Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make Some Noise!

Meet my dog, K. I introduced him (here) about a year ago, but today I learned a valuable lesson while walking the dog I didn't want: the importance of using your voice and how necessary it is to sometimes stand your ground.

K is a lab/husky mix, we think. He's only a year and a half old but weighs about 70 lbs. This morning as we were taking our regular stroll through the development, a neighbor's Rottweiler broke its lead and tore out of his back yard towards us. I sunk into a fighting stance and seriously considered a half-baked plan to kick this 100 lbs. beast in the head - until I remembered that I was tethered to K. The thought of somehow protecting us both was truly an OMG! moment. How could I kick one dog without hurting the one leashed to my arm? What should I do if the Rottie somehow latched onto K? How the heck was I going to get us both out of there safely?

K simply turned and faced the dog. He didn't growl or bark - he just stayed between me and the other dog. When the Rottie got to us, he opened his mouth and tried to get behind K, who simply shifted his position so he could stay between me and the other dog. Finally I remembered my voice and started yelling "Come get your dog!" hoping that someone -anyone! - would come and get this big brute away from us. One gentleman ran from the backyard and another from the front of the house to grab their dog's lead. The one from the backyard just kept saying "It's alright! He's not going to bite! He just wants to play!" Tell that to the heart that was trying to leap out of my chest...

Perhaps K knew that already, because shortly after the other dog got to us, he and the Rottie began doing what dogs do when they are trying to get to know one another: sniffing and rubbing against each other in that "Pleased to meet you!" kind of way. He wasn't jumping all over the place as he usually does when squirrels are near by, but he made sure he was always between me and his new friend. When the Rottie's owners finally got there (and yes, it seemed like it took them daggone near forever to cross the street), they had to use every ounce of strength to pull their dog away. He, I found out, is just a big puppy, too...

The few self-defense seminars I've been to have all talked about one thing: using your voice. The immediate threat of a dog charging towards me and my dog almost made me forget I had one, but, eventually, I did yell like a lunatic. Although standing your ground isn't generally recommended, I knew that running from a dog was probably not the best idea. But that my dog did in a way that made sure I was as safe as possible was a nice surprise.

Yeah - he got lots of hugs, kisses and even a treat when we got back home :-)


  1. That's a great story! I'm glad it worked out okay - unknown dogs can be quite scary things. Dogs are known to be fiercely loyal and protective of their owners. I once knew someone who had their dog in the back of the car whilst travelling home in the dark. On a quiet road she noticed a man lying on the ground in a layby and stopped to see if he was okay (she was a nurse). As she got out of the car to approach him he suddenly leapt up and started to attack her. The dog lept out of the car and started to jump and bite at the man. She was able to escape and jump back into the car with her dog and drive away. Dogs are definitely mans best friend :-)

  2. For the record, his name really is K. That's it - just the letter...