On day six, I blew my horn.
On day five, I encountered the dog that pushed me over the edge, to equip myself in case of attack. Whence last I saw that dog, busy 46th Street was closed for construction, and he had no traffic to keep him from pursuing me from his side of the four lane road.
That day, he entered the road. I stopped, turned to him, and yelled as loud as I could, “Stop!” He stopped momentarily. As he was resuming his pursuit and I was still yelling, his owner appeared and called him back.
46th was recently reopened. The speed limit is 45 mph. When he (with both dogs in this piece, I don’t know their sex; I call both “he” because I don’t like calling a pet “it”) spied me, he went to the edge of the road, barking his lungs out. Thankfully, car after car zoomed between us, he stayed put, and my horn remained clipped to my waist.
The next day, my sixth carrying the horn, as I ran down Marilyn Street, more than five miles into my run, I recalled that a small dog sometimes runs out after me. Sure enough, there he was, and out he came.
I quickly slid the horn off my waist, put my finger on the trigger, and waited for him to approach me. As I continued to run, he got within ten feet of me. I let loose.
I gave him a one second blast.
And what did he do?
His ears went erect. He looked at me funny. He didn’t seem dazed, but he definitely looked confused.
Soon, I was past him and he resumed running. Now, however, he didn’t approach. He ran parallel to me, remaining on the edge of the street.
He returned to barking. I kept the horn pointed at him, my finger on the trigger.
Calmly, I kept saying to him, “Staaay. Staaay. Staaay.”
Finally, either he tired of the game or we got to his boundary (which should include the street, for Fido’s sake!). I holstered my weapon and finished my run.
Now I know the horn achieves what it advertises … at least on this dog.
I’ve vowed never to use the horn unless a dog enters the street. I’ll keep the vow but, having felt the power of my horn, I now have an itchy trigger finger.