Cave canem……..

The snow is melting and it’s time to get out on the inviting trails emerging from winter inhospitality.

So last weekend we went out on a local trail, a familiar trail. Of course I am ever mindful of the potential threats in these parts, mountain lions, bears and bobcats, ever vigilant for movement in the trees. You never know.

So I was not too concerned about the small black dog on a leash with its owner coming towards me. We passed each other, smiled, nodded in normal, friendly fashion, but then the little creature turned round , ran behind me, jumped up and sank his teeth into my leg……there was blood…….

Inevitably: “He’s never done that before”.

My feelings were: shock, anger & pain.

In writing group on Wednesday we explored this idea.

Journal Prompt:

Write about a time when either something that looked like a potential threat wasn’t, or when something apparently benign took you by surprise.

What did you feel at the time? Afterwards? How did you react?

What did you learn?

It just goes to show, you cannot be sure where the threat is going to come from; it might not be lurking in the woods after all. Keep your eyes open and be safe.


9 thoughts on “Cave canem……..”

  1. Sandy, thank you for your contribution here. You behaved very graciously and I thank you for your concern. I hope Bailey profits from Grumpy Growlers so that you & he can continue to enjoy the local trails without anxiety.


  2. It was my dog that reacted and bite Kate that day. We were at the end of our hike and I wasn’t looking ahead, nor was my dog Bailey as I recall. He was busy sniffing and walking along the right side of the trail…ever the explorer. I can only guess that he was suprised to see the couple passing me to my left. At thus point I do recall things slowing down into slow motion as I realized what was happening.

    The trail was narrow and muddy in spots so my friend and I were walking single file. When I looked up I was suprised to see two people in front and to my left. I noticed the woman was walking leasurely with her hands behind her back. Just then, as we passed, I don’t recall if she took a slight step towards me to get next to her companion, but I remember watching Bailey looking at her and then looking for or at her hands.

    Then it happened so fast and I couldn’t stop his reaction and I was shocked and stunned by the suddenness of it. It was over as fast as it happened. I felt horrible and couldn’t apologize enough.

    Of course I gave my information and paid for any medical needed, but beyond that, it made me aware of my responsibility to always pay attention when Bailey is on leash.

    I will be attending a Grumpy Growlers class with Bailey so we can work on his ‘on leash’ behavior.

    It was a very stressful time for all, my pain wasn’t physical but it deeply affected me – and I must say Bailey was very quiet and subdued as I can only guess he was shocked as things unfolded and realized what he had done.

    I am glad the wound is healing nicely.


  3. Ouch! Propelled me back to a nasty nip I had from a small Spanish dog last Spring. It was the end of a long walk, approaching the edge of the village where we were staying. I had no idea there was a four-legged
    f(r)iend in the vicinity. The impact of the nip was sharply shocking, very like the sensation of a snapped muscle, which I’d suffered nearly 20 years previously on a tennis court.
    Luckily the target leg was in full thrust forward and the teeth did not pierce trouser or skin. Only my serenity, gathered on a fine walk was interrupted. There was no owner in sight.
    However, in the Fall last year, in a wood in Massachusetts, a large bouncing hound (with owner) bounded energetically towards me…and didn’t stop. Luckily my resiliant balance prevented me from being floored.
    And what did smiling owner say: “He’s never done that before”!!


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