I painted this for the book about Savannah, Georgia (bulldogs, sports team). But today I’m sharing this because I’m rattled by an experience that happened to me a few hours ago. I was nearly attacked by two large dogs. I was on my patio when they ran at me full tilt, barking aggressively (I know the difference between a bark when dogs are just messing around, and a bark that sounds like a junkyard dog who sees someone jumping over his side of the fence, or a police attack dog on command, etc.).
I yelled “No!” and held my arms out, holding a cardboard box I was planning to take to the recycling as a shield (which they could have torn through in a heartbeat, but they were distracted by it and froze). I screamed, “LEASH YOUR DOG!” to the dogs’ owners.
While the dogs were probably only secondarily distracted, I told my daughter (who was screaming and then echoed “Leash your dog!”) to go inside. She opened the door and we both popped in. My daughter heard the woman say, “they don’t bite”.
I didn’t hear that, but it’s irrelevant. As my husband said, “Everyone thinks their dog won’t bite until it does.” But it really doesn’t matter if they would have bitten me or not, the dogs were aggressive. The dogs locked eyes with me and I felt certain that they were going to attack me. It did NOT seem like just a warning bark, or an “I’m bored and will bark at strangers” bark. It felt like an “I’m going to take a bite out of you” bark. So, even if that were not true, it was clearly AGGRESSIVE and whether or not they would have bitten me if I hadn’t been a quick thinker and remembered my training for when threatened by a dog (never run, stay calm, try to distract their locked-on-you gaze, get away calmly during the window of distraction), is not the point. It was not OK! And they were in our space, near my patio where I was standing legally, whereas they were trespassing with two unleashed aggressive dogs.
They have been frequently trespassing and totally ignoring the signs not to trespass or fish in the lagoon that is behind these houses. Among other things.
I hate confrontations, but the genie is out of the bottle. There is no going back to hoping we can serve out our lease without those people knowing we are frustrated by their rule breaking (they hang out for hours on every major holiday, nice days, weekends, often- and of course it’s quite unpleasant to have them doing this just outside our yard- feels IN our yard, as the space is small). But… Now that I’ve screamed at them “LEASH YOUR DOG!” it’s a game changer, as they now know that we don’t like what they do.
I can’t say anything more about this, in case there’s a legal issue in the future. Just please think good thoughts. I need to be able to enjoy being outside. It keeps me focused on positive things and I’ve worked very hard on my garden. Oh well, these things happen. Life is never perfect. I will bounce back from this, and we’ll deal with whatever happens next. Thank you for listening. It’s not a big problem compared to the world’s horrors, it’s just a terrible day in my little world. The dogs didn’t bite me or my daughter (I think only because we got away!). But I am grateful for that! Today could have been much worse.
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