I Was in a Car Accident and My Dog Died


Sheesh, that’s a depressing title.

Yesterday after crying all afternoon with my dog in the final stages of kidney failure, I got in the car to take a meal to a friend who just had a baby and got hit by an SUV.  Have you ever been in a wreck?  The whole thing happens in slow motion.  I pushed on the horn and then there were airbags slamming around me and I was screaming.

My entire left side hurt and I thought I was covered in my own warm, viscous guts, but it turns out that it was just the baked ziti for my friend and my guts are all still exactly where they should be.  Feel free to laugh here, because, c’mon, ziti guts. Hilarious.

You see how I could’ve been confused.  Ziti guts.

I spent the whole long evening in the hospital and I’m banged and bruised and neck on fire, but nothing’s broken.  They gave me muscle relaxers, and like all good children of the 80s, muscle relaxers will always make me think of Sixteen Candles and that tottering bride.

My van’s not looking so great.  Apparently, the person hit me so hard that it rammed my car into somebody else’s, so it was like I was in the middle of a big car hug, except more painful than how I remember hugging.

You guys.  What am I going to tweet about without my big rolling red rocket with the manual doors that no one ever closes?!?  I’m slightly worried the van and I are like Samson and his hair.  The van imbued me with the power of tweeting.  Maybe we could buy a Winnebago.

I sat on the edge of the car, shaking and trying to process what happened, and I watched trash from the van blow into the street.  Because when you hit a messy van, it opens up like a pinata.

I was at the hospital for six hours and met the sweetest people.  My X-ray technician was a foster mom and told me about her foster daughter and my nurse has a son who’s at math camp this week and my second X-ray technician (because So Many X-rays) has an 18-month-old daughter who never stops moving and has an opinion about everything.

So even at the hospital I was chatting up fun moms, although I don’t want to go back there for a second date.

I was covered in ziti, and at the beginning of the evening it wasn’t bad, smelled kinda good, but as the hours dragged on, I started to sour and by the end, I was definitely the smelliest person there.  It’s humbling, sitting in a wheelchair all night amidst strangers, smelling like rotten food with ziti guts dangling from my clothes and in between my toes.  At first, I was saying, “It’s ziti, not blood,” and by the end I was saying, “It’s rancid ziti, not vomit.”

I practiced gratitude to keep from throwing myself a pity party (tempting), and the number one thing I’m thankful for?  My kids weren’t in the car.  Praise God praise God praise God.  I was by myself, and my right arm worked well enough that I could dig for my phone before they pried me out of the car.  I called Alex and my dad and they came to my rescue immediately (I think everyone in town called 911, so we were covered there.).

The hospital was so packed they didn’t have a room for me and I had to lie in a hallway.  But I’m so grateful to live in a place where we have access to medical care, whether it’s in a room or a hallway.  I know in some places in the world, I could still be lying on the road.

So the kids are fine, nothing on me is broken, and the van, well, the van had a good run.  Thanks for the memories, Red Rocket.

I’m bruised and my neck pretty much hates me, but it could’ve been so much worse.  I keep flashing back to the impact, willing that car to see me and stop.

Oh, and this morning, my dog Spike went to be with the Big Dog in the Sky (That’s another post.).

The last twenty-four hours are not my favorite.  But I’m so so so grateful to be here, that my kids are fine, for the friend that Spike was, and for my dear sweet stinky ol’ van, may it rest in pieces.

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  • jen Shannon

    So grateful that you are okay. Praying you can get some much needed rest. I can come take the kids for you tomorrow. They will have a blast. I am serious. Let me know.

    • Melanie Dale

      Thanks, Jen. That means a lot. My mom is coming, so we’ll be fine.

  • Lynne

    Poor you. Sorry to hear about your terrible day. Very glad you were not more badly hurt. Condolences and (gentle) hugs for Spike – it’s tough losing one of the family.

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you!

  • Lauren Morris

    Whoa. What a seriously intense day. So glad that you are alright. The Lord certainly was looking out…Particularly with the kiddos out of harms way. The bit about the van going full piñata made me snort-laugh, though, so way to keep the humor in a tough spot. My heart breaks for you in regards to Spike. Thoughts and prayers for peace and healing coming your way!

    • Melanie Dale

      I love that my pinata van made you snort. That is beautiful.

  • Off The Cuff Cooking

    Talk about Guardian Angels!! Praise the Lord above that you were not majorly injured. And I suspect you won’t make ziti for a while.

    • Melanie Dale

      Yeah, I’m breaking up with ziti.

  • Rachel Brodsky


    • Melanie Dale


  • Mary Beth

    Wow. :( I’ll give you a very gentle hug.

    • Melanie Dale

      *gingerly receiving gentle hug*

  • naomir5034

    I am so sorry for all losses. :( And rancid ziti.

    And if our car ever burst open there would be a definite piñata effect.

    • Melanie Dale

      Ha! Piñata vans are the best.:)

  • Bootsie

    Humor comes out in a post that was a scary happening– the red rocket piñata explosion. Only you, my dearest Melanie, can add humor to make a bad day a bit better. So glad you are surrounded by friends and family to cheer you on to wellness and good dinners and living care. Do sorry about dear Spike. A great dog who served you well for nine years. PTL you are okay!!!! Love you, Bootsie

    • Melanie Dale

      Thanks, Bootsie!

  • Ashlee

    Friend!! I am so, so sorry to hear this! Praise God you are okay! Wish I could give you a big boob hug right about now. Sending love and prayers for a quick recovery of body, heart, and spirit. xoxo.

    • Melanie Dale

      Thanks, Ashlee!

  • Heather Ellis Shields

    I cried when I saw the last kids pic on fb. Losing a beloved dog is SO hard. I cannot imagine going through that and then being in a car accident. Sitting here amazed at how you can turn such a sad post into hilarity and gratefulness. You are one of a kind. So glad I follow you. :)
    P.S. I highly recommend seeing a chiropractor for that hateful neck of yours. ;)

    • Melanie Dale

      Thank you! And I have all the special specialists helping me with my neck, so hopefully it’ll be back to moving normally soon enough!

  • Chantel Adams

    That last line is my favorite.

    • Melanie Dale

      Hee-hee, thanks.

  • Kathryn Helmers

    I can’t offer you a boob hug. Nope. But you are the only person I know who makes ziti dishes to give to others. In my thirty years in Colorado, I was forever explaining what ziti is. And it’s so much fun to say. I hope the hurt parts, all of them, are mending well. Please write about your personalized plan for dealing with PTSD.

    Buckie is enjoying a meet and greet with Spike, I’m pretty sure.

    • Melanie Dale

      Plan?!? I need a plan?!? :) Ha, so far it involves Swedish Fish, Cherry Coke, and a whole day in bed watching Battlestar Galactica. ;) And ziti rocks! It just sounds perky. Although I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it again for awhile! Front hugging you with my thoughts…





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