Posted in Stories

Protection

So we leashed up the dogs, put on sunglasses, grabbed a couple of blue poop bags, and headed out to take the dogs for a long walk on a hot afternoon. Within minutes, we met our neighbors from a few houses up pushing a stroller containing a precious great-grandchild.

One neighbor was carrying a well-made, tapered, three-foot long rod. “What’s that?” I asked.

She replied, “I use it to beat off the animals who come at me.”

Oh. That’s interesting. A little disturbing, too. I’ve lived on this block for twenty-five years. I don’t think I’ve ever been threatened by any kind of animal. But she’s lived here longer than me. What has she encountered?

A stray dog? Could happen. Once in a while one gets out. I usually call them over, pet them, check their collar, put a leash on them, and walk them home.

A cat? They’re around. Usually sleeping under someone’s car. My dog is always interested. They never attack but run away when I yell, “Kittykittykittykittykitty.”

A rat? My neighbor says they live down by the drainage ditch. I’ve never seen one.

A bobcat? We all have stories about the time we saw a bobcat. They are rare, stealthy and usually run away.

A diving hawk? They perch on the telephone poles, watching for snakes in the grass. They’ve dived towards me.

Oh, a snake? Maybe. I see more dead ones than alive. Or a snake skin on the road.

A black bear? Some Florida neighborhoods have them. None around here that I know of.

Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m brave! Maybe I can run fast. Maybe the neighborhood wildlife fear me and my brown dog.

I do not own a protective stick.

2 thoughts on “Protection

  1. I used to carry a golf club to fight off coyotes when walking my dogs. They were real and they frequently attacked small dogs.

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