RIGHFULLY SO. I’m fighting my janky old laptop to tell you this cautionary tale.
I also will preface this story with the fact that I’ve been around dogs my whole life, and know the difference between a friendly “lets play” growl/bark, and “I’m going to eat you.” I have always felt that you can’t stereotype breeds of dogs – I know lots of people with sweetheart pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans, etc., and I felt it was just bad owners that really give those dogs a bad reputation by not training them properly.
Several months ago, I took Ben & Cooper for a walk, and we ran into an unleashed pit bull mix (though, after doing research for this post, I’m convinced it is a small presa canario/pit bull mix, which is even scarier. GOOGLE IT.), who angrily growled and barked at us like it was going to attack, but luckily, ran away. Shortly after, we ran into the dog again, this time, being walked by his owner, and the owner’s other dog, which kind of looked like this:
The owner claimed it was a boxer mix, but the dog looked NOTHING like a boxer.
The non-pitbull other dog saw Cooper, and immediately was enraged, snapped the expandable leash she (yes, SHE!) was on, and charged us. The dog had Cooper’s whole neck in her mouth and was shaking him back and forth, trying to snap poor Coop’s neck. All the while, I’m yelling, “HEY HEY HEY HEY” as the dogs fight at my feet. The owner managed to get his dog under control and get her off Cooper, and proceeded to stare at me for about a minute and a half (no, “OMG are you okay?!” or “OMG I’m so sorry!” – nothing), while I stood there, speechless and terrified.
Long story short, the owner got a “citation” from the local dog officer, despite the fact that the dog has attacked other dogs before. Apparently it’s 3 strikes and then a board decides if they will remove the dog or not. The last thing I wanted was for the dog to be euthanized, but clearly, the owner could not handle this dog’s rehabilitation (both dogs were rescues).
AND NOW THE MEAT OF THE STORY!
Sorry, long setup.
Today, decided I would take Benjamin for a walk/run in his stroller. I made it past the attack dogs’ house, turned around, and saw something just like this barreling towards me:
Scary. As. F***.
It was the dog that growled at us months ago. I ripped out my earbuds, and wrapped my hand around my hard plastic Camelbak water bottle, thinking I could club him in the head if worse came to worse. As soon as the dog reached us, he was growling and barking – and not in a friendly way – it was the “I’m going to eat you and your baby” kind of growl.
According to this fabu article, the dog “meant business” based on the way he was running and holding his head. (Seriously, read the article – tips on what to do in a dog attack!)
Legit, this is what the dog looked like, but with a different color fur. Okay, maybe a slightly smaller head.
I’m standing there, frozen, completely horrified. I had the stroller shade drawn down almost all the way since it was so sunny, but the dog managed to stick his face in there to growl and bark at Benjamin (who, bless his soul, didn’t panic). I pointed the stroller sideways, away from the dog, so he couldn’t get his face in there, and then the dog starts barking and growling at me – so close that I could feel his breath on my legs.
I tried to stay calm, since, ya know, they can smell fear, but I wasn’t doing a great job. What’s funny is that I instinctually did a lot of the things recommended in that article (and scary, because the article really makes me understand what serious level of danger we were in). At that point, I didn’t want to use the water bottle, because I wouldn’t get enough force, and then he really would attack. I didn’t want to escalate the situation.
I tried to calmly proceed, rerouting the stroller forward and taking a few steps, but he stuck his face in the stroller and started growling again. We repeated this little dance a few times, and it was clear this dog wasn’t going to let us go anywhere.
Yep, just like that, except today’s dog was wider & sturdier throughout. Otherwise, TWINSIES.
Now friends, I live in the boonies. There is no cell phone service, and no one around. I was in front of the owner’s house, so I started screaming, “SIR SIR SIR YOUR DOG!!” but of course, no one was in the area.
So I’m legit starting to freak out that this dog is going to attack us, and I had NO IDEA what to do. Then in the distance, I see a UPS truck coming. I’m by no means religious, but PRAISE THE LORD, THANK YOU JESUS.
As the dog is growling and snapping, I’m frantically waving my arms at the truck. He stopped, and I have no idea if I made sense, but managed to communicate that this angry dog was about to attack my baby and I was trapped, and if he could please help me. This wonderful, kind, sweet driver managed to distract the dog long enough for me to hightail it out of there.
When I got home, I promptly called the police (they cared 0%) and dog officer (another “citation” going to the owner), and then spent a good 30 minutes of my evening on the phone with various UPS offices, trying to make sure that this driver gets some kind of recognition for what I believe (call me dramatic) was saving our lives today.
So, THANK YOU, UPS driver Steve. I sincerely hope you get the reward/recognition/medal of honor/badge of courage/promotion that I requested for you this evening.
Also, Googling the images for this post gave me PTSD-like flashbacks. This shiz is serious business, yo.
I just completely undermined the seriousness by adding, “yo,” didn’t I?