A Victoria mother and animal lover was struck and killed in the road in front of her house in Langford on Thursday as she tried to save her dog.
Meesha-chan Grubisic, 47, is believed to have been on Goldstream Avenue retrieving her dog Sailor when she was hit. She was taken to hospital in critical condition but later died.
Friends say Grubisic was safety-conscious but that it is not surprising she would risk her safety for that of an animal or another person.
Kimanda Jarzebiak, choking back emotion today, said Grubisic saved the life of her dog Boo, who three years ago slipped on ice and broke his back. Grubisic immobilized the animal’s back, attempting to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and getting the dog to the veterinarian.
“Three years later, she died saving another dog’s life,” Jarzebiak said, overwhelmed. “The essence of Meesha was if someone needed something she wouldn’t hesitate.”
Grubisic's brother from the Lower Mainland was in Victoria today as friends and family tried to reconcile a devestating loss.
“The part that’s impossible to wrap my head around is how vital she was. She just oozed energy and it’s impossible to understand how that energy could ever go away,” Jarzebiak said.
Grubisic’s Facebook postings showcase her support for human and animal rights. She was described as happy, spunky, perceptive and a good mother to her 11-year-old daughter Ruby.
“She was most proud of her daughter’s independence and strength and it’s so clear that’s Meesha in Ruby,” Jarzebiak said.
Grubisic ran LET’s GO Luckydog, which provided dog walking, a doggy bed and breakfast and “urban errands” for pet owners.
“My friends and I all joked that Meesha was the dog whisperer. Dogs behaved for her and listened to her before they would listen to their owners,” Jarzebiak said. Clients often bemoaned the fact their dogs probably wanted to stay at the bed and breakfast rather than go home, she said.
The owner also cared for the dogs’ owners and many of her clients became close friends. “It was so clear her caring went beyond the dogs.” The accident happened about 8:20 a.m. Thursday in the 1100-block of Goldstream Avenue, near Langford Lake just south of Wenger Terrace.
West Shore RCMP confirm she was in the roadway at the time.
“It’s devastating,” Jarzebiak said. “From what I understand, second hand, Sailor charged to see the other dog [across the road] and she called out for him to stop and she went to the middle of the road to pick him up. She was crouching down picking him up when the car hit her,” Jarzebiak said.
A 2003 Nissan Murano, driven by a 50-year-old Kamloops man, was coming down a hill on a blind corner when Grubisic was on the road. After the accident, the driver was distraught.
Traffic from the Trans-Canada Highway empties onto the residential street.
Traffic analysts interviewed the driver and are looking at a number of factors to determine the cause of the accident.
West Shore RCMP Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz called it is an unfortunate accident. “We will continue to investigate the factors to try and bring the family some answers.”
A fundraiser for Grubisic’s daughter’s education will be set up on the online fundraising site YouCaring.com on the weekend.