Ever have one of those moments when the hair on the back of your neck stood up? I did tonight. I was walking the dogs and this guy walked toward me. It was dark, not pitch dark but dark enough that I could see he was big and tall.
My dogs are not big. One only weighs 10 pounds! But they are noisy. Usually people walk in a big circle around us. They don't want to get too close to my crazy dogs. I kind of like that in a way. Especially in the dark. I don't want people too close. The other dog is 27 pounds and she is a sneak lunger. She will stand and look at you and then just when you least expect it, she lunges at you so you will pet her. Unfortunately people don't understand and they jump back thinking she is going to, I don't know, bite them. So I usually keep her leash tight so she can't lunge at folks. She is a lover not a fighter. She would lick you to death. But it is good to keep that piece of information under wraps when walking a dog at night. She has a fierce bark which is good when scaring off folks.
Anyway, back to the story. We are walking on the narrow sidewalk and this guy is walking toward us. Instead of crossing the street or walking in the street to get by us, he walks on the sidewalk past us. He practically brushed my arm getting by me. I had to restrain the dogs. They were involved with sniffing the community garden and didn't really notice too much. The little one started to bark but she barks at EVERY THING. I had that moment where you think uh, oh and you check behind you as the guy passes. He walked past and the big dog noticed he walked past and started to pull on her leash to lunge at him.
I got the dogs attention and used my night time command that means "let's move fast". No sniffing and no stopping. We got to get a move on. I looked back and he was on his way back down the street (it is a short street.) We moved fast, got to the end of the street and there were two guys walking our way. We followed closely with them and the big guy turned the other way at the end of the block. We got rid of him.
This is the second time in a few weeks I have had that "hair go up on the back of my neck" kind of situation while walking the dogs. The last time the guy made eye contact about half a block away and he didn't break the eye contact. You know what I mean. Normal people look at you, size you up, and then look away. They don't want to seem like they are staring. People who are looking to rob you or who are unstable look at you and keep looking at you to see if you are paying attention. This guy kept looking at me. So I turned around with the dogs (the big dog had started growling) and saw a group of guys in front of my neighbors house. I walked up to them and explained the situation. The guy walked off. The guys said it was too bad he wasn't closer they would have had a talk with him. They were very chivalrous.
Just to be on the safe side, I have stopped carrying anything valuable with me. No cellphone either. I know you are thinking but you might need it to call the police. OR I could get mugged for carrying it. If I have nothing to steal, they have nothing to steal.
Brenda and I have talked about what we think the dogs would do if someone came up to me. I think the little dog would bark incessantly. I think the big dog would protect me. A few weeks ago I walked her in the dark and a jogger came up on us and she didn't see him. She actually lunged at him and growled. I had never seen her do that before. Usually she wants to run with the joggers! I think she just got startled in the dark and was protecting me. I have no doubt she would protect me if she was able.
I have such good dogs.