found a home right away, so I only saw him a couple times.

And then later, I had a couple bad experiences with the large dogs, and even had to have some help from the staff to get them back in their cages. After that, I felt that I was more of a burden to the staff than a help, so I didn't go any more.

But, I sure will never forget some of the nicer dogs, and if I ever get a dog again, it's going to be one from the shelter.

Doug Peschka 7 years, 4 months ago

That's terrific that you gave some of your time to the shelter. And you're right; if a person wants to get a pet, the shelter is the RIGHT place to get one from.

That, or just taking in any strays that show up in one's back yard. That's how some of our own cats came to us. And they are the sweetest animals we've ever known.

I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading your posts on this thread, Ron. They make sense.

independant1 7 years, 9 months ago

Yup. pretty sad when people drop their dogs and cats off out in the country.

If the animal is approachable we capture and take them to county shelter. Sometimes though on the spot euthanasia is necessary.

The cat population exploded this summer out here. Don't know where they all came from. 17 now, will have to do some trap and transport to shelter.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

That's really sad - if you have to trap them in order to catch them, it is quite likely they are ferrel, and will be be almost unadoptable.

For a kitten to be tame, it needs to be handled just about since birth.

independant1 7 years, 9 months ago

Had a beautifull cream colored Husky mix show up one day, flea bitten and losing weight. Fed her and flea/tick dip.

A very gentle/good personality, one could tell she was raised around children. Had a soft mouth when interacting with kids. Got her spayed and tried to keep her......

Gave her 3 chances but she killed chickens and harrassed livestock. Tried to instill some discipline, the dog had not been trained to any command. Would not stop on command when chasing/harrassing/killing chickens. Hope someone adopted that pup.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

My parents and my brother had Huskys for years. They were wonderful dogs, but they were very, very difficult to train.

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