Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dog Scare

I went running with my wife yesterday. As we were cooling down (walking) back to the house, we ran into a mean looking (bit bull + rottweiler mix (just think mean, I don't know the breed) (90lbs?)) dog at a natural choke point [so yes, I got ambushed, smart dog]. To get to our house, we have to go through a 2-car wide section of the road (which was 1 car wide due to a car being parked on the side of the road), which then opens up to a cul-de-sac ish area.

First instinct, pat left hip. No knife. Check pockets. (1) key, (1) music player. A key it is (stab in the eye if attacked?). Dog is acting agressive, all we want to do is get by. I figure that the dog is just scared and does not know what to do next. I ask my wife to back away, putting myself between my wife and the dog. I cautiously try to walk past the dog,

He lunged.

I turn to run, yell "hey hey hey" (very short/loud), and stomped with my right foot(I suppose in preparation for hard core fast running). He stopped, and backed away a bit.

Got my bearings.

A ha! so he was just scared and didn't know what to do with us. I would walk about 2 ft, the dog would get nervous, and be about to growl. I would stomp, yell "hey", and he would back up two feet. We basically repeated that for 30 ft or so until we were past him.

Then, when we were about to get into our house, he runs up and starts barking at a dude trying to get into his car, he dives into his car quickly and makes sure the door is shut.

Anyway, I was fairly mad when I got into the house. First I was like "if I had a P3-AT (Santa, a blued finish would work), I could have used it". Then I thought about that. I don't think I would have wanted to shoot at the dog with the intent to kill it. Next I was like, "well, I could have shot into the berm and scared it". Which I figured was the best option if you were using a gun. Next I thought about well, I could carry a baseball bat/stick (heck, an old lady that runs on our route carries a big axe), but the more I thought about that I realized that I didn't want a dog close enough to me to cause me to be able to use a bat or a stick.

As I was going to sleep, I came upon what I think to be the "best" answer (open to discussion) for that situation. Pepper spray would have been pretty effective, non-lethal, and light. Discharging a firearm like that would not have been very fun to deal with. A stick lets the dog get close, and you better hit it hard. Taser... I have no experience. From the interwebs, some people say pepper spray works, some say it doesn't. I am not going to test it on any dogs I know, so .. hmm. I think it would work on a dog that was just wondering about you but being aggressive. If it was set on biting you, I don't know what you could do to stop it. I had an idea about a good flashlight, but seems that is hit or miss too. The flashlight is something I could test though.

There have been free ranging dogs in the cul-de-sac before, but this was different. There used to be a big white dog, looked like a wolf, but when it came up to you, its tail was wagging. I wouldn't promote random dogs scaring people, but wagging tails is a good thing and can be forgotten. An aggressive dog that blocks free transit in public areas is a problem.

I think I was thinking about this alot because I still don't know what I *would* have done if I had some sort of firearm on me. I also don't know what I *should* have done (they are different).

In retrospect, we should have just gone around the building. Picking a fight with a dog is stupid.


SPAM said...

When I was growing up, there was an older lady in our neighborhood who carried a spray bottle of ammonia whenever she went walking around the neighborhood for the purpose of dealing with dogs. I have no idea the effectiveness of it.

Anonymous said...

i think you both should use it as an opportunity for sprint intervals.