When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, it really wasn’t but what happened was scarier than any dark and haunted mansion. It was Saturday morning and after some debate I decided to go and do my walk and exercise thing. I have several different paths that I walk, and I decided to walk the bike trail. I drove to the trail head, parked the car, and started out—enjoying the beautiful spring morning and flora that soon engulfed me. I made it about a quarter of a mile and things went south…very south.
The bike trail runs next to a highway but is still in the woods. After about a quarter mile, there is an area that they cleared to build the entrance to the Middle School. That is where it happened. As I emerged from the wooded area, I looked across the highway and there were two dogs, one tan, and one black and they were trotting along on the other side of the highway. My first thought, was, “Oh look…there are Bugs and Bugsy…two pups out for a morning stroll. They spotted me, and immediately headed my way across the highway. I still wasn’t alarmed but I should have been.
After the two had crossed the road, they came…not toward me but at me…and began not just to bark but to stalk. This was not a case of two dogs barking at a stranger…it was a case of two dogs bent on attacking and biting this stranger. They were about four or five feet from me, viciously barking, snarling, and lunging at me, and I decided to do the “Hey bear.” They say when you see a bear, you should holler and most likely the bear will run. Well, I hollered, and the two dogs didn’t run—they only got madder.
Walking backward, because when I turned my back their attack got even closer, I tried to sooth them with my best “I like dogs” voice. It didn’t help…the attack continued. At this point I was genuinely afraid. I believed, no, I know, if somehow I were to stumble, it wouldn’t be pretty. While several cars slowed down, none stopped. One truck did pause in the middle school entrance but didn’t offer assistance. I found out later the owner, who was supposedly looking for the dogs, drove a white truck. If it was the owner…he didn’t stick around.
I love to watch all these nature shows, you know, the one where the lions chase and eat the antelope? Well, and I am not kidding, I suddenly had an, “I know how you feel moment.” I continued walking and shooing while they continued their relentless attack. Finally, out of the corner of my eye I saw a limb laying but the bike trail. I was able to quickly break part of it off and use it against the dogs. While I didn’t, couldn’t hit them it was enough to get them to back off. They lunged a couple more times and finally stopped. Shaking and with a heart rate off the scale, it was finally over.
I continued down the trail for the rest of my walk and found a large stick just in case the two attackers were still around. Apparently, they had moved on. It turns out I was not the only one to see the dogs and another lady had an encounter in the same area, at just about the same time with the same two dogs. Fortunately, she had a can of pepper spray that saved her. You may have wondered if needed could you cause harm to a living thing to protect yourself. I now can answer that question for myself…yes.
Well, I was grateful that this didn’t have a harsher ending. I did end up cutting the palm of my hand as I tried to break the smaller branch off the bigger one. It will probably leave a scar to remind me of the events of that morning. It will remind me that sometimes the most random of decisions can have big consequences. Nothing that happened that day was my fault—it was just life and perhaps the responsibility of an irresponsible dog owner. It will remind me that though I was very frightened, and I was, that God was faithful in protecting me. I really didn’t have time in the middle of the fray to pray or say anything, but He was still there. I am grateful.
Finally, I learned that an attack can come from the most unlikely of places. I like dogs…a lot. Nothing warned me that these were bad dogs, but I learned that not all dogs are good dogs so while I will still love dogs…ones that cross a road to attack me are probably not my friends. Smile. Oh, and one more thing. I learned and experienced another instance when my faithful Dearest Daddy watched over me. What is written in the Book is true, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Amen. I also learned fresh and anew that no matter what…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne