I try my best to walk (and sometimes run) a 5k everyday. I love my 3.1 mile course around our neighborhood. My walks are my time to clear my head and think about nothing for a while. Even though that "thinking nothing" seldom happens, I always feel better after those 3.1 miles are behind me. My route is hilly, but smooth and there are few problems if any.
Many days I have friends join me on my route. I love walking with friends. It's a great time for us to catch up. Wednesday my friend and I were less than a quarter of a mile from home when we noticed 3 pit bulls running around a yard across the street. I told my friend to just keep walking because they were across the street and were quite a bit from us. I truly was not worried about the dogs at all.
Then I heard the alpha bark. I turned and I saw him coming for us with the other two following. I pushed my friend out of the way and yelled at her to keep walking home to get help, but just walk away. I then turned from my friend and confronted the Alpha head on. He snapped and snarled and then I barked words at him louder than his bark. I do not even remember what I said, but I totally controlled him. The Alpha and I barked out a few rounds at each other. Then he cowered and made a whimpering sound and went back to the yard we originally saw them playing in.
Once I saw the dogs reach a decent distance from us, I grabbed my friend who had just frozen out of fear from a past experience and told her we must walk slowly home. If we run that will stir them up. I do remember telling her to get 9-1-1 ready on her phone. I was expecting the Alpha to charge me. I even made a comment that he would get my right calf for sure.
We made it home and told Chaz what had happened. We were both visibly shaken. My friend more than me at first because she had been very savagely attacked by a dog a few years ago. Once my adrenalin calmed I started shaking pretty bad. I could not control my hands. I knew this had also upset Chaz which just made my hands shake more. I took several breaths and got my hands to stop shaking for a bit.
Unfortunately I did not have time to really calm down. I had to get out the door for a doctor's appointment (and can you believe my blood pressure was normal). Once I got into my car and was driving down the road it all really hit me. That dog was going to attack me and once he started the other two were going to join him. Oh my word, I stood up to three pit bulls. Not one, but three....Wow!
Once I got down the road for a bit, I started to laugh because I was told once that a 2 star General had called me a bulldog in a meeting with other military personnel. He said I was loyal, but would totally stand up to any challenge and that he wouldn't mess with me. I guess we now have proof I am part bulldog and that he was right. Someone should tell him.
Why am I sharing this story? Well because I realized one thing about myself that I am truly proud of. I always wanted to think that in times like that I would put myself in front of others, but I have not been tested like that before. I have faced other threats, but not one like this. Our situation could have gone so many different ways, most of them with tragic consequences. Somehow my brain kicked in and I protected my friend first and then us both. I threw myself out there to be injured first. I proved to myself that I am a good friend.
This realization means a lot to me. I live such a busy life and many times I feel like such a horrible friend because I can't go here or be there for various things. I sincerely try to help as many as I can, but I do fail....a lot. I have even failed the friend that was with me. Although my dearest friends totally understand my crazy life, I still value our friendships and truly get upset when I cannot be there for them. Wednesday I learned that when the challenge does arise I will put my friends first and that is a very valuable lesson to learn about yourself.
****And just a disclaimer.....this is not an anti-pit bull story and please do not interpret it that way. We discovered there were puppies back in the yard where the dogs had originated. The owner had four pit bulls total and only had one restrained. My friend and I were within the dogs turf zone and they were protecting the puppies. This story is proof of an owner's poor judgement in leaving them unsupervised and what can possibly happen. ****