Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2.3 Second Pit Bull

Sign above gate fence informs passerby's: "I can make the fence in 2.3 seconds, can you?" Speaker is Pit Bull. Well, gee, I have a right to walk up that alley to go to the store, without fear that a 2.3 second Pit Bull will attack me. Why did the people hang the sign so high, I wonder; why not post at eye level.

I did not think a pit bull lived hidden from view by the fence and door; big dog; loud bark startles me. I saw dog when man and woman came out with dog on leash or exited vehicle taking dog inside. The sign came much later.

I go outside, then stand at gate after I click the padlock shut, contemplating. Visions of pit bull clamping on my leg, not letting go come to mind. I tell myself that is silly; dog is locked inside and could hardly jump the enclosure, right. Yet, what if, someone forgot to pull the door shut tight? What if they open the door, dog unleashed, spots me and hello attack dog? I remind self I have walked past that fence a zillion times without incident, still, I contemplate...

Any act of avoidance based on fear only entrenches that fear.

Forget where that quote comes from ~ have been reciting it to myself for twenty-some years ~ maybe more ~ mainly when I see a snarling, barking, jumping dog loose in a yard. I am not sure about Lassie, but almost positive Rin Tin Tin managed to leap tall fences in a single bound.

One day as I was picturing pit bull latched onto my leg, yet feeling the fear and doing it anyway, telling self, I could sue if that beast attacks me, I was suddenly startled by a large, loud dog, growling and barking. Said dog lives in one of the houses on property next door to my complex. The property that used to have that awesome long-needled pine on its property. They have two dogs ~ large ones, but mostly quiet.

Some days, the dogs are left in the yard, they head to fence-gate, sticking snouts out the little space between garage and gate, trying to squeeze through. Logic tells me those dogs can not get through that narrow opening, still, it unnerves me. What if the gate is not locked properly? And so on.

Being startled, I stopped walking, looking down alley to spot a truck or van heading my way. I moved beyond the barking dog, then waited for said vehicle to pass me. Yikes, a pit bull with a head and upper body larger than my own, was enjoying the air, head out back passenger seat window. I froze, as the vehicle passed me, eye-to-eye with pit bull. I did not know pit bulls got that large.

Now I was picturing that pit bull leaping out the window, because I guessed correctly it was the 2.3 second pit bull. I stood and watched as the guy parked, then opened the door, to let dog walk inside, sans leash. Okay, it was only a foot or so from his gate door, still...

What to do? Vehicle leaves, must be safe to continue my walk up alley, but now that I have seen 2.3 second, my gate might not be latched properly paranoia was elevated. I did not want to start walking down the alley, least the neighbor's dog, broke loose and...

I mean I could not simply stand there the rest of the day waiting upon some one else to be walking the alley. I always think other people walking alley affords me more protection ~ well, no dog leaped out to get him (or her), must be safe. Could not force self to walk up alley, so walked down, going the long way round block to get to Ralph's.

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