Tonight, a stupid thing happened. it happened, and it is over, like most thing that ever happen, consigned to the “stories I can tell at dinner” pile of life experience.
But, It was for me, for a couple of hours, the stuff of shaking, sweaty, sick, crying terror.
This is odd for me. I have been scared for my life before. I have not panicked.
Tonight, I panicked.
A stupid dog. I never thought I was scared of dogs. I let my baby LICK them fgs. But, this one was a big one. A German Shepherd, like the one that pinned me against the wall when I was a kid.
And that it why I am writing. I said I wouldn’t, but this is not for others, not for news, this is for me, to organise the thoughts I have.
This stupid big dog, just out of nowhere. I tried really hard. Ignore it. Keep walking. Don’t panic the children. But, the dog is not with a person, not on a lead. It keeps going up garden paths. It is not interested in us. I remember to breathe calmly. I don’t tell J to do anything different. I m just aware of it. But, then, it is deliberately following us. I know this, because we cross the street twice. I am scared. I need the dog to go away. It is up to my waist, and weighs more than J, I reckon.
I shout. I don’t know if this is a wise thing to do. But, I have to. I think, I *think* the dog looks well cared for, it is not noisy, it is not threatening us, but, it is a big dog, and I don’t know it. And, it takes one second for something irreparable to happen. I have nothing. I can’t do anything more than shout.
The dog starts circling us. round and round, we can’t walk without touching it. And, I kind of remember that you must not show dogs that you are scared. But we are obviously scared now. J is crying.
A guy with a small dog, and a small child comes to help us, but, on deciding that the risk is so great that he must pick up his small dog, and leave us.
I remember how I felt when I was small. I know I have two small children. And can do NOTHING. And I try and think, it is a different dog. It’s not barking. But, it is touching us. And we can’t move without it keeping us in. I can think now. I see herding. But…
We are in the street. We are a long way from home, we are some maybe 10 minutes from where we are going. We can’t just stop. I have children with me. I do something that may well have been overkill, but, I am scared. I am “knowing what dog teeth through limbs feels like” scared. I am “I have to get myself between this and my children” scared.
So I YELL for help. It is a busy road. There are no shops to go in, but there is a pub, maybe three minutes walk. There are cars going by. Lots of cars.
We cross the road again. We are on the same side as the pub now. No one helps us. I can’t phone. Because I am holding my son, pushing the buggy, and shaking. If we can get to the pub, we can shut the door. Someone will at least hear us if something happens and we scream.
So, the dog is black, mostly, so, is hard to see well in the dark, but, it’s breath on my hands is clear. It is with us. It is circling. We have to get up the steps and all through the door. As we shut the door behind us, the dog jumps up, and it’s front feet hit the glass behind me.
We are indoors. The people in the pub contain the dog, call the police. I call the person texting me. No answer. Three times no answer. Never. There is never anyone.
We do the relevant talking. We leave through a different door. We get to where we are going, and I think, good. This is healthy. Now I have to let him go. He can run off the shakes I can feel in him. It can be normal.
And, I go about my hour of shopping. And it hits me. I think I don’t love them. They are not my world. I cannot buy in to replacing my *self* with my children. I do not cry and get all super empathic over charity kids videos. I let them take risks. But, right then. However unlikely it REALLY was. When I felt so terrified. I just *knew* I would step in front of them. Feel the teeth over again. And again.
And I was relieved. Maybe I *am* human. Because the other times I have felt risking my life, I *didn’t* panic. Because it was just me, and I *am* worthless. It would not matter. I am relieved, today, to truly feel that *they* are not.