Pet stories

Beloved family dog injures hips in freak golf cart accident

For Bob and Francine Romig, a move to Florida meant a new focus on enjoying the little perks of retirement, starting out with the first cup of coffee in the morning.

This was exactly what Bob had in mind as he drove his golf cart to get a morning pick-me-up at a local café with Sophie, the Romig family’s miniature schnauzer. Minutes later, a last-second move to avoid a dangerous driver would lead to a serious health scare for his beloved pooch.

Making that special connection

The Romigs felt the urge to welcome a new puppy into their family. As luck would have it, their daughter knew about a litter of schnauzer pups—and, after some deliberation, Francine chose a very special one.

"I just kept watching her and watching her," Francine recalls. "I went over and picked her up, and she just looked at me, and she put her head right into mine and licked my nose. I said, 'That's it, that's it, she's the one.' She's the only one that did that."

Finding the way home

Bob and Francine returned home having cemented a bond with their new puppy, whom they named Sophie. Sophie got accustomed to her new life in the Kissimmee community, first by meeting the neighbors and their dogs.

Francine says, “Here in our community, just on our street, there must be at least 25 dogs—and I know every one of them … Sophie's the queen of the block, so to speak. You know, schnauzers are very verbal, so she makes it known that she's present.”

Soon, Sophie and the Romigs became inseparable. She would accompany them to neighborhood shops, often riding along in the golf cart that Bob and Francine use to take short local trips.

“[Sophie] likes riding in the golf cart,” Bob says. “She loves riding in the golf cart because she's just smelling other doggies and stuff like that.”

Danger in the fast lane

One morning, Bob and Sophie went to get coffee at a nearby café. Little did they know, an aggressive driver would almost turn their lives—and their golf cart—upside down.

Bob continues, “Now the golf cart only goes 18 miles an hour. This guy, he turned left following us—and he was in a big hurry, he went out and passed me. But when he did, there was a car turning out of the side street, so he [jolted] right over and pushed me over to the curb. I had no place to go but except against the curb.”

A lot happened very quickly, and despite the relatively low speed of the incident, it was enough to toss Sophie from her seat. Bob remembers, “The leash pulled right out from underneath me.”

A lot happened very quickly, and despite the relatively low speed of the incident, it was enough to toss Sophie from her seat. Bob remembers, “The leash pulled right out from underneath me.”

“She came out of her harness and everything,” Francine adds.

“Someone asked if I got the license plate of the car that turned, but I didn’t have time to because I was worried about my dog laying on the side of the road,” said Bob.

'Moaning and groaning'

Bob had come out of the frightful accident physically okay, though rattled by the experience. Sophie, on the other hand, was clearly hurt bad. Bob rushed her home right away to assess her injuries.

“She was just moaning and groaning,” Bob recalls, “and she couldn't hardly walk or do anything and all, and whatever we did to her just didn't calm her down.”

Francine adds, “I said to him, ‘We've got to take her to the vet.’ We called that gal from an animal hospital—they couldn't get her in—so we took her to the emergency vet.... Of course, we couldn't go in because of COVID, so we had to hand her over [to the staff at the hospital].”

Sophie had injured her hip pretty seriously in the accident.

Francine continues, “They kept her for a few hours and did X-rays, then sent her home with pain medication just to make her comfortable.”

A slow recovery

A few days later, and Sophie was slow to get back on her feet. Francine and Bob noticed that she was still in considerable pain.

“She was hurting those days,” Bob remembers. “I mean she was just moaning and groaning. I slept out in the living room so I could be with her because she didn't want to do anything. I don't even think we got her to go out, did we?”

“We had to pick her up and take her out,” Francine answers.

Worried that Sophie would face ongoing pain due to her injury, they opted for an advanced new treatment to get her back on her feet.

Francine remembers, “I called our vet, Lake Alfred Animal Hospital, and we took her in there a couple days later—as soon as we could get an appointment—to have them evaluate her as well.”

She adds, “God bless them, they have this thing called a cold laser, and they did that on her leg, two treatments—how long were the treatments?”

“Not more than 10 or 15 minutes,” Bob replies.

“After those two treatments, you would have thought she'd never been hurt,” Francine continues.

“She was back to normal. I said, ‘I need some of that!’” Bob quips.

“Yeah,” Francine laughs, “All senior people need some of that.”

A few months later and Sophie is back to ruling the block—and everyone’s hearts. She’s even back riding in the golf cart, something that Bob and Francine didn’t think was likely.

Protection from the unexpected

As seasoned pet parents, Bob and Francine are aware of the costs and level of care needed to protect their animals.

Francine says, “I think when you're younger, you know, ‘Oh, I'll handle that later, you know, I'll be fine,’ but as you get older it's like, ‘Oh, no, I'm going to go and get it taken care of sooner rather than later,’ and I think we feel that way about our dogs now too.”

With Nationwide pet insurance, Bob and Francine enjoy the peace of mind they get from knowing they don’t have to hesitate when it comes to taking her to the vet.

Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will
Free Will

They're part of your family. Make sure they’ll be cared for, no matter what, with a will. Nationwide can help you create your free and legally binding will in as little as 20 minutes today.

Create your free will

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