“I hope that’s not a client I didn’t know about”
I certainly wasn’t ready to see a client – dressed in gym clothes and no make-up.
I answered. Nope. Thank goodness. Two lost dogs were running in the street.
A Good Samaritan had rung the bell to check if they were my dogs.
“Sorry “, I said, “no idea where they come from.”
Half an hour later the gate bell rang again. No panic this time. I knew it was my friend Cathy. We had planned to go for a walk.
Astro, our Jack Russell bounced like a Jack in the Box when he saw Cathy. We battled to hold him down to get his lead around his head. Going for a walk for Astro is like me getting on a plane to a favourite destination – beyond exciting.
Cathy and I headed out to the street. The gate closed behind us.
I noticed two dogs a few metres down the road. They were big, huge in fact – especially compared to my little bouncing dog.
As we headed down the road, the two dogs trotted towards us, tails wagging. They got close to us.
I planned to let them sniff Astro, but Cathy, who obviously had a better sense of dogs than I do, tried to stand between them and Astro.
Suddenly, the bigger of the two dogs sneaked quickly around me and grabbed Astro by the scruff of his neck. The aggressor’s jaws literally closed over Astros neck who yelped incessantly.
Cathy yelled at me. “Kick him in the chest.”
The two of us kicked and kicked. The attacking dog was like a ton of bricks and didn’t flinch.
I looked round, desperately, for someone to help us. The street was dead quiet – no person, no car in sight.
Cathy, the self-appointed director of operations, told me to kick his side. So we moved around and kicked some more.
Eventually Cathy started hitting him on his head and eyes.I followed suit.
After, what felt like an eternity, the dog let go.
I picked Astro up and ran back to the house, closing the gate behind me. Cathy chased the two dogs off.
I nervously examined Astro, who was shaking like a leaf. Not too much blood. No deep wounds. Phew.
Cathy and I were out of breath, hearts going like crazy. It was over. We had survived. My dog had survived. Even the enemy had survived!
As friends do, especially woman friends, we have unpacked the situation often. We’ve discussed what went wrong, what we could have/ should have done and what to do differently next time.
Naturaly , there are some life lessons to be learnt from the dog fight!
- In moments of crisis, a leader will emerge – in this case Cathy. This is good. If you are not the leader, follow. It doesn’t matter who leads, it doesnt matter who follows – as long as someone does. Years ago when I was involved in an armed robbery, I took the lead, my domestic worker followed. We survived then too.
- In moments of crisis, a team will form. Team work is crucial. Imagine if I had been telling Cathy what to do, and she has been telling me what to do? Cathy taking the lead, and me following allowed the two us to work as a team, and to come out strong. Together we overcame.
- Sometimes you are unprepared for life. That’s OK. You can’t be prepared for absolutely everything. It’s more important to learn from your experience so you can be prepared next time. I now walk with a pepper spray – whether I am with friends or on my own. It’ll work for a dog fight or a criminal! There’s a good chance I’ll never use it. That’s OK too.
- Any crisis is made better with a friend by your side. Friends are so important. We share experiences. We bond. We learn. Life is always better with a friend by your side.
- Trust your instincts in times of crisis especially when there is no time to analyse and decide. Your instincts will serve you well.
Cathy and I have walked often since the dog attack. Although we have moved on and don’t talk about it anymore, the memory and the lessons live on.
Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect.