I really should have bitten my tongue, but when then is misunderstanding, prejudice or injustice, I am afraid I just can’t help myself.
There I was walking my dogs along a suburban footpath early one Sunday morning when a small dog of mixed designer breed came rushing out of a door, onto the street, towards me and my dogs, barking loudly. Ordinarily, that shouldn’t, or wouldn’t, be a huge concern, as the dog was small, but having been traumatised by a particularly vicious dog attack a few years ago and having not one, but two dogs to protect, one of which was not mine, my anxiety level rose significantly.
Was this approaching dog friendly or aggressive?
Quickly, I realized I couldn’t save both of the dogs should this canine, rapidly hurtling towards me at breakneck speed, suddenly become aggressive, so I had a, ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ moment thinking: Which dog should/could I save?
A horrible thought if there is one.
My level of distress then escalated to panic mode, when I heard a heavy wooden door thud so sharply against the wall, the house it was attached to must have wobbled on its foundations.
The owner of the small dog, (I assumed), was running out of the house towards me, hysterically screaming and wailing her dog’s name, in full-on adrenaline mode.
Instantly, I was on guard and suspected this dog must indeed be of an aggressive nature, because why else would the owner be SO distressed? Consequently, I reacted by waving one hand madly around in front of my dogs, back and forth, back and forth, in some ridiculously vain effort to stave off a head-on dog attack.
I realise now, I would have looked quite silly as my one flailing arm would have afforded little protection against the jaws of a rabid animal, however small. [Believe me, even aggressive chihuahuas have caused human deaths!] Dogs are able to manoeuvre much faster than one person waving an arm, especially if that one person is trying to hold two dogs on leashes, at the same time.
As I have, unfortunately, experienced before.
Nevertheless, I continued the next-to-useless arm-waving and added in an,”Uh-ah, Uh- ah, keep away,” for good measure. Perhaps it was those words, “keep away,” that incited the crazed owner of the dogs, who by this point was valiantly trying to scoop up her precious pet, while continuing her histrionics.
Naively, I thought an explanation might diffuse her tirade.
“Sorry. My dogs have been attacked previously and I….”
Before I could say another word, a torrent of vehement abuse spewed forth from her mouth, questioning not only my mental state but my actions in triggering her dog! It seems I was responsible for not only her dog running out of the house but most, if not all, the world’s current problems!
Flabbergasted, I retorted that I did nothing wrong and that I was merely trying to protect my dogs as they’d been attacked before, (because sometimes you have to repeat yourself to people who don’t hear the first time😉
The tsunami of name-calling and abuse continued unabated at which point, the husband, or at least a male of some description, in designer pyjamas and coiffured hair appeared at the door, his bare, and overly hirsuit, chest puffed out like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Mr Universe competition.
“Keep Walking,” he shouted authoritatively at me.
“It’s not …“
“I SAID – KEEP WALKING!” – he commanded more loudly and sternly the second time, like I was some belligerent greenhorn army recruit that needed to be intimidated into submission. His index finger was pointed in the direction he wished me to go.
Now – this is where I should have bitten my tongue and just walked away, ‘as instructed.’
I really should have. But that would appear submissive.
Instead, I heard my own slightly shrill rebuttal of the unjust accusations which involved mutterings about speaking to the local authority regarding unrestrained dogs running loose on the street.
I then heard not one, but two doors slam.
Later, over a cup of herbal tea and soothed nerves, I reflected that I could have/should have handled the situation better and now feel embarrassed enough to avoid that street, in the future.
I really should have bitten my tongue. Shouldn’t I?
Du fanger flere fluer med en dråpe honning, enn ei tønne eddik.Norwegian Saying
You catch more flies with a drop of honey, than a barrel of vinegar.