My family suffered a tragic loss on Saturday night.  Our beloved Wilson was hit by a car and died. 

Some background:  He was a 5 year old black lab.  We live on 5 acres, un-fenced. We had looked into fencing the property, but the cost was just not in the budget.  We looked into getting an invisible fence, but many people advised, with his energy, he'd blow right past the boundary.  Instead we managed him using a hunting shock collar.  He responded well (usually) to the 'pager' mechanism - he would feel the vibration and come back.  His daily routine was chasing the tennis ball, every time he went outside,  That was his life.  He loved his tennis balls!  Keeping this dog on a leash in our own yard would not have been a life for him.  He mostly respected our property boundaries, but occasionally ran off.  He'd run up the road of our rural neighborhood, but would always come back. 

Our kids (11 and 13) took turns taking the dog out. We always used a light up collar at night so we could see him, and in case he got close to the road, so a car could see him.  On Saturday night, it was my daughter's turn to take him out.  She used the leash, but when he came back in, he barked to go back out.  He would not do his business on the leash. When she let him out again, he took off up the driveway, presumably to run across the road into the woods to potty.  She heard the car screech and drive off, and she saw his flashing collar lying by the side of the road.  She ran back to the house to tell us she thought Wilson was hit by a car.  We ran up our long driveway and found him dead.  Thank the Lord he did not suffer. 

This pain is so incredibly hard to bear.  My kids are devastated. My husband and I are devastated.  He was supposed to live until they went off to college.  Why wasn't I the one to take Wilson out that night?  I was too tired and had sit down to watch a show.  Why didn't we see this risk and insist he use a leash at night?  Why didn't my husband and I take over the responsibility of taking the dog out, especially at night?  Why didn't we find a way to fence the yard?  Why didn't we hire a trainer to help us deal with this?  I work full time at a demanding job and that combined with kid activities, I am so exhausted and spent all the time.  I had no energy left for taking good care of the dog. 

I completely blame myself for this loss.  I feel his death should have been preventable.  On one hand, I know it was completely impractical to leash him in our yard, but we should have trained him better to not run in the road.  He would run after his ball up the driveway, and 98% of the time, he came back.  But sometimes he kept going.  We should have tried harder to stop that behavior. 

I am so devastated.  I wish my daughter hadn't been the one to take him out.  I told her this was 1000% not her fault.  He would have run off on any of us.  I don't want her to have the guilt of this. I don't think she does, but I want to be sure. 

We buried him in our back yard woods yesterday and my son made a grave marker with his name on it.  I am going to miss that crazy dog!  I don't know how to deal with this grief.  I can't eat, and my sleep is affected. I feel so guilty for the way he died, and that my children's beloved pet was taken away too soon. How will I get past this?
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I'm sorry for your loss..About 15 years ago I had an 8 year old black pekignese named pepper. He dug out of our gate and got hit by a car. I found him on the road way. We even used chicken wire to plug up some of the spots where he would dig out. I was devastated. Cried a whole month. Then my Kiki girl showed up. I didn't want another dog but we ended up keeping her for 14 yrs. I had to put her down last Monday.

There is a big empty space in my life but there is nothing I can do but remember how much we loved each other. Time does heal all wounds.
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I am so sorry to learn of your and your family's loss of Wilson. Pets being hit by cars is sadly so, so common. Parents of dogs and cats post here each week on the Rainbow Bridge Forum with another tragic loss of a beloved dog or cat. 

If entire properties can not be fenced in? it is possible to fence in a smaller enclosure for the pet. Which is much cheaper.

The truth is NO pet (no matter how well-trained) can be trusted to run free. Not in this world. Especially with people chatting on cell phones and being generally distracted with social media / texting etc. these days. And leashes and harnesses must be adjusted accordingly to avoid the animal slipping out of them and getting hit.

I know you are grieving and it is too late to save Wilson now. My sincere hope is others will read your post and be reminded to never allow a pet to run free outdoors, unless it is in a very secure area with zero dangers. Even if one life is saved it is worth it for them to read of your loss and be warned. It may save a life. Which may give more meaning to your recent loss of your beloved Wilson.

Kind regards & my sincere condolences,
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