Act of dog

Dot writes: yesterday was going pretty well until about 5.45pm, when I was driving along and hit a dog. I don’t think I had much chance of missing it; I wasn’t driving fast – maybe 25 miles per hour on a parked-up residential street – but one moment I saw him on the pavement and the next moment there was a thump.

My thinking then became confused. I braked hard, but then took a painfully long moment to work out that I should probably pull into the side, slap my hazards on, and see if there was anything I could do. Meanwhile the dog had ambled away again, back up the driveway from which he had escaped, and the dog’s owner was engaged in an altercation with another dog owner who thought he should go and see to the dog rather than talking to me. In fact the owner was oddly solicitous. He seemed much more concerned about the upset to me and the damage to my car than the state of his pet. In fact he offered to pay for any work that needed doing, and helpfully informed me that he has two brothers-in-law who are mechanics. He was very insistent about ringing up today to find out how our car was and discuss insurance matters. I put him onto Ken, who succeeded in persuading him that it wasn’t fair he should pay our garage bills as well as his own (considerably larger) vet’s bill. The dog had a cut, and on going to the vet it was discovered he also had a fracture, which may or may not need surgery. I am very glad he was a big tough dog and I only hit him a glancing blow.

The damage to the dog, in fact, seems to me much more upsetting and important than the damage to the car. As it happens, however, with perfect timing, today was the day of our NCT (the Irish equivalent of the British MOT or New Zealand Warrant of Fitness), and the accident had broken the front left indicator light. So we failed our NCT. Fortunately, however, we just need to get the fault fixed and checked and we don’t need to book the entire test again. We also failed because the brake-lights weren’t working, but in a display of great thrift and manliness Ken has already fixed these himself for E3.50.

P.S. In the rest of the evening, I spilled my tea over the stove-top as I was cooking, Hugh had a big cross fit, and it was discovered that in the course of the day his poor little bum had acquired the worst, most raw and painful-looking nappy rash I have ever seen. It was so bad that when I took off his night-time nappy this morning it had little pink patches in it from his sore spots. He has spent a lot of today bare-bottomed in the hope this will help him get better.

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