Onyx, your post just rubbed me the wrong way a bit. It came off like someone who puts their dogs outside by it's self is a bad person and shouldn't own a dog. And dogs don't have to be with people 24/7, I'm sure most of you work right? How does your dog cope at home by themselves? Being outside and inside makes no difference on the dogs thinking of "being alone". Given how dogs tend to react to their owners coming home, be it 5 minutes or a whole day...I doubt they have much sense of time either. So being outside for a couple days might not be any worse than being inside alone for several hours for certain dogs. Some dogs even enjoy being outside more than inside. Being outside also doesn't mean the dog gets no attention. (This being the reason most people feel that dogs shouldn't be kept outside, the thinking that the dogs get food and water and that's it) With 4 kids I'm sure the dog interacted with them during the day, maybe not all their guest are iffy about dogs and are willing to give a pat or two, maybe even a treat to the old pooch while visiting.
I agree it was very poor judgement but I still don't think these people should be beat down for what they did so long as they learn from it. Accidents happen regardless though. At this time of year they probably weren't thinking too well with so much else on most folks minds. We don't plan unfortunate advents and maybe they thought because the dog hadn't been hit in 15 years that it had "street smarts" to stay away from the road. Who knows? Some Average Joe owners DON'T fully comprehend the fact dogs can't fully think to the extent we do about things like staying out of the road. Not everyone is super "dog savvy" and just want a pet; they know to feed it food, give it water, walk it, vet it when needed, ect. They don't care to invest time into a dog forum to learn how to spend $100 on kibble, spend time making better homemade food for the dog than they do their own human family, do trials with their dogs that take money, time and travel, how to properly crate train a dog indoors who doesn't need it or have $$$ to invest ing boarding a dog instead of putting it outside in a fence where it's known to escape. Maybe next time they'll figure out a better way to contain the next dog if they need to do this again. But it's still very sad to lose a long time pet and I'm sure the family will be quite upset, especially so close to what should be a happy time with family and friends.
Last edited by SS-GSD; 12-22-2012 at 10:24 PM.