I love dogs. Dogs love me. Or, at least, I used to think they did...
I sell foreclosures, and a lot of times that puts me in situations I would normally avoid. Having to knock on the door of bank-owned homes that are still occupied, and try to convince the tenants or former owners living there that the best thing for them is to accept the money the bank is offering them to get moved out... Well, that isn't usually easy. Most people know the house is lost and they have to move, and are thrilled that there will be a little money coming to help them start over. Some, especially if they are renting, have no clue and get very angry. Understandably so, but hey, don't kill the messenger.
A few weeks ago, I had to deliver the Cash-for-Keys paperwork to one of my new listings. School was out, due to snow, so 2 of my kids were with me, and as I pulled into the subdivision, one said, "Look at that dog, Mom!" I glanced over and saw a beautiful, brindled Pit-Bull mix walking along the road. He looked part German Shepherd but there was no hiding the characteristic head/jaw of a Pit Bull. It didn't really bother me. After all, dogs like me and I like them.
So I pull up in front of my new listing, tell the kids to stay in the car, don't kill each other, I'll be right back, and I get out. Now this house has a long covered entryway, about 3 feet wide and 15 feet long, leading to the front door. Lots of boxes are already packed and stacked along the corridor, and lots of other stuff is piled up, as well. Essentially, there is a space about 2 feet wide all the way up. I ring the bell and the door opens immediately to a young lady. We talk a moment, I give her the paperwork and just start to explain it, when I hear a growl behind me. The lady yells "Tiger, no!" but then I feel the weight of the dog hit me in the back and I fall against the boxes and the wall. She calls Tiger and he walks past me to the door. I recognized the Pit Bull mix we had seen a few moments before as I righted myself, slightly shaken.
Before she could even get the whole "I'm sorry" out of her mouth, Tiger turned toward me, met my eyes, and jumped at my face. I barely had time to raise my arm over my head and neck and turn away, presenting him with my back, before he was on me again. I crashed into the junk again, into the wall, and started to fall. All I could think was that I hoped my kids were not able to see what was happening.
But then he was off me as the young woman stepped out, grabbed him by the collar and dragged him inside, closing the door. She was very apologetic, I was shaken and later, bruised, where I had fallen into the wall and the boxes, but except for a small scratch on the back of my neck, was otherwise unharmed by the dog. I count myself very blessed! With the well-known strength and tenacity of the Pit Bull, it could have gone a LOT differently...
I still love dogs. But I won't assume anymore that they ALL love me. I will have to remember to exercise a little more caution when in unfamiliar territory- especially when there are dogs who consider it their territory. My husband said he will be getting me some kind of pepper spray to keep on me, though I am not sure I like that idea very much. And my kids? They saw nothing. They were too busy trying to kill each other in the car!