The dog took off down Foster as I lost sight of it. As I kept running, I was passing people who were walking toward the park, they kept saying, "He went that way! He went that way!', as they pointed in the opposite direction of which they were walking. I was running as fast as I could. I kept thinking, "You know, there are 20,000 people here right now, and I'm not going to let this dog down."
Fireworks were exploding in the air behind me as I ran, illuminating the street in front of me. The same fireworks that give joy to so many, were also the same fireworks about to contribute to a dogs death. It was a surreal and unsettling feeling- unfolding- inside me.
As I got closer to La Mirada Blvd., the look on the face of the last people I encountered, told me what I needed to know.
That little dog ran so fast, was so terrified, and it was hit by a car as it tried to run across La Mirada Blvd, and died. Another 15 feet and the dog would have found the solitude of Biola University.
There was a sheriff working traffic control at the intersection and he told me he tried to stop traffic for the dog but it happened so quickly. He consoled me, and then I stood there leaning against the brick wall, motionless, grieving for about 15 minutes.
Why did this have to happen? Why did the last two minutes of this dog's life have to be filled with terror? Why him/her? Why do these things happen that bring us such despair?
I was distraught, devastated, and numb. I was buried with grief for the dog and disappointment in myself for not being able to save him.
I was affected for days.
I found out days later that the dog belonged to a teacher at La Mirada High School. And days later, I learned I had actually met the dog a couple of times at the baseball field. This didn't make things better. What a small world.
I heard they were very upset, and I'm sure they were, but education is the key here.
There has to be something we can do to prevent this from happening again, and use this as a life lesson.
I am imploring that Mayor Susan Tripp and the rest of the La Mirada City Council and staff to please, please include animal advisories at all 3rd of July fireworks shows from this point forward and perhaps advise neighboring homes of the hazards to dogs and other pets.
I realize the City Council has already discussed the 3rd of July event at a recent study session, but I am asking that the event discussion and review be revisited, with the dog issue being the topic.
I know you can't tell people NOT to bring their dogs, but I think strategically placed advisories on signage during the event and literature leading up to the event, will help prevent this from happening again. These simple steps will help people who don't necessarily know, about the dangers fireworks pose to dogs and other pets and animals at these type of events.
I hope we can use this tragedy-one that I will never forget-as a learning tool, to prevent animal suffering in the future.
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