Pits and Pistols

Maryanne and I hiked several miles on a new trail last Sunday. New trails, good friend, best dog, blue skies … sweet.

Passing a junk-filled yard, I saw dog feet trotting on the other side of an old pickup. I scooped Daz up. Dogs seem reluctant to mess with people but this dog didn’t even stop when he saw I had Daz in my arms. His eyes were on her and he never slowed his pace. When he lunged for her, I automatically put my arm up between him and her. He grabbed the sleeve of the baggy sweat shirt I was wearing hard enough to make holes in it, and pull my arm away. Though his teeth did not break the skin on my arm, there was blood on my glove as I jerked my hand through his mouth. He was not in – the least – deterred.

He lunged again, this time his eyes on me.

He was caught mid-lunge by a horrified owner. I could have fainted with relief.

What if his owner had been gone? What would I have done if he attacked Maryanne? There were no sticks or rocks handy.

Dogs are the bane of my running and hiking existence. Wild life has never messed with me. Dogs, however, are not afraid of people. It grieves me to carry a gun, yet … what are my options? And so, sadly, I dig out my revolvers, to practice.

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