Oh, there’s something between us, Mommy, I can’t get to you! her eyes tell me.
I try, but the waves keep coming to get me, and the sand grabs at my feet. But I love you too much not to be with you, so here I come!
Stepping, then jumping then paddling then splashing the water furiously. The look on her face is pure panic. Save me, Mommy. Save me. The water is everywhere, all around me. Save me.
Her huge brown eyes are pleading and frantic in fear. Her paws are frantically splashing, her extended claws are razor sharp, gashing my shoulders, my midsection, my arms.
Reaching, alluding, splashing, eyes averted, my hands grasp and finally hold fast to her front paws. I lift them to my shoulders and her to standing; her back paws now established on the firm sand at both our feet. We embrace.
I am gashed and bleeding, but she is safe. We are safe. I turn her and usher her safely back to shore.
I don’t ask why she panicked. I know this fear.
I don’t blame her for my injuries. I know this lashing out.
I am rescued daily from such romps in the surf.
I know these firm hands that grasp mine to help me stand.
Ever been chased by an angry dog while you’re riding your bike?
People will tell you how to handle this.
Most of them say… get off your bike and walk, keeping the bike between you
and the dog. Keep your eye on the dog, but don’t make direct eye contact.
He’ll consider that a challenge.
While on a group bike tour our guide taught us a different approach. It will surprise you… Look straight at the charging dog and yell,
in an authoritative voice: “GET OFF THE COUCH!”
He’ll be so startled by the command he knows and the tone he recognizes, he’ll stop in his tracks.
Works every time, the guide told us.
I didn’t have to use it that trip, but I tucked it away for another day. Because … what do you do when the angry dog comes after you?
It may be our GET OFF THE COUCH! moment.
But … yelling at a charging dog is likely to be harder than we think.
Even if we pedal fast and have a very authoritative voice.
No! I shout from two rooms away
Just before the laundry towel is in shreds.
No, not that! I shudder,
tugging paws, teeth and body from velour pillow
now christened where some have laid their heads.