(Originally posted April 26, 2006)
A number of things factor in to where I walk my dog. In order of importance: Are there pretty houses and yards upon which I can feast my eyes? Are there sidewalks? And if there are not sidewalks, is walking in the road a deathtrap? If two cars were on this two-lane road at the same time, would my dog and I both have an area of safety in which to step? Are there any aggressive dogs? And if there are aggressive dogs, are they in a well fenced yard from which there is not an easy escape? And if there is no “aggressive dog cone of safety” is there anything close by with which I can use to kill an angry dog?
Did anyone notice how I wrote all of that without ending any questions with a preposition?
Right. Moving on.
So, yesterday morning, I’m all jazzed up for a great walk. I think I’ll go a little farther, I think on 6th Street, and go all the way up to 2nd Avenue. See the back of the … what is that, the Kirby Center? Anyhoo. I get to the corner of 6th and 2nd, and from behind the not – very – well – constructed – wooden – fence I hear that sound. That sound I hate to hear. The growling barking of an aggressive dog. I see loose boards. I see the boards end and wire fence begins, and I swear it’s a rabid Dashound trying to get at us through the … what is this fencing called? We always called it goat fence, out on the farm; it’s not chicken wire, but has 4-6 inch rectangles. Maybe Nurgen can tell me. And that dog was about the same size as the holes in the wire fence. Panic and adrenaline numb me. Which way do I go? I’m almost at the end of the house now, so if I turn around and go back the way I came, I’ll be longer at it than I would if I just kept walking. I pulled Bridgett close – she’s so trusting she thought the other doggy wanted to play, when clearly it wanted to eat our faces.
That’s when the dog pushed the gate open.
There was a fallen tree branch with a nice sharp spike on it about five feet ahead; I think I may have teleported to it. I was reaching to grab it and crazily putting myself between Bridgett and this ravenous rat-dog, when it realized that we were farther ahead of it. So, being the brainiac that it is, it squeezed back in through the gate and ran through the yard to where we were at the corner of the fence. I shouted “no” and “sit” (something Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe do to stray dogs who follow them when they’re bike riding) and pulled Bridgett down the rest of the block. Shaking the whole way.
You know that feeling you get, when you haven’t eaten yet, and all the adrenaline just runs out of your body leaving you flat?
I know it may seem funny, being petrified by a dog that looks like a hot dog with legs. But a dog fight is something I hope to never get caught in (again*). You can’t reason with dogs, you can’t tell them to stop, you can’t distract them by showing your boobs, and if you get in the middle of it you are going to get injured.
So I decided that really? I was done walking for the day. I scooted over to NE Boulevard (the street so nice they forgot to give it a number) and was heading straight home, where I could contemplate having bourbon for breakfast.
I’m about half-way down the street, feeling shaky and sorry for myself and sweaty and just like I’d rather start the day over… and I see a car coming towards me and slowing down. Are they slowing down for the speed-bump (that I had never noticed until last week some time)? Are they slowing down to ask for directions?
HAH! You’ll never guess!
It was Cindy, slowing down to say hello and introduce herself and her charming daughter! She had recognized me and wanted to say hello so we could put faces with names. Her daughter, by the way, has one of my favorite names (I won’t tell you what it is, to let the girl have some privacy). But how cool is that?! It totally made my day, and certainly made my day much better. And do you know what? If it wasn’t for that atrocious vicious monster of a canine, I wouldn’t have even been on that street that day. So I guess I owe that miniature cretin a thank you.
Maybe I can deliver it with my foot.
Cindy, you’ll have to meet us at Books, Inc some Sunday for some knitting!
* Tip: if you are ever involved in a dogfight, pull the dog away using its tail. This keeps you away from the biting end, and doesn’t hurt the dog as much as it may seem.