“I’m mean, nasty and tired. I eat concertina wire and piss napalm and I can put a round in a flea’s ass at 200 meters. So why don’t you go hump somebody else’s leg, mutt face, before I push yours in.” Clint Eastwood, from the movie “Heartbreak Ridge”
Now I am not one to retreat from terror. I will not give up my ridge. So with a little time passing from this near death encounter, I continued with my running and strolls but approached the ridge with caution. I would always creep up and peer around the corner to see if Remington was out. I always made sure to arm myself with a pointy limb from a fallen branch nearby in case he should attack. If the coast was clear, I would pass his house walking backwards, limb in hand, watching my back on the defense.
Occasionally his master would be outside and I would kindly ask her to put him inside while I passed her home. I thought I had the situation under control. And then one day there was an act of war.
It was a steamy, humid afternoon in August. I made my way to the ridge and peeked to see if my foe was out. Indeed he was. I hollered for his master to bring him in but received no response. With my habitual limb in hand, I stood for a few moments contemplating my next move. My husband, an Army Ranger, gave me a few pointers on how to protect myself should I encounter such a precarious situation: arm out, ready to knee the aggressor. I thought about this for a few seconds and decided I liked my arm and I’m not a Ranger.
Using my best judgment, I decided to pick another road to run on that fine day. Just as I turned away from the tip of the ridge, Remington spotted me from behind the bushes. Our eyes met and I knew we were in a stand-off. I stood for a moment and started to wave my arms wildly at him. I considered the arm, knee defense, but in that split second I knew my only chance at survival was to run.
I darted towards Purnell Road, the arm leading to Route 1, where cars dictate the speed limit at 60 mph. I had no time to “stop, look, and listen.” I only hoped no cars were passing. My visor flew off my head, my iPod fell from my pocket, my water bottle rolled to the ground. My heart pounding and out of breath, I ran screaming. Across the road lay a ditch four feet wide and five feet deep. I leapt over it, landed, stumbled, almost falling to the ground. I managed to hold on and keep running. All along Remington was on my tail. He knew no boundaries. He chased me onto another property and I could feel his breath at my heels. “This was it,” I thought, “I’m going down.”
And then, by some good grace, he turned and went home.
Shaken and in utter disbelief that this beast hunted me as he did, the woman who’s home I landed on, came out to see if I was OK. She brought me inside and I recounted the story. She told me she fears for her life and that of her dogs, that the dog is vicious and it’s just a matter of time before there’s bloodshed.
I called the dog catcher. This dog had to be stopped. After an investigation, the dog catcher informed me that “it appearz zat youw paperz are noot in orda.” Since I had not reported prior attacks, the dog catcher could only issue a warning to the owners.
After I alerted the neighborhood to this terrorist, I began to hear stories similar to mine. One even included a confession by the master that she feared her son’s dog was not safe.
My fight is not over. I will not give up the ridge. Question is, what should be my next approach? Do I go on the offense, lure him into an attack, report his serial offenses and let justice prevail? Too dangerous and risky. How will time play out this tale? Will Remington turn on his own? Will someone else fall victim to his prey? These are questions of which I have no answer. But I do know this, Remington is a terrorist. He is not a militant dog or a radical pet. I can’t ignore his presence, I tried being his friend. He is terrorizing the street of Purnell Ridge and he knows no boundaries.
Someday peace will be at hand, and I will run on Purnell Ridge again. Dogs only live to be so old. For now though I retreat. That paved road across the street will do just fine.