Sunday, July 20, 2008

big dogs

When I was about 3 or 4 we had these neighbors that raised hunting dogs of some kind. I'm no expert in the study of hunting dogs, or even hunting for that matter but apparently hunting dogs are capable of killing things... which kind of makes sense I guess. What I was told as a kid, however, was that these dogs were dangerous. I remember having strategic family planning meetings where we would discuss different scenarios that could occur and what my reaction should be if those scenarios were to ever play out. Most scenarios were probably way over the top because I had a pretty wild imagination at the time, and I don't ever remember having to use any of the neighborhood survival information that was being covered in the meetings while playing outside.

That being said, the ultimate result of these meetings was not me becoming keenly aware of how to respond to a canine attack, the ultimate result was me becoming terrified of big dogs. This is a problem that I still struggle with today and I really see no light at the end of this dog house looking tunnel.

What I do know is this, everywhere I go there seems to be a big dog of some kind. In Brazil there were big big dogs everywhere. At my previous babysitting job there were three big dogs. In New Orleans there was a fire station-owned dog that was rather large and dirty and scary. Today at Amanda Boles' sister's house there was a big dog. In I Am Legend there were lots and lots of insane/rabies-infected big dogs. It doesn't matter where you go there's always a big dog there to end the fun that potentially could have occurred.

One thing I've learned though is this: no matter how big and scary the dog is, the owner's story is always the same. "Aww (insert the name of the owner's dog) wouldn't hurt a soul! He's the nicest ole dog you'll ever meet." As if anyone who volunteers their house for people to come over is going to admit that their dog would hurt one of the guests. As if my fear of big dogs is going to be eased by the OWNER'S defense in the dog. Like, I'm not concerned with how your dog treats YOU, considering the fact that it knows you and lives with you all the time! I want to hear someone who doesn't know the dog say it will be ok.

I know that at some point I need to get over my fear of big dogs, but the bottom line is this: there have been too many news stories done on kids being attacked by a big "friendly" neighborhood dog for me to believe that YOUR big dog is "the nicest ole dog you'll ever meet." Your dog may genuinely be a nice dog, but I don't feel comfortable taking your word for it.

****If you own a big dog, I apologize if this offended you in anyway. I realize that the term "big dog" is a stereotype in the world of pets that may be far off base, and I will still come to your house if you have a big dog, I'd just rather you make arrangements ahead of time to ensure my safety upon arrival... maybe a big stick or something... it's nothing personal.


  1. Oh Nate, this is Amanda's sister, Jenny. I just wanted to let you know that my big dog Sammy would not hurt a fly, you have nothing to worry about...wink wink :)

  2. This post literally made me laugh out loud! You and my son Kameron would get along SO well! :)

  3. Jenny, as funny as your comment is.. I didn't laugh. Joking around about viciousness is not something I typically do. Thanks for the comment though! haha- there I laughed.

  4. I would love to meet your son! Those of us who fear big dogs should really stick together!