Friday, April 14, 2006

Bookfield, Princess

One house that I approached had a very expansive front lawn. As I walked up to the house, I left my bike midway up the walk. The house was of split level design with a good sized cement porch reached by three steps. I knocked on the door and stood back to wait for Mrs. Jones to answer. But I heard nothing at first. I thought I heard a back or side screen door swing open, and a woman’s whispered voice, “Go get her Princess!”

While I stood wondering, I noticed a big yellow dog start a determined run around the corner of the house and towards me. The dog was not barking. Its attitude was business-like. I was worried because this is how I imagined a well trained attack dog would behave. As it came closer I saw the tell-tale ridge of fur on its spine; it was a Rhodesian Ridge Back dog.
I had no rocks with me to throw, no stick for defense. I panicked because I thought the dog was well trained and might try to bite my throat or some other vulnerable place. I dropped my sales case and I remember thinking that my only chance to protect myself was to kick the dog as it came up the three steps to the porch. The dog was baring its teeth but still not barking as it came up the steps. I stuck out my foot to try to kick it in the muzzle, but the dog grabbed my foot in its teeth. I expected to feel the pain of teeth piercing my flesh, but fortunately I had leather sneakers (JC Penney’s best) on and so I just felt pressure. I tried to move my foot violently to get the dog to let go, which in retrospect was pretty silly. The dog held tight, growled menacingly and continued to show me its teeth.

I now know that this sort of game is one of my German Shepherd Dog’s favorites. She clamps down on something and I try to take it away. I only win if I have a cookie to offer her in exchange.

The more I struggled, the more the dog held, and I chanced loosing my balance every time I moved. Then, I heard the door open behind me and Mrs. Jones asked, “May I help you?”, in her sweetest tone.

I didn’t hesitate to respond. “If you call off your dog, I will get off your porch.”

That did the trick. The woman snapped her fingers and said, “Princess!” The dog instantly let go of my foot, walked past me and went into the house. I kept up my end of the bargain and left the premises.

I was pretty angry that this dog was set on me; it was definitely more force than was needed to get rid of little harmless ol' me. All I could do was tell all of the neighbors about it. Some were surprised, and they all claimed not to know about the ridge back, but said they would be careful.


Brian said...

This disturbs me on so many levels.It appalls me that in a "civil" society, this sort of act can take place.This woman should be reported to the authorities.Others should be warned, not just neighbors.That you are female only angers me more.My imagination sees a similar scene involving black children in the original Rhodesia.Thank you Cecil Rhodes!

Sue said...

Thanks Brian. I was pretty pissed too. Can you imagine, setting this huge angry animal on a 5'4", 100 lb female? I cannot. Sigh. Fortunately, the dog was well trained and I lived. Had I reported her, the local authorities would have supported her since I was on her property and was unharmed.

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