Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tuesday, I was mauled by a ferocious beast.

The beast:

The mauling:

(Photo was taken about 20 hours after the incident.)

Note from the first photo that the perpetrator's interests include walking through the kitchen with dirty paws and snuffling through garbage cans. Sure signs of incorrigible delinquency. Anti-social bastard.*


So I guess I'm obligated to tell the story.

I was riding along the rail-trail, minding my own business, but that business was pretty slow going. My fat tires only roll so fast through the crunchy snow and I was spinning along at 7 mph max. The dog came at me first from the right, then swung around to my left for the attack. But it really surprised me that it acted so aggressively. Usually dogs are cowards. Growl at them, show your teeth, say something angry and they back right off. But this dog reacted just the opposite. When I got aggressive it went crazy. And of course I was going so slow. And so it got me. But, really, when it was yapping along beside me I thought the worst it would do was take a shot at my heel, and as I was wearing my winter riding boots I wasn't too concerned. Then the bite. In the calf. I was too shocked to be mad. More amused, really. That is, at first. The anger came later. About five seconds later. And as my veins filled with adrenaline I wanted blood. But the dog was long gone. A coward after all.


Twenty-three years ago was the last time I was bitten by a dog. For years afterward I would have dreams of being attacked, then launching a counter-attack. Slowly, systematically, I would wrestle the dogs to the ground, take them around the neck, and brutally snuff the life right out of them.

All that reappeared in an instant. This was a small dog. I was a big human. I had no doubt I could have killed it.


Yesterday, the dog warden paid a visit to its people. It's had shots. All current, she says. So no rabies for me. Probably.

And the adrenaline rush is gone. So the dog lives. Probably.

(Facebook users: to see the video, check the blog.)

* The state of his parentage has been assumed, not verified. But I feel, given the dog's otherwise questionable character, somewhat justified in maligning his ancestry.


KingM said...

Is that a pit bull or pit bull mix? Hard to tell from that angle.

Most of the terror breeds of my paperboy youth--German shepherd, doberman, rottweiler--have been tamed by several generations of breeding for mellow behavior, until most are no more ferocious than your typical lab. But there will always be a demand for dogs that don't just look mean, but actually are mean. Hence, the pit bull.

KanyonKris said...

Whoa, that's no good. Strange how it happened.

While I have no love for aggressive dogs, in most cases I find myself more angered at the dog's irresponsible owner. Taking measures to assure the dog stays on the property, and to control the dog when off property (leash), is simple stuff. I can forgive honest mistakes, but I have a hard time feeling generous to owners who obviously have no intention of keeping their animal under control.

Sorry you got bit.

goat said...

I don't know what kind of dog it was.

Immediately after it happened I was thinking, "About the size of a pit bull," but I couldn't quite remember what a pit bull looked like. After running through a lineup courtesy of Google Images I'm pretty sure it wasn't a pit bull, but it could have been a mix.

The dog warden indicated that the dog was friendly and docile around her. She also said there's no way to know what set it could have been something about my bike, something I was wearing, a noise I made. I don't have enough experience with aggressive dogs to validate her comment, but I've no reason to doubt her.

Thinking back, it was sort of interesting how it bit me, then immediately ran back to its house. Sort of like the dog knew it had crossed a line. Who knows...

Anyway, the owners weren't cited, however, the warden did ask me if I wanted them to be. I said yes, only if this wasn't the first incident or if the owners were belligerent with her when confronted. But I won't be afraid to report them if I see it loose again. After all, it happened on the rail trail...and it could have just as easily happened to a kid as me. Had the dog attacked a kid, well, it could have been ugly.

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KanyonKris said...

I learned the best way to kick a dog while on a bike from another cyclist last year: Lift up your foot, and when the dog is close enough, drive it down onto the dog's head. The blow will force the dog's head into the ground. The dog almost always stops the attack. And unlike other kicking motions, this one doesn't throw you off balance as much, thus reducing the risk of a crash.