Sunday, June 13, 2010

Doggone it!

Confession: I kind of wanted a dog to get run over today.

I usually *love* dogs. No, really. My family has always had dogs. (Well, up until Rusty passed away a couple years ago and my dad swore he was done with dogs -- I think he was more attached to that troublesome pooch than he realized.) I dogsat for Meghan and Andrew for a week on my way through Houston. I've snuggled with various pups at friends' homes. I even temporarily adopted two rottweilers and a german shepherd who were living at the house I rented in Mexico. But these damn unleashed, un-fenced-in mutts in rural America are really on my last nerve.

What is it about dogs and bicyclists? Is there some kind of universal canine code? (Kujo's First Law: Kill anything on two wheels.) The first time I was very nearly attacked was on my way through Indiana. A snarling, frothy-mouthed shepherd mix almost took a chunk out of my calf. Then in West Texas I was chased for over half a mile by what looked like a rabid golden retriever. I actually called the cops that time, but was not surprised that Animal Control never showed up. Here in the south, the dogs remain unleashed, but the majority are somehow less bloodthirsty: usually they just run alongside and bark, but with tails wagging. Sometimes there's a token "arf arf" and then the dogs go back to what they were doing before. Are they lazier here? Is the heat slowing them down as much as it's slowing *me* down? Maybe they're more well-loved here, or better fed. (Does southern hospitality apply to the way canines are treated?) But today, on my way through the tiny town of Ninety-Six, SC (yes, that's the real name of the place) I was almost mauled by another damn loose dog.

As a woman stood on her porch and called once to her dog -- and not in an overly loud or commanding voice, mind you -- her mangy mutt continued to chase me down the street. I screamed at the top of my lungs. A van coming my way slowed slightly, I suspect out of a sense of morbid curiosity because the guy made no move to pull over and help me or even roll down his window. Just as I was pulling out my pepper spray, the dog backed off. I think it saw the gleam in my eye that said I was getting ready to kick it in the nose. (That's how you're supposed to get away from sharks, anyway: punch 'em in the nose. Preferably while you still have an appendage to strike with.)

I still love dogs -- I mean, can anyone resist a pup as cute as Nugget (pictured here)? Just be sure your pooch doesn't try to chew my legs off and we'll get along just fine....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. Penny HATES when people don't obey leash laws--she gets SO mad! (and so do I!)

  2. FWIW a squirt from the water bottle usually works for me. If that doesn't do it, off comes the frame pump!

    I can't believe the humidity here in Asheville today. Yuk!

  3. Oh, and loose dogs don't just target cyclists, I know a certain runner who has a nasty scar on his back to prove it...


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti