It was another beautiful sunny fall day today so I decided to take Cooper to a new park and do a little training with him. The park had a large baseball field with an opening. I stood at the opening and let him run. I was working on calling him to come, which is one of our biggest issues with him. He totally ignored me and romped around the field. Then he came back toward me and slipped out the opening before I could get him. He headed straight toward the street...which was a couple hundred yards away. I yelled and called for him, but he was perfectly happy to run. The only time we've been able to get him when he's gotten away is with the van...so I ran over to the van and loaded Dori in to go find him. I kept my eye out in the direction he was and I saw several cars slowing down and stopping. That had me very worried...but about 10 seconds later I saw a golden streak come barreling back toward me. I bent down and called him and he came right toward me. I stomped on his leash with much relief. Then about 30 seconds later I saw a few cars pull into the parking lot. One came right up to me and the guy asked if the dog was OK because he just hit him. What? He said he has slowed down and the dog ran in front of him and he's pretty sure he hit him. I looked down at the dog and he seemed perfectly OK and his tail was wagging. Turns out the guy drives dog rescue transport every Sunday and he was just beside himself that he hurt a dog. We chatted for a minute or 2 and I assured him that the dog was OK. I was thinking to myself that he must have missed the dog because he was able to run back to me.
A few minutes later the dog started limping. By the time we got back in the van he was acting a little strange and moving slowly. So I realized that he did get hit. I picked up Parker from school on the way home and he was so upset when I told him. He is a gentle soul and doesn't want to see anyone or anything hurt. I felt so bad! We brought the dog home and he did whimper when he jumped out of the van, but didn't fuss in the house at all. In fact he moved up the stairs rather quickly. He went right to his favorite spot on the sofa which is where he's been most of the evening. We did go downstairs and watch a movie and he followed us down and just sat at our feet and chewed on a bone. Normally he's going down the hall and trying to get into stuff and we have to keep after him. But he's definitely remaining close now. I talked with a friend in VetMed today and she told me how to check him out. He did not get upset or snap when I check out his paw or belly, so we concluded that he was just in shock. We've continued to keep an eye on his all evening and he seems to be OK...just a little slow.
I feel really bad about this. I feel I am responsible. I do think he's going to be OK. We realize we have a big problem with our dog bolting. We got him from the humane society about 6 months ago. His previous owners let him roam their neighborhood and animal control was called on him several times. The elderly couple that had him finally relinquished him because they couldn't take care of him. We did go to dog training at PetSmart, but that was basic commands. We are thinking about hiring an individual to come work with us and the dog...we need to have positive control of him and we don't. We plan on taking him with us to Alaska next year, but he just isn't ready for something like that now. We have to be able to control him and get him to come when we are on vacation. Especially being in the wilderness. Some people have mentioned getting a special collar for him, but I really know nothing about that. Any suggestions?