So I've been going for a morning walk with Big Boy just about every day so far this summer. It's nice to do before the heat starts creeping up again and is a great start to the day for both of us. However, yesterday morning something very scary happened when we were headed home at the end of our walk.
As we were headed down the street, I noticed a strange dog heading towards us. To avoid any trouble, I started to cross to the other side of the street. The dog was a really big German Shepherd. It kept heading towards us and when it got about one house away, it snarled and CHARGED at us. Big Boy and I were in the middle of the street at this point. He saw the dog coming and ran for the other side of the street. The dog went tearing past me and jumped on Big Boy and tried to bite his side. In a desperate reaction, I pulled on the leash and pivoted to swing Big Boy behind me and get in between the two dogs. As I was spinning around I grabbed the only weapon I had, my ball cap, and swatted the German Shepherd on the nose as hard as I could. The dog jumped back and then I planted my feet, waved my arms, hollered as loud as I could, and generally acted like a crazy madwoman. The German Shepherd retreated to the opposite curb and stood there, like he/she was thinking about coming at us again. I backed up a few steps, waved my arms some more, and gave the dog attitude. At this point, the two workmen from up the road came running down the street to see what was going on. The dog retreated further, so Big Boy and I cut across the alley and got home as fast as we could.
Upon closer examination at home, Big Boy was fine. I'd seen fur go flying when the dog jumped on him, and he had a big wet patch on his side, but no actual bite mark. I think that being so fluffy actually saved him here. He seems pretty unscathed psychologically, too, although he did follow me around more than usual yesterday. The amount of love and faith in his eyes was pretty touching. He knew I'd saved his behind. I'm not sure if he'd ever been around an aggressive dog like that before.
I went from adrenaline charged, to feeling pretty bada**, to realizing I'd done a seriously risky thing. I'm also glad for that flash of defensive inspiration that made the other dog back off. I didn't realize until much later that I'd actually channeled the lessons that everyone seems to know about what to do if you encounter a mountain lion while hiking: make yourself big, noisy, and scary.
I'm also BEYOND grateful that Trouble wasn't with us because she would have made it much, much worse. Unlike Big Boy, who had the sense to retreat when a dog that outweighed him by a good 30 pound came charging, Trouble has absolutely no sense of self-preservation and probably would have gone right for the other dog's throat. She would have gotten hurt or worse.
Big Boy and I did go out for another walk this morning, but we went a different way and I also brought along an old container of pepper spray that my mom gave me when I was in college, just in case.
Stay cool, everyone!