A few weeks ago on my morning walk, I looked up ahead on the sidewalk and noticed a jogger heading my way, pulling a dog on a leash. As soon as my imagination saw the dog, it starting telling me it was the vicious Pit Bull I had read about online.
I considered crossing the street, but there was too much traffic, and I was afraid if I started to run, the dog would attack me in the middle of the street. I edged over as far as I could to allow them plenty of room. The jogger ran along the opposite edge of the sidewalk, leaving the dog between us, no doubt to allow it easy access to my legs. Once I was down, it would be just a matter of time before the dog went after my jugular. Then the jogger could finish her run and get on with the day.
As often happens when I take my imagination out for a walk, the closer the jogger came, the smaller the dog grew. When I squinted, it started to look like a small Doberman Pinscher who had a bone to pick, a bone that belonged to me, the one I carry between my ankle and knee.
The jogger, a young woman wearing Princess Leia earphones and slim hips, drew closer, but never looked at me. She did, however, look at her pooch and repeat three or four times, “Don’t bark!”
Up close, the dog looked a lot like a frisky little Spaniel. When we passed one another, the woman looked straight ahead, lost in her music, but still repeating, “Don’t bark!”
In an effort to be neighborly, I smiled, the sun glinting off my canines, and said, “I’ll try not to.” I was pretty sure she didn’t hear me because of the earphone muffs, so once she had passed me, I barked out loud two times, “Arf! Arf!”
Oddly, I haven’t seen her since, even though I have walked the same route for the last two weeks.