From my left came a barking blur. Closing in on me fast from about 8 o’clock was what looked like a collie based hybrid mutt about 2–1/2 feet high. As he2 got close, he leapt trying to grab my left arm. I managed to raise my arm just out of his reach. When the dog missed, he stopped, barked a couple more times and ran back towards the house it came from.
Good thing it didn’t get me, the dog probably weighed 30–35 pounds and had it got my wrist my forward momentum would have come to a sudden stop. I would have hit the pavement hard. I wear my bicycle helmet while rollerblading, but that wouldn’t have been any guarantee it would been in the right place to totally protect my noggin as it impacted the pavement from 6–1/2 feet up.
Another 50 yards down the road with my heart rate returning to near normal, a Honda CRV eased on up next to me with mom driving and her high school aged daughter. They were obviously not too far behind me and witnessed the near miss. The passenger window glided down and the girl asked, “Did he get you?” “No,” I replied, “but it was close.” The window rose back up and they drove off.
I reached the halfway point of my trip and made a u-turn to head back home. Knowing I would have to pass right by that house again, I started to think about how I would handle that dog if it took another run at me. I needed some sort of stick. Just then I noticed at the edge of the road, as if my Fairy Godmother had heard my thoughts, lay a tree branch about 3 feet long and as big around as my thumb. I did a quick spin around and picked it up. Now, armed, I was ready for my return trip.
Sure enough as I got near that house the dog repeated his earlier run at me. This time he was approaching from the right and that was the hand I had my stick in. When he got about three feet away I swung the stick at him. I didn’t see because I was looking forward and continuing on my way, but I felt a thwack and heard a yelp plus the receding doggie paw steps. Yikes! It worked!
Two days later as I got suited up to go rollerblading again, knowing that I would be traveling that same dog protected section of road, I looked around in the garage for a suitable piece of something to use as protection. I found in the dusty corner behind my tool box a 3′ piece of bamboo probably left over from an old matchstick blind from Pier 1. Perfect. I wrapped a little duct tape around one end as a sort of handle. I have skated this route literally hundreds of times and have never seen a dog at that house before. I have now skated that route a half dozen times since then, carrying my piece of bamboo dog repellent and have not seen my attacker again.
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen the mom and daughter in the CRV again either. Coincidence?
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 157
2. Didn’t really have time to look underneath.
3. Seeing as I didn’t have a relevant photo for this incident I searched Google Images for bamboo dog repellent and that bottle is what I got. Click on it and it will take you to a website where you can buy dog and cat repellent made out of bamboo vinegar.