Out For A Walk, Learning That Sometimes It’s Difficult To Go Home Again

THE OTHER AFTERNOON having taken a walk around the neighborhood, I stopped at our mailbox that is down by the street to collect our mail before walking up our driveway to the house.

With the sun directly in my eyes, looking down at the mail in my hands, I heard them before I saw them.

The first one, who was standing in the middle of our driveway, was older, a little plump, with a collar– and snarling at me.

Teeth exposed. Tail down.

The second one, who was running up from the ravine behind our house and heading toward our driveway, was barking loudly and appeared to have me in his sights.

That one was collar-less.

🏘️ 📪 👀 🐶 🛑

NOW I’VE HAD stray &/or lost dogs block my driveway before, but those dogs were friendly with tails wagging. Cheery fellows looking for a little pat on the head.

Not these two.  They were menacing. On my property. Between me and the front door.

So, with my heart pumping about 2,000 beats per minute, I moseyed myself slowly back down the driveway, then stood in the middle of our completely, utterly empty street, looking at our front door while contemplating what to do… what. to. do.

⭐️📱💭 🏡 🔑

TRYING NOT TO give into despair, and wondering if there’s an app I should have on my smart phone for this sort of circumstance, an idea dawned on me.  A solution so obvious.

And effective, I hoped.

Thus it came to be that I shouted at these two wolf wannabes to: GO HOME.

They both stopped in place, looked at each other, looked back at me– then ran off in different directions, presumably to their respective homes.

And what did I do?

I ran through the grass directly to the front door, still clutching the mail, key ready to unlock the door quickly.  Then once inside the house I slammed the door shut and thanked my lucky stars that the doggies in my path were all show, no go.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

71 thoughts on “Out For A Walk, Learning That Sometimes It’s Difficult To Go Home Again”

  1. Yikes!
    There are many reasons I have a dog and that’s one of them. Getting sighted by strays can still be terrifying, but Sadie makes me feel a bit better. I’m so glad you gave them a holler and made it home okay. If you see them out and about a lot, I hope you’ll call and report it.

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    1. joey, it was such an unexpected encounter. This is suburbia, gosh darn it! But having now been through this weirdness I’ll be more alert as I walk around here. And will definitely call to report the incident should it happen again.

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  2. I’m always a bit surprised when almost every time I encounter a loose/lost dog, the “Go Home” command seems to work. Its as if they have a “I could have had a V8.” moment. But what would happen if they were from a non-English speaking household? Well, maybe the tone of voice is the important part that says, “Not your territory, MINE!”

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    1. bobcabkings, you’re so right about the “I could have had a V8” moment look. These dogs almost glanced at me with respect. Of course, I only know how to say “Go Home” in English, and this neighborhood has a healthy mix of people who speak other languages, so I’m hoping it’s the tone of voice that saved me. Should this happen again in the future.

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    1. evil, now there’s an approach that never occurred to me. It’s not like there was anything much of interest in the mail, but I held onto it like it was gold. 😉

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  3. I’ve never encountered that but a while back I had this crazy cat who would not tolerate dogs in her yard. I saw her (at 12 lbs.) chase a greyhound out of our yard and down the street. Perhaps it was her fierce and maniacal appearance that did it. It always worked with me too.

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    1. Kate, growing up my mean old cat would do the exact same thing! She hated the big German shepherd mix dog that lived behind us in a fenced in yard– and when that dog got loose, she’d chase/herd that dog down the middle of our street, all the way back to the dog’s yard. Fierce and manical rocks, eh?

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  4. Quick thinking, Ally! I’m not sure what I would have done in those circumstances. I will definitely remember the command “Go Home”…and hope it works if I ever need it!

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    1. Donna, I hope that you never find yourself in this situation. It was soooo odd to not be able to get inside my house. And not another human being anywhere else in sight to help me. But the command worked, so that’s good.

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  5. We see the occasional wild dog, but what really is the menace in my neighborhood is the deer. They have absolutely no respect for boundaries.

    I am glad though that the pooches listened to you and took their hard sell pitch as to why they deserved your yard elsewhere.

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    1. Allie P, love the idea of these doggies giving me the hard sell. That it was– but I gave as good as I got.

      We have deer around here, too. But ours scatter at the slightest provocation, while leaving us parting gifts all over the yard and sidewalks… if you get my drift

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    1. Maggie, yes with a hat tip to Thomas Wolfe, I was being literal with this title. It seemed like a perfect way to describe the peculiar end of a pleasant walk. Who’d have thought that two dogs could get my heart rate higher than the actual exercise? So strange.

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    1. Janet, I didn’t have my cell phone with me which made wonder if I should have had my cell phone with me BUT my hands were shaking so I don’t know if I would have had the dexterity to use it. Strange experience, huh?

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      1. You know, when I was younger I used to walk all over the place in our town and there were no such things as cell phones and I never felt afraid or had any bad experiences (thank God). Today, I wouldn’t even walk around the block without taking my phone. Too many strange things happen. The hands shaking may have been a problem, as well as taking your eyes off them to look at the phone. Glad you’re ok!

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        1. I know what you mean. Unlike years ago, I now take my cell with me if I drive somewhere, but I rarely take it with me when I go for a walk around the neighborhood. Only if I’m expecting a call. Whether the phone would have helped or hindered me in this situation I don’t know. Just hoping it never happens again.

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  6. I have never been confronted by aggressive dogs. Most dogs love me, a few ignore me, but no wild strays on the street threatening me! I’m not sure what I would do — except now I know to yell Go Home! It makes sense. You’re staking out your territory. Being loud and big is what they say to do with bears too. Glad to see it works!

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    1. Zazzy, usually dogs love, love, love me, too. They sense I’m on their side, but this duo was aggressive. If anyone would have been watching me, I’m sure my slow backward walk down our driveway would have been hilarious. But in the moment, it wasn’t so funny. Such a strange experience…

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      1. It was good practice for bears. Backing slowly away while being loud and making yourself look big is what to do with one kind of bear – I never remember which is the one to do that with and which you’re supposed to play dead with. Anyway, most animals don’t really want a confrontation. Really, it sounds like you handled the situation well and stayed pretty calm.

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  7. Yikes! That would have been scary. I probably would have left and stayed in a hotel for the night 🙂 . Once I had a dog come up to my driver’s side window after I parked my car in front of my house. He wasn’t wagging his tail and he looked kind of menacing so I just sat there until he got bored and went away. I was probably sitting, trapped in my care like an idiot for a half hour.

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    1. Janis, I’d do the same thing under the circumstances. Better safe & trapped, than free & bitten. However, I didn’t have a car to hide in so shouting seemed like a good thing to do. Where is Caesar the dog whisperer when you need him? 😉

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  8. Where I grew up we had areal stray dog problem, they were everywhere. Obviously I didn’t grow up in the most wealthy or sophisticated of neighborhoods. My mother would laugh as I would find myself wheezing down the street as my tiny legs sped as fast as they could go with a trail of stray dogs snapping at my heels and bark at me. Although I was scared, non terrified me like the time one of the full grown males was able to hop the fence form the Rottweiler farm up the block…that was probably the only real danger I was ever in, because growing up there I learned much of how to co-habitate with wild dogs.

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    1. shopgirlanonymous, I grew up in a place where most people who had dogs kept them outside behind fences. However, none of these dogs were Rottweilers, a breed that seems vicious to me. I can imagine how scared you were.

      The duo who showed up here were large and snarling, but I’m guessing they were indoor house pets that got out. Especially after I told them to Go Home– and they did.

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  9. Good thinking, Ally. I’m impressed at your quick thinking and vocal command of the situation.

    I’ve only once faced a pack of wild dogs once . . . years ago. There were about 6-7 of them and 2 of us. BFF suggested walking around them (on the other side of the street) while giving them a wide berth. I insisted that we do an about face and return “home” (we were on vacation) via another route. We backed away slowly until we got to a cross street . . . as soon as we were out of view we hoofed it.

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    1. nancy, that’s an amazing story. Faced with that many unfriendly dogs I think I would have stopped in place, frozen in fear. BFF had a great idea there.

      My 2 wolf wannabes were scary, but somehow I did manage to get command of the situation. I was irritated with them, so I mimicked my teacher mother’s most strict voice. And it worked!

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  10. I’m rather uncomfortable around dogs that aren’t on a leash. While hiking the Bruce Trail we had several unpleasant encounters, including one that resulted in one of my hiking partners getting bitten.
    Every encounter after that resulted in a very loud and stern shout from my hiking partner – ‘bad dog, go home’. Yes – strangely it always worked. I assumed it was from her loud, no-nonsense voice.

    I’m so glad it worked for you too. Very disconcerting! … but aren’t you glad you have an authoritarian voice? 😉

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    1. Joanne, I thank my late mother for that voice. She was a tiny little school teacher who could break up fights among middle schoolers with one word. It’s all in the voice and the attitude.

      What a weird experience for you on the Bruce Trail. I never thought of any of this until my encounter with these dogs. Glad you were safe, hoping to be the same here in boring little suburbia.

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  11. Exactly the right thing to do–a show of power and alpha behavior. Most dogs will react to the sound of authority. I’m not scared of dogs, but more than one can develop a pack mentality and that does terrify me. Of course, people in packs also terrify me probably more than dogs.

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    1. Margaret, people in packs are scary, I agree. Dogs it would seem are controllable with one stern command. It was a weird experience, rather unanticipated to be sure.

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  12. You are so smart. I probably would have bellowed “sit” at them with great authority, but the only problem with that is that they might do it and still be there snarling in front of me. I do know not to get high squealing voice or to turn and run…dachshund and chihuahua’s go wild with that.
    We are about to settle the lawsuit over my husband’s/Molly being attacked by 2 pit bulls in the neighborhood. Nothing stops a hyper-excited pit
    Glad you outfaced them and are safe!.

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    1. philmouse, I never even thought of “sit.” I wanted this duo to go far away from me and I knew I couldn’t run from them. Fortunately they were domesticated enough to know what I was saying to them and did as I asked. I don’t think they were intent on being vicious, unlike your neighbor’s dogs who attacked poor Molly. I don’t know what I would have done if they had charged me.

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  13. I had an experience as a kid that has me pretty wary of stray dogs. Okay, terrified is more like it. Also, a have a friend whose little girl just had a chunk taken out of her leg. The owner had assured the girl the dog was friendly when she’d asked to pet it. There is no guarantee that even the sweetest animal will not go rogue in an unforeseen situation. I’m glad you found an easy way to handle the dogs!

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    1. Rilla Z, I imagine lots of people are terrified of dogs– especially if something lousy happened with a dog when you were a child. Your friend’s daughter’s recent incident brings that point home. Fortunately my experience was a relatively safe one, but one I don’t want to repeat.

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  14. I’m glad that worked and you’re all still in one piece! Once while walking in Bermuda, a pack of at least a dozen dogs started following us. They were all different sizes – some scary and some not. We just kept walking, but next time I’ll make sure to give that “go home” command a try.

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  15. You are one cool customer, Ally!

    We have a lot of dogs in our neighborhood, and once when I was walking my dog (on a leash), a huge Samoyed came bounding out from his yard right into the road (no sidewalks) and began circling us. I stopped, and my dog, a female English setter, small compared to this brute, tucked in her tail, and got submissive. Big mistake. The Samoyed went after her then, and began biting her on her back.

    I started screaming at him and putting my body in between them. I wasn’t really thinking, I just wanted to protect my poor dog. He cowered at my yelling and carrying on, and took off, thank God. But I guess it’s another example of using our voices to get control over an animal?

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    1. Kate, that’s a story I wouldn’t want to have happen to me. I think I would have done the same thing that you did, regardless of how dangerous it might be. Your poor dog. I think you’re right that it was your voice, my voice that did the trick. But still, the fact that we had to do so is worrisome.

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