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Friday, August 15, 2008



Lol, you made me laugh in the middle of a severe migraine, so I'm glad you care so strongly about something in the not-so-earth-shattering category. And you aren't crazy, or at least if you are, there are two of us - I swerve to avoid all animals dead and alive. I can't say I get out to move mice, but I certainly flash my lights at other cars to let them know that there are deer ahead. Maybe if there were more crazy people like us, more little kids would have their pets! Hah!


Every year my family went to Cape Cod for a two week vacation; we drove from Ohio and usually started out at the ungodly hour of four AM. One year--I must have been about 8, or older maybe--we had just pulled out of our street when we heard that unmistakable THUMP of hitting a smallish animal.

"We have to go baaaack! We have to help it!" I said.

My father, understandably cranky at getting up at 3 AM to finish packing the car and drive across half the country, said, and this is an exact quote: "It's fine. And even if it weren't, I'm not stopping for a damn possum."


I ran over a raccoon a few years ago. It was awful, if only for the thumpthumpthump of my car as it went over the body. Oh, was that horrible. But my dad told me from early on: "You don't slam on the brake if you see a bunny or squirrel or other small animal." (Exceptions, of course, for deer and large animals like that.)


"And AND! I also look at dead things just to make sure they’re actually dead. I have no good reason to do this."

But this is exactly how we ended up with our second dog! I tried not to look at the brown lump on the side of the road, but I did. And despite the drizzle of rain, I saw her breathe. So I quickly turned around and stood by the side of the road looking anxious until two nice construction workers stopped and helped me load her into my (gasp) trunk. (They refused to put her in my backseat because, "It'll make a big ol' mess back there.") Despite horrible injuries, she recovered and very happily lived with us for the remainder of her life. She was the best dog we've ever had and THAT is why I still always look...


Not only can I not avoid looking at roadkill, but I'm also a weeping gnasher when I see said dead animal, so you're definitely NOT the only one, Emily.

Just yesterday, while we were coming home on the freeway, the person in front of us hit a low-flying pigeon, which then was flopping around with a broken wing into on-coming 70 MPH traffic. My wonderful husband swerved to avoid hitting the poor thing, while the tears starting running down my face. It was horrible! He felt just as bad as I did, and said he almost wished he had hit it, just to end it's misery. I told him the "thump" would've sent me into full-blown hysteria.

In fact, I feel terrible as I recount this. Oh, and I too, have saved a turtle from imminent demise on a 2 lane road.


OMG Gretchen! I just read your comment and it made me want to cry. I'm so glad you stopped, and that you were rewarded with years of love and loyalty. :)


I have almost caused accidents getting turtles accross the street! Those damn things really stress me out and we have like 5 creeks near my house so no matter where I am driving there seems to be a damn turtle trying to cross the street!

@Natalee - My father (a biologist) has told me that if you can hit a bird with your car, then it is usually sick and/or dying.


I so hear you on this one. I once hit a bunny and was devastated. For days. Even worse, the other day I was in the car with my husband and saw a dog that had just been hit by a car. I was in tears immediately (Hubby was also quite shaken). There were already police officers and a small crowd there so we didn't stop but I haven't stopped thinking about the dog and his family. It's so sad :-(


It is TOTALLY necessary to save the box turtle, or help the mouse. Coming home from Christmas at my in-law's one year, a bird flew into the front of my car and I killed it. I cried for HOURS... while my husband laughed at me. I had to pull over and let him drive I was so teary eyed and hysterical. I totally get where you're coming from.


I often stop my car when I see a dog running free just to see if I can entice it to me so I can try to get it back home if it's wearing tags. The dogs usually don't trust me but it has worked twice and the owners were grateful. I'd want someone to do the same for me if my dog got out and was on a busy street!

Needless to say, I too am very senstive to seeing animals that have been hit.


I was once waiting for an appointment in a city park in NYC (no grass, just benches and playground equipment) when I saw three grown men trying to hang a mouse from a fence with a string tied around his tail. I don't know what came over me, but I marched right over there and shamed them. They made fun of me for a minute, but then I started talking about how the mouse was one of "God's creatures" and did not deserve that, and then I took the mouse down and knelt over him as the poor thing died (of fear, presumably). Believe it or not, the three guys felt bad and came into the park and stood over me and talked about the poor mouse and apologized. I shamed some goons!

So I don't think I need to tell you that I brake for squirrels, and birds (those mourning doves are the worst at moving out of the road, and they always travel in pairs because they're MARRIED), and any other animal. And I too am morbidly fascinated by roadkill.


I can relate!! Earlier this summer, I made my husband freak out and slam on the brakes because there was a toad hopping across the road. A TOAD. On a rather busy street. I, too, get seriously sappy over any dead animal. Luckily I've never ran anything over :)


Nope, you aren't crazy. Or if you are, so am I because I do all the same things!

The worst roadkill was when my husband and I were driving across the country and came across antelope and what I swear was a wolf and a bear. (We drove for four days, we didn't see it all at once.)


Haaa, too funny. I remember during drivers ed when I was 16, I saw a squirel in the road and slowed down or attempted to go around it...the teacher yelled at me and said that NEVER EVER do you stop or swirve for anything smaller than headlights of your car (I am sure he was excluding children). That worried me but I also understood that if there was other traffic beside you or in front of you, you could cause an accident...or so he says. I still think he probably had a shotgun in the back window of his truck and used those poor animals as shooting practice during lunchtime!!

Have a good weekend.


You're not alone (obviously -- I love all these comments!). I too save turtles and cry like a baby when I hit a squirrel (or think I MIGHT have hit a squirrel, or ALMOST hit a squirrel because OH MY GOD WHAT IF I HAD AND ALL OF ITS FAMILY WAS WAITING FOR IT ON THE OTHER SIDE). I have to go, though, because I'm getting all weepy thinking about roadkill and stuff. But yes, I always avoid stuff when I can, and I always look, and I always cry. The end.

She Likes Purple

I'm a bit hesitant to tell you about the roadkill game my friends and I invented to pass the time on our long, boring ride from college to home. The ride that passed all sorts of dead things including, I'm not even kidding, multiple dead cows (admittedly, multiple cows over several years). There were point values for all the different animals.

If it does help, just a bit, Mike once went canoing and there was a cow stuck in the mud on the bank, and it wasn't able to get out and was at the point where it had just given up and accepted its fate, and Mike saved it! Dug it out with his oars and freed the thing! I don't know if my HUSBAND'S kind heart does anything to warm my cold one in your eyes, but it was worth a shot.


You are not the only one. I refuse to hit ANYTHING if I can at all help it!! (Total count thus far one oppossum and a couple of birds...) Although I do not swerve because I read a story once about this woman who died or her kids died or maybe it was a wives tale but either way I've always been told that I shouldn't risk killing myself for a bunny. But really... mabye for a very cute bunny!! :-)


I must be heartless, but I figure roadkill is just Darwinism at work. The only thing I've ever really WORRIED about hitting is pets because unlike squirrels (which i HATE!! Squirrels are just RATS with bushy tails. and FLEAS!), kitty cats actually DO have families to go home to.

I'm just surprised there is such a large amount of roadkill where you are! I haven't seen more than one or two up here in more than a year. I've never personally hit anything in my life!


Yes yes yes!! I look to see what type of animal is laying in the road, and I freak out when they are still alive. I freak when I see a live animal meandering NEAR the road. Oh I get SOOOOO worried!! I try to will them to go back into the woods.

I cried my eyes out when I hit a squirrel back in high school (I'm a vegetarian! I don't hurt animals!!!! Waaaaaaahhh!)--of course, I hit that damn thing at the entrance to my neighborhood so its body taunted me for days!

I have also gotten out of my car to chase down dogs, help turtles cross the road, get geese off the street, etc.

One time I looked at road kill while on a road trip with my husband and friends and it turned out to be a box. Of kittens. Still alive. On the side of a major highway! I immediately started to cry and my husband was like, "I know. I know. People are disgusting. Just get the image out of your head." Too late. Water works. Damn, that happened seven years ago and I still remember it pretty freshly.

So, um, no. You're not the only one.


Fun Fact! Everyone in my family has killed a deer with the car. The joys of being from nowhere!


Your packing post and this one are freaking me out because they are making me think WE ARE THE SAME PERSON. I also hold my breath when I go by the roadkill. You do not re-run over the pancaked animals! NO! I do not want roadkill blood on my tires!

The only time I really looked hard was in Texas. I was at a stoplight and there was an animal to left of my car. It was a SKELETON though! And it was HUGE. So I became convinced that it was a dead person and I had to keep glancing over at it. I thought I was going to have to call CSI. And then my passenger said "IT IS NOT A DEAD BODY. IT HAS FUR ON IT" to which I just kept yelling "But I can see a SPINE!"

That is all.

Ashley arlen

Funny story.

I was once driving my mother's Lincoln Navigator, and a duck, or turkey buzzard or whatever, just RAN OUT IN FRONT OF ME, and I unfortunately hit it.

The WORST part is (yes, it gets worse than killing a duck) I had to pay for the grill to be replaced on the Navigator. THE GRILL! BECAUSE OF A DUCK!

So now, I try my best not to hit things. It's too costly for repairs sometimes.


i have never hit anything with my car. i feel a little left out...


"you can't call in hysterical to work" LOL. :)

I am with you. I try to avoid hitting things and that whole half-dead deer scenario would have seriously scarred me.

We were at my parents place recently which is pretty rugged - lots of bush and trees. My dad is an avid birdwatcher and regularly shoots squirrels who try to steal birdseed from the feeders with a pellet gun. This past trip he did it while we were all right there in the kitchen with a perfect view of the squirrel's untimely death RIGHT THROUGH THE HUGE PICTURE WINDOW. And it was convulsing on the ground and I felt so terribly awfully sorry for it and my dad said it was dead and it was just nerves doing stuff. But I was totally ready to go out and smash it's head with a rock or DEMAND that he shoot it again and make sure the little guy was REALLY REALLY DEAD because I didn't want him to be suffering.

Same thing with a newt we owned once who accidentally climbed out of his bowl and fell off the top of the piano and was tragically paralyzed from the waist (midsection?) down. I actually PRAYED for the newt to die because I was SO sad for him, but didn't have the guts to kill him myself. It took 2 days for him to go and I was just SO RELIEVED because I really can't handle watching an innocent animal suffer like that.

Long tangent. Oops. :) I am with you.


I try not to slam on the brakes for small animals because usually they're faster and can swerve before my big ass car and my lame-o human reflexes can. But if I see a critter corpse on the side of the road, I get WOEFULLY upset for at least an hour. I had to train my husband to not mention the roadkill if he saw it just for his own sanity in the car.

Sometimes if I see a roadkill, I'll talk about how that cat/dog/possum/reindeer was obviously rabid and probably vicious and getting instantly killed by a car was the most humane thing for it and the rest of the world. It only sorta works.

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