Monday, March 28, 2005

Yard Dogs From Hell: Part 3

I like dogs. I've written about that previously. But I had another encounter with the YDFH this morning, and for the first time, I had to use my stick.

The gate was open, but this dog ignored it, preferring a more direct line under the fence. He's probably a mixed breed, but there has to be some Lab in the mix. He's big and black, with that squared off head that Lab breeders like. He's also very fast. He was under the fence and next to my knee all too quickly.

I rode the fixed gear Centurion because it was just above freezing. The continuous exercise helps keep me warm. But that gear combination, a 42x20, isn't a good choice for sprinting. There's no way I can out run a determined dog. So I reached for the stick. It's a piece cut from a broken shovel handle. (Yeah, I tend to break things. My friend Wade said I don't know my own strength. I broke HIS shovel too!) I didn't want to hurt the
dog, just drive him off, so I tapped him on the nose. The motion came from my wrist rather than my shoulder. He broke off the chase immediately.

But wait! There's more!

One of my co-workers knows the guy who owns the business upthere. He's a local part-time cop, and he claims that the dogs aren't his. No surprise there. A lot of people around here have dogs they don't actually own. They feed them, house them, and even give them names, but when a dog attack occurs, they don't really own that dog. They have no idea where it came from, etc. It just kinda showed up and hung around for awhile. I can talk with the police chief, though the business isn't in his jurisdiction, and I can ask his advice.

Both yard dog packs have no avowed owners, at this point. The original pack is about a mile and a half further east. I was out for a Saturday morning ride last weekend and happened upon another rider who'd just met them. The house owner said the dogs weren't his, he had no idea....etc, etc, etc. The cyclist was pissed. The owner probably didn't want to take responsibility and be liable for the dogs.

Maybe the owners would be more suitable targets for my stick.

Another co-worker, a former cop, suggested getting a collapsible baton at one of the police supply stores. It would have some advantages. For one, it's not as heavy as my stick, so it wouldn't do as much damage. And it's longer. I like the idea of keeping the dogs further away. But there's a drawback to the extra length too. I'm a klutz sometimes, and I'm afraid that I'd swing that long baton into my spokes. I can only imagine the results!


Blogger George said...

Sounds inhumane, but I carry I rather large canister of mace in one of my rear jersey pockets when I do rural road rides.

It works like a charm. Just come to stop and spray the dog squarely in the face.

Let's see how the folks that don't "own" the dogs react.

4:12 AM  

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