This is the most difficult story I’ve written in a long while. It’s especially heart-tugging because this young boy and his dog went through the most horrible experience anyone can ever suffer. This Michigan boy’s love for his sweet dog was so deep that he could not possibly see the tragedy that was about to unfold. And truth be told, it’s a painful reminder why it’s important to have a fence if you own a dog.
He loved his dog so much he couldn’t bear to see him get hurt
Early on a Saturday evening, 10-year-old Gage Carter and his dog Stitch were in the house when Stitch suddenly darted into traffic. Not wanting his dog to be hurt, Gage ran after him, without checking to see if there was oncoming traffic, DogsMakeLifeBetter reports.
Gage was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short while later, The Detroit Free Press reports.
And now, the 69-year-old woman who drove the car that hit Gage and Stitch is saddled with traumatic memories of the event. She was driving sober and not under the influence of drugs. I can only imagine the pain and sadness she feels when she reflects on the awful incident.
A family and a community is torn by sadness
Hamilton Elementary School, which Gage attended, offered grief counseling services Monday for students who needed it and a family friend opened a GoFundMe account to pay for his funeral.
And the community responded. By Monday afternoon more than 500 people had contributed $20,000 in donations — well above the $11,000 that had been requested.
“When I awoke this morning and learned about this horrible tragedy there was only a few hundred dollars in this account, so we donated,” said Wayne-Ford Civic League President Vic Barra in a post. “It’s now 3 p.m. and I am so proud of our community for their generosity and compassion for this traumatized family.”
People made more than $26,000 in donations, and the family is no longer accepting any more money.
For one little boy, young Gage had a huge impact, notes the boy’s mom, Dana Lawson.
“Today I told my son, he just keeps saying ‘Gage is my best friend mommy. He was the first one I talked to at my new school.’ Hayden is going to miss his best friend so much! My prayers go out to his mother, father, brother, extended family and friends. Rest in heaven Gage, gone but never forgotten.”
A boy, a family and their grief
Gage’s grandmother Margaret Carter noted it took mere seconds to turn the family’s world upside down, ClickOnDetroit reports.
“I was beside myself,” she said. “He’s only 10.”
Her daughter had called her with the devastating news, and Carter rushed to the hospital. Where she was met with the news that no one wants to hear.
“I just asked the doctor was he gone and she said, ‘Yeah.'”
And the heartache has been overwhelming.
“The minute his name is mentioned, everybody breaks down.”
The tragic deaths of this wonderful boy and his beautiful, loving dog are a reminder of why a good fence is important. It’s worth noting too that some dogs are epic jumpers and the fence must be high enough to take this into account. Even the most reliable dog can sometimes make a tragic mistake. This tragedy is a painful reminder of what we can lose in just a mere minute.
You can watch the story unfold in the video below, but be forewarned that it is sad.
Featured photo by ClickOnDetroit.