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Well I got bitten by a dog yesterday

Posted: May 02, 2006 in Misc

Yesterday evening I had a slight altercation with the neighbor's dog, but before I tell you about that, a little history is in order.

I live in a townhouse - end unit. My one adjoining neighbor has two dogs. One's a Jack Russell terrier, and while hyper, seems pretty harmless. The other is a mutt, maybe 40-50 lbs, black and white, medium length hair. This dog does not seem so harmless, and if you spend a little time around this dog, you get the impression that it's just dying to bite someone.

This dog has been an annoyance for the past few years. If you're doing something in the backyard, mowing or yard work, it sits in wait, and the second you get close, it unleashes a nerve-wracking cacophony of barking from behind the fence that startles the crap out of you. Now, I've lived in this house since Jan of 2000, so the dog has had over six years to adjust to my presence. I don't know why it's always so agitated.

In the front yard, it's a different story. There's no fence, so the only thing keeping you from its snapping jaws is the fact that it's tied to a nylon cord that's attached to a stake in the ground. Whenever I leave the house, the dog charges up to me and strains at the end of the leash. You can literally hear the teeth snapping together as it chomps at the air, hoping to get a piece of you.

I've told the owner about it several times, sometimes jokingly like "Cathy, I think your dog wants to kill me" and sometimes seriously; "Cathy, if your dog ever gets to one of the kids in the neighborhood, you're going to have a mess on your hands". Her reply is consistent and predictable. The dog is a "sweetie" and would never hurt anyone. He probably just "sees a squirrel in the distance" and is barking at that, not me. Needless to say, I don't buy it, especially when his teeth are 6" away from my ankles.

Well yesterday it happened. Jess and I were leaving out to get some groceries, and the neighbor's daughter was moving out of the house, so her and her boyfriend were carrying stuff to a U-Haul. The dog was out front, and the second it saw me, it charged. I didn't respond much, because I've resolved to ignore it, but this time... this time... something was different. Either the cord was changed or the stake in the ground was moved, because this time it got to me.

It made it all the way onto my walk, where it bit me on the outside of my thigh. Fortunately, my thighs are quite firm, so the dog was unable to get any real chunk of flesh. All he was able to do was pinch the skin through my shorts, which left a nasty purple-ish bruise, but fortunately did not break the skin.

Well this may have been the wrong thing to do, but considering my history with this dog, I was a bit pissed. I bent over while he was snarling and I smacked him hard across the nose (I do not have even the slightest fear of dogs whatsoever). He seemed surprised at the retaliation, and retreated across the yard. I looked up at the neighbor's daughter's boyfriend, and said, "Nothing personal, but if your dog ever bites me again, it's dead."

Fortunately, they took the incident seriously, and put the dog inside. The neighbor actually seemed shocked that her snarling, snapping dog had actually bitten someone. Let's hope this was a wake-up call and that she does something about it before one of the neighborhood children are next on the menu.

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