Hot on the heels of yesterday’s incident, I just had another one. More good lessons.
Daughter went out front of the house to refill the water dish we leave out for the ducks. Wife is in the bathroom getting dressed, and I’m sitting on the toilet (yeah, pretty mental picture, but this is relevant).
Suddenly… well actually, I don’t remember how it exactly happened, but we have to spring into action. Daughter came rushing back into the house, crying, scared. Oldest is chiming in too as he saw things. Seems while Daughter was filing the water bowl she heard some panting and turns around to see 2 large German Shepherds coming towards her. She freaked, got scared, ran inside. Wife immediately took off to go look while I rushed to cut my session short, get off the pot, and get out there.
The thing about my situation was I was getting ready to get into the shower, so I was only clad in my underwear. If there are two big mean dogs running around the neighborhood, that’s not the best way to handle things… not to mention my neighbors may not appreciate it. 🙂 So once I got off the pot I pulled on the pair of shorts that had my Spyderco Delica’s already clipped in… I wasn’t going to waste time getting a shirt on so I couldn’t bring a gun but I was also thinking to not bring a gun because I did not want to have to shoot the dogs. Wife has various cans of OC spray, one was on the dresser, so I grabbed it and went outside. I felt that OC spray was a better level of response, and if the dogs did get to tangling with me then I would have my knives. The crazy thing? While in the previous incident I wanted my XD, here I felt the snub would have been better. My plan was to keep my distance, use OC if I had to, and only resort to lethal if there was a legit tangle and attack and the OC didn’t work. I’d want the revolver because if I was in a tangle, I’d probably have to resort to a contact shot. All of these thoughts went through my head in a matter of seconds as I prepared myself to go outside.
I get outside, no dogs to be seen. Look around, nothing. While the one duck in our yard was obviously on high alert, he hadn’t left our yard. The ducks across the street were still bedded down. Neighbors across the way were just going about their business. It was as if nothing happened, but certainly Daughter wouldn’t be this upset if it was a made up story. Go back inside, get more information from Daughter. Wife sees dogs again and goes to look. We go back out, tell Wife to get the phone. We see the dogs. They are moving around just checking out the neighborhood. They’re moving at a trot, just poking around at things. Their demeanor was not aggressive. They had collars and tags, one looked to be an electric collar. The dogs came up to me to check me out… they were wet (I’m sure they went swimming in the nearby duck pond). They would not respond to any commands, basic things like stay, sit, stop. They checked me out, checked my wife out, the moved along. No aggression or really any problems, but certainly I can see how Daughter would be freaked.
I called Austin Animal Control to put in a report. I don’t want anything bad to come of the dogs, they just need to be wrangled and taken home. My original hope was if they would respond to commands I could look at their tags and phone something in, but they refused to listen to commands and stay still so I could look. Well, here’s hoping they get home safe without incident.
** Brillanter recently discussed carrying OC here and here. Wife carries OC. I don’t, but maybe I should. Certainly there was no need for a strong level of force here. If we went from zero to “shoot them”, that could have opened up a huge can of worms that I’d have a tough time dealing with on many levels. If however I tried to spray the dogs first, if that stopped things, great. It solved the problem for me, and the owners can get their dogs back without (much) harm. If the OC didn’t solve things, I think a jury or police or whomever would look a bit more favorably upon an escalation of force instead of just going for the gun.
** Sometimes a snub revolver might be the right tool for the job. 🙂 The bottom line is having options, be it one kind of gun or another, knives, OC spray, empty hand fighting skills, or just a telephone. Even options like staying inside the house, running away. Options are good, because there isn’t one response that answers all questions.
** I took some time to talk to Daughter about awareness. Her main problem was being totally focused on the duck and water bowl. The dogs were not aggressive at all and I think when she later saw them from within the safety of the house, she could see they weren’t showing any signs of aggression or true problem, tho they probably were approaching her out of curiosity. Had she been more alert, she would have noticed them sooner (not when they were 3 feet from her) and had more time to process what was going on, instead of being surprised.
I think we’re going to be reading Col. Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense as the bedtime story for the next week. 🙂
** Even when you’re sitting on the toilet, be prepared because frankly… shit happens. 😉