Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Whoooooo Doggy!
A Tale of Automotive and Canine Peril

I just stayed up all night so I could be sure to be up when my housemate got up. I did this because we have completely different sleep schedules and if I had gone to sleep I would have missed her. I did this also because I needed her help to get my car started. So I could get my car to a garage.

While I was waiting for her to wake up, I suddenly realized that if I needed to leave my car at the garage I'd be stranded in Takoma Park. Because the garage is not easy walking distance to the Metro Station (it turns out I was mistaken in this belief, but it nonetheless impelled me to plan and act). So I grabbed my bike and my car keys and went to see if I could fit my bike in the trunk.

So the scene: I'm in the driveway with the car's trunk open, in the process of removing the bike's front tire, when I hear loud barking not far off. I look up and see trotting towards me a very large pit bull. An attractive dog, but a pit bull nonetheless, and one that is barking at me. It's wearing a collar, but there is no owner in sight.

The dog looks at me. I look at it.





"I'm on my own damn property here, you're the one not where it belongs, so why you barking at me?"


At this point the dog steps into the driveway and part of me starts to panic. At first I try staring it down, but it just keeps looking and barking. Part of me wants to run, but I can't help but think that that would be the surest way to inspire the creature to charge me. So a compromise: I quickly walked away (calmly was a goal not quite reached) and bounded up the stairs to the back porch (brilliant! everyone knows dogs can't climb stairs!)

The dog approached closer.


"What!? I'm on my own damn property here!"

At this point a neighbor opened his door and the dog trotted off to explore this sound, possibly mangle the person making it. I returned to the car and finished getting the wheel off. When the bike was halfway into the trunk I heard another "WUFF!" behind me.

By this point I was resigned to my fate. If the beast took my leg off, I'd track down its owner and sue. I continued navigating the pedals over the trunk's lower edge. The dog trotted up to me, wuffed once more, then trotted off.

Just wanted to say hello.

"So it was friendly," said my housemate when I recounted the tale.

"It didn't tear my throat out."

"That's friendly for a pit bull."

Jumping the battery went smoothly, finding the garage took little effort. Part of my memory spent the drive up insisting that I had heard somewhere at some point that pit bulls are naturally very sweet animals, despite their intimidating looks, that it was only bad training that gave them their reputation for dangerousness. Maybe if my new friend shows up again I'll share a doggie biscuit and exchange light petting for a sloppy kiss... though probably not.

The guy at the garage tested my battery, found it fine, tested the alternator, found it fine, pronounced my electrical system in good health, and suggested I start the car at least once a week to insure the battery should stay charged in future.

Time well spent!

So I went grocery shopping and booze shopping and now I'm home and I really should try to catch some sleep; I need to head off to work in about 2 hours...
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