Pre-Christmas Excitement!

After I mailed my last Christmas package a couple hours ago, I decided to take advantage of a sunny, wind-free afternoon and walk the canal road near our home. But I forgot to take the stick I keep handy to ward off the two dogs that live on the other side of the now-empty canal. Most dogs just bark, but these medium-size canines seem to delight in the fact that their property-protecting duties are no longer hindered by a wide expanse of fast-moving water.

The moment they saw me, the dogs raced down into the canal bed and charged up the other side, aiming directly for me. I yelled and kicked at them, but they kept coming. And they wouldn’t back off. So I did the backing and suddenly found myself rolling down the other side of the canal, which was a ways down. The good news is that because I was dressed in layers to withstand 40 degree temps and had plenty of padding, I was unscathed by the tumble. However, when I stopped rolling, I was face to face with two still-barking, growling dogs. I remember thinking that was not the best position to be in before scrambled I to my feet.

That’s when they apparently lost interest. Neither dog made an attempt to follow or chase me as I walked away. The last I saw of them, they were busy sniffing the place where I’d rolled off the canal road and out of their territory. Dogs are strange, strange creatures!

I must have twisted my foot when I backed off the road, because the half-mile limp home was not fun. But that’s my only injury, thank God! If those dogs had been intent on harming me, not just protecting their property, they could have done major damage. All the way home, I thanked God for an almost non-event (I know – I promised you excitement … sorry) and that I was able to mail our cards and packages earlier, while I was able to stand in a post-office line.

Just so you know, there is a health connection to this story (other than the fact I was exercising). I talked with my doctor by phone, who told me to “ice it like crazy” for the next couple of days and, of course, visit him or the emergency room if the pain gets worse. The ice is helping, a lot, so I doubt I’ll be making a trip to the emergency room tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, my foot prefers that I not walk on it. Instead, I’m using an office chair to wheel around the house. Though it’s not the most coordinated way to move and a bit hazardous to the floor moulding, it works.

Tell me, those of you who walk and run outdoors, what tactics do you use to discourage dog attacks? Does Mace work? I know someone who carries a spray bottle filled with ammonia. Seems like a good deterrent. Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Wishing you safe ambulation, Becky


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