Friday I had a dog incident. Just me, Maddie and Morgan, by the grace of God were not with me. I know this can happen anywhere, anytime and I hope it never happens to anyone reading this post or anyone you know.
If you know me, you know that when I was 12, in the spring of 1970, before we moved from Panama to the US, I was viciously attacked by a female dog who had recently had puppies. The dog was "Bala", our next door neighbor's dog in Panama. I knew this dog, she knew me, on that particular day perhaps not.
I will never know what set her off, I was 15 or 20 yards away from her. I was coming to see the puppies like everyone else had. I knew when she fixed her eyes on me and started galloping towards me at the speed of canine light, I knew she was coming for me. This was not a friendly gallop, she was in full attack mode, protecting her pups.
All I can tell you is that 46 years later, it's still a difficult memory and it makes my heart race everytime.
Fast forward to Friday.
I went for a walk at 7:30am, I walked without the girls, I'd had two servings of Ana's wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving dinner the day before and I wanted to get some extra steps in before walking the girls.
I was 15 minutes into the walk, I was inside the condominium community where I live, it's usually very quiet and peaceful early in the morning on weekends. I was enjoying the warm morning, I remember making note of how light blue the sky was.
And then in an instant, as quick as you can read these words, from behind me I heard the racing steps of a dog, a dog whose nails are scratching the pavement and the sound was coming towards me, fast, fast.
I glanced to my right, I saw a champagne color pit bull terrier racing directly towards me, the gallop and extension of his legs, the dog was running as fast as possible, I PANICKED inside my head.
The dog was headed right at me, my immediate reaction what nearby car can I jump on to get away from the dog. And as fast as those instants passed, the dog ran right by me, 5 or 6 feet from me, he was fixed on something, perhaps a squirrel. The dog skidded to a halt about 20 yards in front of me. And then he turned back and looked right at me. I knew he was coming for me next.
In that instant realizing that I was still in danger, a car pulled up along side of me, a lady had her window rolled down and said I saw the dog coming towards you, and before she could finish her comment, I said, "Please let me in your car" and she did.
I got in the back seat, the seat right behind her and I started crying like Niagra Falls crying. I was was scared in ways I cannot explain or describe. The lady whose name is Chris, turned her car around and took me all the way to my front door. On the way, 2 neighbor ladies were walking their small dogs, we warned them to turn around and head home and explained there was a pit bull at large.
Chris did confirm where she saw the dog coming from, over a grassy hill that separates where we live from the community next door. She said she saw the dog run over the small hill and race towards me.
Once I got home, it took me 2 or 3 minutes to get ahold of myself, and I called security. I then got in my car and went looking for the dog.
He did have a collar, but no leash. I did not see the dog again. I did see a guy walking around like he was looking for a dog, I did not approach him. I was too upset.
The security guard on our property was out looking for the dog also, once I'd a chance to talk to him and debrief on what had happened, the description of the dog, where he came from, etc., he said the same thing happened to him a few months ago.
Same champagne color description, same scenario, the dog running without the supervision of an owner. The major difference a few months back, the security guard from our property was able to talk to the dog owner, (same description as the man I saw) and the owner said "sometimes he just gets away from me" or something like that.
And for the rest of the day on Friday, I cried several times. The fear is like an electrical current and it takes some time for the charge to lessen and eventually go away.
The thought of what could have happened, what if Maddie or Morgan had been with me, all of those scenarios in my head, the fear and anxiety palpable; I could feel it, breathe it, taste it.
It's a fear that when triggered in an incident like the one on Friday, consumes me. I don't wish this type of fear on anyone else. It's horrible.
Monday I'm filing a report with the Animal Control Agency in Duvall County. Today I visited to the leasing office of the property next door and gave them a brief update. They were concerned.
Similar to where I live, the community next door has an aggressive breed policy that prohibits pit bull terriers from living on their property. Unfortunately someone who has no business owing this type of dog, lives in the community next door and the property lines are not fenced.
Will provide updates on any developments.