Something to blog about or the dog and the blog

I was attacked by a dog this morning.

Ok it didn’t bite me so maybe it wasn’t technically an attack. Well, I was savaged by a dog. Ok ok, a dog ran at me barking and growling with its hackles up. It probably would have attacked me if I hadn’t left briskly. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I was in a lovely little park at the bottom of Third St, taking photos. The light was perfect. Then out of the blue a brown dog ran at me barking and growling. It looked like a Labrador but barked like a Rottweiler and had the mean tone of a Doberman.

The owner was standing at the top of the park with some long instrument in his hand watching. I called out to the guy, “hey can you call your dog off please,” yeah I say please even when I’m under attack.

But he just pretended to look the other way and kept doing whatever he was doing.

I got to wondering how anyone can train a Labrador to be aggressive. I wasn’t thinking that at the time, I was just trying to get out of the way of the growling barking dog.

Later I wondered why the guy thinks he owns the park. I know its not on private property but perhaps he thinks he owns it because he mows the lawn.

I wrote a poem once called “Who owns the shade,” because a woman yelled at me for parking in the shade at the front of her house in Castlemaine. It was a mid summer day and I’d evacuated my house because there was a fire warning for Hepburn Springs and I had to get out. But she didn’t want to share her shade with a refugee from the heat.

But back to the dog story.

Because I had my camera in hand I pretended to photograph the guy with the dog, (and I did get some shots of the dog as I was leaving. Shame I didn’t have it on video, it doesn’t look very scary without the sound or action of full frontal dog rampage, aka attack, savage…).

Yes really mature I know, pretending to be some tough journo getting the inside story of man with dog. But that’s what being savaged by a dog does to me. I regress into my lower brain. It’s embarrassing. I didn’t want to go up to him and tell him to “get effed,” which was what was on my mind, though perhaps one shouldn’t admit that in a blog, at least not your own blog that has your name on it.

Is there a point to this? Not really.

Except perhaps how silly and funny we are. I wandered around behind the park and the guy with the agro Lab snapping my camera like the Paparazzi. And even while I was doing it I was laughing at myself for being so ridiculous, though you wouldn’t have known I was in a comedy from the look on my face, more a melodrama.

“Why not just walk away Rita,” a sensible part of me said.

“What’s the point of pretending to be a tough journo, covering this “big” story? Go home and have a cup of tea,” said the sensible voice at the front of my head.

But this other part of me, lower down at the back there, primitive, the part that trembles when a dog savages me wanted to do something.

Perhaps it’s the feeling of powerlessness that makes us regress into kid brain. Mine was about a six year old, “na, na, nanana… I’m telling on you..” And then, even more embarrassing, I took out my phone and pretended to make a phone call, nodding my head and moving my lips. Who the hell was I going to ring anyway? I was far enough away that he wouldn’t hear me.

But then the guy started walking towards me so I ran. I couldn’t see the dog but I ran anyway.

Yes its too embarrassing to be blogging about but there you go. I’ve lost all shame and pride in the last few months and now I just want to tell the truth, even about myself, even when it is deeply embarrassing or perhaps troubling.

And here is something else I discovered again, humor is the best way to recover from attack. Yes attack, no more mincing my words, no more Ms Nice Guy.

By the time I got home I was laughing to myself, yes people were looking up from their Saturday morning lattes at the crazy women wearing her camera like a shield. I decided to come along the streetscape home in case the man with the dog followed, and I was giggling aloud, like a six year old, all the way as I made up this blog post in my head and tried out titles.

I came up with all sorts of titles:

The blog is mightier than the dog

The blog bites worse than the bark

Never trust a blog with a growl in its teeth

There were some others, like the ones about dog with a bone, and dog in a manger, but they got too silly (or disturbing) to write down.

I like to think of myself as a mature and compassionate person. But sometimes I’m not.

I guess that is the point of writing this, if it needs to have a point.

When I feel threatened or powerless, or someone tries to use power over me I sometimes don’t act in a mature way. Usually I run. And as you can see if you’ve bothered to read this far, sometimes I play games. And then I write.

Yes I do feel some compassion for the man and his dog. I feel especially sorry for the dog because it’s missing out on all those friendly pats from passers by, which all other Labs in the world love as far as I know from my limited experience of Labradors.

And the lonely man with his big house and lovely park who’s a bit like Oscar Wilde’s Selfish Giant, yes I might feel sorry for him, or at least I can pretend for the blog’s sake, or the dog’s sake.

I don’t know why he’s so angry that he lets his dog savage people, and wants his park to himself and I’ll never know. But I don’t think anyone owns the shade. I think that those who are hot and thirsty, or want to rest somewhere lovely or peaceful can.

The earth belongs to no man, but to every man, woman and child. Every person is a neighbor battling with something.

So be kind, share the shade, and write anyway, even if it makes you blush.

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