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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Parable of the Dog...

I run regularly and have since the late 1980's.

Up until about 20 years ago I would be plagued periodically by dogs.  Owners would leave the dog on the porch or loose in their yards and, as I would pass, the dog would run out and bark, teeth bare.  Of course, not knowing the nature of the dog I would have to stop attempt to defend or protect myself, stumble and get road rash, or simply flee in terror.

For particularly troubling hounds I would pick up a stick in advance of the dogs yard and run with it to defend myself.

Eventually, though, I came to an interesting realization... Why am I, the human, afraid of these dogs?

Shouldn't it be the other way around?

After a consultation with my dog expert, Mrs. Wolf, I came to believe that it was in fact me who was the problem and I was causing the dog to pursue me.

The only real adjustment I needed was more commitment. Commitment you say?

Indeed.  I was simply not as committed as the dog.

Upon reaching this realization I decided that my next dog encounter would be handled much differently.

I made a commitment to myself that if a dog would attempt to pursue or attack me I would simply bare my teeth and attack the dog with the total and absolute commitment to sink my teeth into his neck and, if necessary, fight paws and claws to hands and teeth to the death.

(It turns out not really to be that hard to do...)

Next trip out I ran by one of the usual suspects' yard and, sure enough, out ran fido (some kind of large (fifty or seventy pound) Rot/Retriever mutt).

As he crossed over onto the road toward my side, teeth bare, barking furiously I lurched to a stop, turned toward him, bared my teeth, let out a savage snarl and headed right for him, my paws raised to my face.

After I made perhaps two or three steps toward him I could see shock and confusion in his eyes.

He turned tail and ran.

I was never bothered again.

Since then I have kept a small, glowing ember of these feelings I felt as I charged him.

Never, ever has any dog bothered me again.

In fact, I am so popular with dogs they go out of their way to stop and see me.

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