Bark and Bite Are Usually Equally Frightening

It is no use telling me not to run from your dog because his or her bark is worse than their bite.  I have been afraid of dogs since I was a little girl walking through white neighborhoods to go to church. I don’t know if the dogs were trained to bite black people, but we were the only ones they would run after, and if you were last in line, you got bit and sometimes had to do rabies shots. I learned an early lesson about self-preservation: You don’t have to be first, you just have to run faster than the next-to-the-last person.

So, now when I am running full tilt down the street from a dog, and the owner is trying to reassure me that he is a gentle soul that would not bite anyone, or that his bark is worse then his bite, I question the logic of their argument. So, I simply respond, “He may not bite you, but he don’t know he’s not supposed to bite me.” Then, I  keep putting distance between me and his teeth.Douglas is the opposite.

Once we were walking down an unfamiliar street, strolling along with not a care in the world. I looked up and here came what looked like a seven-foot tall angry dog out of one of the yards. He started barking ferociously as he got closer to us. That was my cue to put feet in the wind.

I was screaming at Douglas to run, too, but he had stopped in the middle of the street, determined to have a conversation with a dog hell-bent to make someone supper for walking near his home! As the dog fast approached, Douglas pointed toward his house and said in a calm voice,”That is your territory, and this is my territory. ” In total torment that he was about to be mauled something terrible, I hollered back at him, “What are you doing? You better run!”

But, my Sir Galahad was not giving up an inch of street to that dog, whose owners had now joined the chase, calling his name and telling him to stop. He was not paying his owners any attention. I think the dog was intrigued by a human being who was not running and who was standing in the middle of the street trying to reason with him, thinking that anyone that crazy deserved to be bit on the backside.

The owners were shouting at Douglas that Cutie Pie (or whatever his name was) would not hurt him, for I think that they understood that Douglas would do whatever he had to do to protect me from the dog, and they did not want the dog to be hurt. In fact, after the ordeal was over and they had caught up to their dog and grabbed his collar, the man looked at Douglas and very angrily told him that the dog would not have hurt me.

But, Douglas is a good judge of dogs, for dogs and cats seem to love him. When we take our morning walks on the green way that includes a “bark park, ” owners are amazed when their dogs gravitate toward Douglas. Douglas will let the dogs smell his hand and then proceed to rub their ears and coo nonsense at them, even letting him give them belly rubs!

It is an amazing sight to see, and the owners inevitably say that they had never seen the dog take to anyone that fast! He understands dogs, and when he senses that a dog is dangerous, he places himself between the dog and me.

So, a controversy erupted between Douglas and Cutie Pie’s owners, one in which they felt their dog was as much in danger from a bad man. After we had walked a few more blocks and my heart was beating regularly again, I asked Douglas what he had planned to do if the owners had not caught their dog.

He told me that the owners were wrong in thinking their dog would not have mauled one of us. He had learned a technique from a veterinarian that would not have killed the dog, but it would have stopped him long enough for me to reach safety. I did not ask what it was, because I don’t plan on trying to use it. Douglas told me that I had to start trusting him in these situation, and not run from the dogs.

But, that is easier said than done, especially when you have been scared of big dogs nearly all of your life and did not own a dog until you were in your fifties. So, it is no good trying to convince me that your dog just seems dangerous, but that he is really a sweetie pie. Tell it to the back of my head!

Fandango prompt is Question. Word of the Day Challenge is Torment. Daily Addictions Prompt is Controversy. Ragtag prompt is Bark. Scott’s Daily Prompt is First.

One thought on “Bark and Bite Are Usually Equally Frightening

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  1. We have found that dogs that aren’t well socialised well will be very startled by people of different racial backgrounds if they are not used to them. Or people with beards, etc. Of course, no one is allowed on to our property without the dogs making a lot of noise. I think it is unacceptable that owners allow their dogs to rush out from their houses.and terrify people.

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