I love dogs. I consider myself a dog person. In fact, the only reason we don’t already have a dog is because I don’t want another mammal in my house that doesn’t wipe it’s own ass.
This past weekend, Nick and I took the kids to Wisconsin to get out of the city and spend some time with friends. In an attempt to stay on track with getting in shape, I decided to take advantage of the brisk springtime weather and take a power walk through a nearby neighborhood.
The neighborhood I was in was beautiful, peaceful and heavily wooded between the houses. I walked all the way to the back of the neighborhood which ended with a cul-de-sac, and so I decided that I would loop around and head back home. Halfway down the street is when it happened.
A huge black lab came charging out of a garage, viciously barking and bearing down on me quickly. I think I peed a little.
I am not a fan of a humongous, strange, unchained dog barking wildly, while thundering straight at me. With no sign of an owner. I had about three seconds to react, and in my head I was very logical. I know, I know. Surprising. No huge dramatic freak out. Instead I remembered a childhood lesson. Freeze, because you don’t want to encourage the dog to chase you. Also, don’t make eye contact, dogs could think you are challenging them to a fight. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it was all I had in that moment.
So I froze. I looked straight ahead, so I could still keep the dog in my peripheral vision. The dog stopped at the end of the property (possible electric fence?) and fortunately for me I was on the opposite side of the street so there was a full width of road between the dog and me. The dog continued to go ape at the edge of the property.
I stood statue still for about a minute, trying to surmise what the dog might do, and what my next move should be. I knew I shouldn’t run, and I didn’t want to turn my back on the thing, so I started walking backwards very slowly. I walked backwards until I could no longer see the hound from hell. I know I looked like a total fool, but I didn’t care. I was taking no chances.
No one came out to investigate the commotion, and no one was around that could have helped me if the dog hadn’t stopped at the end of the yard. I understand people having dogs to protect their homes, but I wasn’t near the house or even on the property. It scares me to think would could have happened if I’d had the kids out with me and one of them stepped into that yard.
Like I said, I love dogs. I’ve always been a dog person, but I’m not a fan of having the bejesus scared out of me just trying to take a walk. Not having an animal like that behind a fence or on a chain just seems like an accident waiting to happen.