Heroically cheerful despite bizarrely bad luck, Doreen Miao and her dog Tully back at home Sunday.

The victim of a freak traffic accident, Doreen Miao, 57, of Point Reyes Station, returned home last Thursday after six days in Marin General Hospital.

As readers of my Oct. 28 report in The West Marin Citizen know, Doreen and her dog Tully had been walking beside Highway 1 just west of the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road Oct. 25 when a passing car hit a buck as it bolted across the highway. The deer was thrown into Doreen, who was knocked down and suffered a compound fracture to  one leg, a broken clavicle, and rib damage. (In a production glitch, The Citizen printed the Oct. 28 report a second time on Nov. 4.)

Doreen on Sunday told me that all she remembers of the accident is walking along the highway and then being in an ambulance. Photographer Marty Knapp, who lives on nearby Tank Road, told the Highway Patrol, as well as me, he saw the oncoming car, saw the buck bolting toward the highway, heard an impact, but did not see it.

Marty said he was not immediately aware that Doreen was lying on the ground, but two neighbors who could see her rushed over to help.

The photographer added he feels certain the car hit the deer rather than hit Doreen. The sound of the impact was what one would expect if a car traveling 25 mph were to hit a 200-pound buck, he explained, far louder than if it were to graze a pedestrian. Despite the blow, however, the blacktailed deer managed to recross the highway and disappear.

The driver of the car stopped and told officers he had hit a buck, but he was not aware of Doreen’s being involved. His car received only minor damage, the Highway Patrol noted.

Doreen, a native of Shanghai who has lived most of her life in the United States, walks her dog Tully to the post office and back almost every day. After the crash, Tully, a miniature Australian shepherd, returned to the post office where townspeople recognized him.

Vickie Leeds, owner of Cabaline tack shop, took Tully and Doreen’s cat Maui to the Point Reyes Animal Hospital. From there, the pets were transferred to a kennel in Novato. Thanks to a neighbor who picked them up from the kennel, Tully and Maui joyfully returned home Sunday.

For the moment, Doreen is using a walker to get around her house, but she’s as happy to be home as Tully and Maui are.