How to Deal With a Man Eating Dog

Grrr. I have been trying all day to post this on my hubby’s computer in the room right beside my little office. I kept getting the blogger maintenance message,I haven’t been able to post any comments, check anybody’s profile, post my own blog, nothing, all day. Then I come into my room on my computer and it works! What’s up with that? Anyway, here is the post that I was trying to publish all day . . . 🙂 (I’ll come by tomorrow to comment on your blogs, I’m to crazed to try to do it now, heh.) 🙂

I was a junior in high school and found myself trudging home, backpack slung across my back and horn swinging at my side as usual. It was a 2½ mile walk at least but all the shortcuts I took knocked off nearly ½ a mile. I hated the bus and found walking a pleasant alternative, besides which I usually had at least one friend pass by who took pity upon me and drove me home. But there were many occasions when no such salvation appeared and I covered the distance on foot. My shortcut led directly to our backyard via a short easement and an unlocked gate.

I swung the gate upon and walked through, the scent of lilac assaulting me from every corner, halting me in my progression as I drank in the intoxicating aroma. I began to cross the back lawn when I noticed a dog running towards me from our neighbor on the right. “Ahh, they have a new dog,” I thought to myself as I admired the yellow Labrador retriever as it stopped to bark at me.

The dog continued to run and bark at me each time coming closer and venturing onto our property from time to time. Normally I wouldn’t have minded, but the bark was not one of welcome, it was one of warning and protection. But I had my protection too, and would simply swing my French horn in its direction to warn it off. It never posed a threat though and we never bothered to talk about it to our neighbor, until one day . . .

The sun was actually shining for a change and the symphonic band was preparing for a huge concert that spring night. I left my horn behind to be loaded in the instrument trailer and taken to the college concert hall where we would be performing. With only my backpack to carry I refused the offers of a ride home and set off at a brisk walk. Upon arrival at our back gate I undid the latch and began my trek through the yard eyeing nervously the neighbors large yellow dog. It was waiting in the shade and as soon as it caught one whiff of me it was up and barking. I quickened my pace as it began running towards me, expecting it to stop within a few feet. But this time it didn’t. With a terrific lunge it made for the back of my leg. A strangled cry escaped from me as I spun around in a circle flinging my book-laden backpack with all my strength at the attacking beast. I knocked him squarely in the jaw and took off running into the house.

“That dog practically ripped my leg off!” I exclaimed to my mother gasping for breath. She got to her feet and went to the phone as I inspected the rip in my jeans. I assured her I wasn’t damaged, just my favorite jeans. The neighbor was horrified and very apologetic and immediately began to put up a fence the next day. I waited till the fence was completed before I ventured a walk home again.


Water was dripping of my nose, and I was soaked to the skin as I stumbled through the gate trying not to take a mud bath. It was the first time since the fence was built that I had crossed through my back yard. A few steps in and I heard the familiar bark of the lab. I looked to see him on the far side of my neighbor’s lawn. I stopped to watch as he began to charge. He was beautiful really. His feet barely skimming the ground, his ears flapping and the occasional loll of his tongue as it fell out of his mouth. His fur rippled atop his heaving sides. Closer and closer he came, picking up more and more speed. It was then that I realized that he didn’t know the fence was there. Entranced I stood in the pouring rain. My eyes popped out of my head as I saw that glorious dog run full force into the fence! The fence bulged out almost in slow motion as he collided headfirst and the rest of his body compacted into the strangest formation I have ever seen a dog in. Then the fence seemed to spring back suddenly into shape flinging the dog off it with fervor as the dog yelped and staggered away.

I must admit I collapsed, backpack and all onto the rain soaked grass holding my sides in laughter, a fitting end to a dog that tried to eat me for dinner I decided. 🙂


Filed under Humor, Memory, Personal History, Youth

9 responses to “How to Deal With a Man Eating Dog

  1. Ugh. I hate dogs, and this is a perfect example of why. Actually, I’m more scared of dogs than the fact that I hate them. I mean, I am scared to death of those animals! Once I get to know a particular dog, I’m okay, but I’ve had too many bad experiences… even with dogs that I know and that know me quite well. Dogs like to eat me.

  2. Today’s life lessons by Julia:

    Lesson #1: pick a hobby than doubles as self-defense (and here’s where I go wrong, hobby: check, self-defense? oops, can’t carry the piano around!)

    Lesson #2: it’s okay (and gratifying!) to laugh at the misery of something that first hurt you

    Very funny story!

  3. pm – is see this is becoming a trend . . . heh 🙂 I am laughing so hard, see now you know why I picked up the horn in addition to piano, needed some protection! Most brass instruments work really well, but flute and clarinet don’t seem very menacing, but when all else fail just fling your backpack at them, they’ll probably end up with a concussion. heh 🙂

    With lesson number two, only if you laugh nicely. See, I am sure that dog was probably laughing at himself, so I was just joining in . . . um yeah. 🙂

  4. I must say that I’ve used my clarinet case as a defense mechanism a few times. 😉

    I generally like dogs. But there are always those few that you think are going to eat you alive just for walking on the opposite side of the street from their property. I hate those dogs and they do scare me a good deal. I always seemed to have the most trouble when I was riding my bike. My dad taught me to pull my foot up and hike it over to the other side of my bike. That way the bike would be between me and the dog.

    I have a quick question about the fence. Was it a chain-link fence? I was imagining all that happening with a chain-link fence.

    Anyway, great story, loved the description of the dog running towards the fence at the end.

  5. Yes, it was a chain link fence. 🙂 I had a few of those dog and bike moments too. Big mean scary looking dogs kinda scare me too 🙂

  6. If that were my dog that attacked you, I would not have put up a fence because I would no longer have a dog! SH and I have a long standing rule that if one of our dogs bit anyone for any reason, they would be put down. There is no excuse for a biting dog!

  7. The dog didn’t actualy bite me, just tore my pants, and we were pretty sure at the time he just thought I was an intruder. They never had problems with the dog harming anyone, they even had kids and the dog was great with them. So it was really a good dog, just found me to much of a temptation . . .heh 🙂

    But I agre with your rule, we feel the same way in our fam. 🙂

  8. Deb

    Blogger was driving me crazy too. What’s up with them? I’m a huge dog lover, but I can’t stand an aggressive dog like that. Glad you busted the Lab in the chops. My pooch is such a powder puff he’d help the burglers carry the tv out to their car.

  9. I am a long time dog lover. I also believer very strongly that dogs MUST be well trained. I am with the bite someone /put down rule. IF the dog has been trained well. If not, I’d give the dog a chance. Once.

    Dog advice. Pretend you are not scared. They do “smell” fear, and if a dog is going to go for you…it is more encouraged to do so. I’ve never had a problem with a dog personally, and I think that they understand my lack of fear or of challenge.

    I find it sad that so many people [including my own kids] have had so many bad dog experiences. Most of the time it is the fault of people, not the dog.

    Your neighbors’ response with an immediate fence was great. s was the description of what then happened…a fit description of Karma?

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