Dogs Must Be Leashed

Dogs & Kids

Responsible Dog Ownership

In 2012, I tossed Sam in the car and took an impromptu day trip to southern Vermont. We saw the sights, swung by a roadside waterfall and ultimately found ourselves at the West Dummerston covered bridge.

As we descended the steps from the parking lot to the river shore, I noticed a couple holding a baby talking to a middle aged gentleman, and trotting around them is what can only be described as …

A wolf.

In actuality , I’m sure it was a wolf hybrid as these are legally allowed (stupidly) in this particular state with a permit.

This thing was huge!

I mean, imagine a grayish/whitish….WOLF!

“Don’t worry, she’s friendly!” The middle aged gentleman called as we approached. Right, I thought. That’s what they all say.

As if on command, Wolfie pranced over, sniffed the back of my offered hand, and subsequently ignored Sam.

She went north on the bank, and we went south. Sam stayed close and we made our way about 500 ft past the bridge. I turned at one point to snap a photo of the mountains and the river,

^^^This photo to be exact

and when I turned around, Wolfie was

In.

Sam’s.

Face.

A fucking wolf hybrid was less than a foot away from my 4 year olds face with her teeth bared and her ears back.

Was this really happening?? He was hardly 10 feet away from me!

Oh, but she friendly!

Oh, but she’s about to take my kid’s face off!

My adrenaline surged. My thoughts raced. I thought that if I moved too quickly she might feel threatened and attack him. If I didn’t act quick enough she might feel empowered and attack him. If she thought I was a weak ass chump, she might attack him.

My only option, as my entire life flashed before my eyes, was to Alpha Dog her and scare the crap outta of her.

Me: It’s a wolf!

Also Me: Hold my beer.

“Hey!” I barked, summoning every ounce of Mama Bear I had, and projecting it onto her like Storm from the X-men, while slowly turning to face her fully.

“Sam don’t move.”

Wolfie’s ears came up and her gums covered her teeth for a moment and she looked at me as if to say, “Back off, he’s mine!” And immediately her ears folded back and her teeth came out again and the low growl that emanated from her throat made me bare my own teeth.

Animals can sense fear, right?

So I assumed they could also sense Psycho Mom Vibes, too. Right?

I will take you down, I will take you down to Chinatown! I thought at her, taking another step towards and yelling again ,

“Hey! Hey! Get outta here!” I roared, making my voice and intention as big and formidable as I possibly could.

And like that, she took off, scampering down the beach, and disappearing.

I grabbed Sam by the hand and hightailed it to the car, keeping a close watch for Wolfie as we neared the stairs. She was on the northern end once again, with her person nowhere in sight, but she barely gave us the time of day.

We made it safe to the car and that night, and for many afterwards, I laid awake, stunned and shocked by how close the death my child had been.

The moral of the story is: leash your dog.

It’s the law.

***

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