OGDEN — Their pet’s untimely, unexpected demise prompted Heather Bryce into action.
“I just wanted some way of letting the person know, this is what you did,” she said.
Riah, her family’s 3-year-old Labrador Blue Heeler mix, died on Oct. 16 after the dog was struck by a hit-and-run motorist outside their home in the 300 block of Harrison Boulevard. It’s been tough, particularly for Bryce’s 13-year-old daughter, Kayla Andrews.
“It was my best friend. She was the best dog you could ask for, really,” said Kayla, an eighth-grader.
The family couldn’t sit by and do nothing. The pain was too much. There was no closure given the abrupt way Riah died and the seeming heartlessness of the motorist who didn’t even stop after hitting the dog. Accordingly, they took the unusual step of posting a sign in their front yard last week that’s visible to Harrison Boulevard motorists as a way of standing up for the dog, venting.
“You killed Riah, our dog! On Friday, Oct. 16, you sped by our house hitting and killing our dog right in front of us! Then you drove away as fast as you could! Karma will find you, coward!” the sign, yellow with black lettering, reads.
Bryce doesn’t know if the sign will yield results, or if the driver will even see it. But it would mean something if the person who hit the animal stepped forward, offered an explanation, an apology. She understands that it was dark when the incident occurred, the dog is black and the animal was probably hard to see. Still, that the driver of the car just sped off — it’s not right.
“Our dog was killed causing costs to put her to rest, I was hurt and now have hospital bills, we all were screaming and crying and they took off with no care. Had the person stopped, showing kindness and concern, it would have helped in our grieving and the sign wouldn’t have been needed,” Bryce said.
Bryce was in the driveway that October evening unloading a truck in the driveway with others. Riah was also out, and though the dog didn’t typically go into the street, she did on this occasion. “We heard a big, huge crash. Scared the crap out of all of us,” she said.
It was Riah, and the dog crawled to the side of the road, bit Bryce in her pain and confusion as Bryce tried to comfort the animal and then died. Though the guilty driver didn’t stop, other motorists who saw what happened did. “It’s frustrating because we had some other people stop. They wanted to see if there was anything they could do,” Bryce said.
Kayla had planned to recruit Riah to help with her science fair project at school, an experiment related to scents that most trigger the dog. Now that’s off. But she hopes the sign, as a public expression of her strong feelings for the animal, helps ease some of the pain. She hopes the message somehow reaches the driver.
“I kind of hope that they know what they took away from us,” Kayla said.