It was a beautiful winter day that Sunday morning. I took the greyhound rescue dog for a walk in the crisp air while my hubby stayed home with the three children. I walked uphill from my court and took Virginia Lane to Virginia Court, down to the creek. I took the bridge across it and turned left onto Green Valley Road. I was now out of my neighborhood and on a rural road that would loop me back to my subdivision. The road was mostly McMansions and acreage ranchettes on one side, with the creek down below on the other side.
I was lost in my thoughts, the greyhound done pulling me and now trotting along, enjoying the exercise. Suddenly she emitted a high pitched cry, one I’d never heard before. It was the cry of fear. I looked up and saw the reason. Two pit bulls were looking at us from the back of a pick-up truck on the other side of the road, about 100 yards ahead.
No one was with them. I looked over my shoulder. No one was behind us. And it was too far to go back to a house. The creek was below us on the left, with a barbed wire fence between us and the water. There was nowhere to go to get away.
The dogs jumped over the tailgate and were slow and low, advancing toward us. My dog kept up her high-pitched squeal. I was frozen, knowing that we were no match for the two large dogs.
If I turn and run, we are dead.
Dear God, do something!
A man came running from behind the pick-up. He must’ve heard my dog’s cry. He called the dogs, and one turned to acknowledge him. The dog seemed torn as to whether or not to return to its master. The man’s voice became louder as he called them again. One dog returned to the man, but the other one kept coming.
I couldn’t move as I watched the man get the more obedient dog by the collar. He took off his belt and ran up to the other dog, beating it with the buckle of his belt. Everything was in slow motion for me as I watched it happen.
After several whacks with his belt, the man got the dog to stop advancing and grabbed it by the collar. The man turned, and hunched over with one hand on each dog’s collar, led the two dogs out of the road and back to the property.
Once my path was clear, I picked up the pace and got the hell out of there. I noted the address on the mailbox and then broke into a run until I passed the ranchettes and came to the tract homes at the end of Green Valley Road before it looped back to the guard gate of my subdivision.
It was eight blocks uphill to my street. I ran and walked, walked and ran, until I was back on Merlin Court. I broke through the front door and grabbed the phone. Outvof breath I called Animal Control. My husband mumbled something about good luck getting a person on a Sunday. A real person answered the phone.
As the story of the pit bulls came out of my mouth, I peeled off my jacket. I was sweating from the hike up the hill and the close call on the country road below.
The animal control person promised to send someone over to the ranch to check out the situation. I gave him the address, and I was promised a phone call when contact had been made.
A half hour later, an officer called and said that the man with the truck was the boyfriend of the ranch owner, and that he was apologetic regarding his dogs’ behavior.
I told the officer that my dog could’ve died, along with me, and that I wouldn’t be walking that road again.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
I know not all pit bulls are aggressive, but this happened twenty years ago, and I still remember the whole thing and how helpless I felt on that country road with two loose dogs stalking their prey – my dog and me.