The embarrassing part of this story is that it happened just after the other half and I had faced down two really mean looking boxers (the dogs, not the sweaty men in satin shorts) which had decided that the track up to the footpath was part of their territory. Having got past that particular hazard, we were walking down the road home discussing dog-ownership etiquette. ‘They really should be under better control,’ I said. ‘It’s not like the herd of little tiny dogs down at the turn to the ford. Those ones get out but they’re not exactly scary.’ ‘Yeah,’ said the other half. ‘They sort of remind me of how many five-year-olds can you take in a fight.’
How we laughed. Until we got to the turn off for the ford and one of the herd – not my friend from last time – came bounding over the wall towards us. Now normally when dogs get out of their territory they’re pretty craven, but this one hadn’t read the manual and the next thing I knew it had dashed across the road, swung round behind me, and closed its tiny needle-sharp teeth on my calf. Ow. Suddenly the words ‘you stupid bitch’ were entirely appropriate (for indeed, it was a she) although I only thought of that when I had got home and inspected the damage. It’s pretty humiliating being bested by a creature you could theoretically drop kick over a wall (although perhaps not so humiliating as realising you could only take 12 five year olds in unarmed combat. That’s my nursery teaching career out the window then).
So our walks from now on may have to be accompanied by stout sticks. And I’m going to start being extremely cautious around cows…
*Yes, I know this is the archetypal not-news story but hey, it’s my blog and it happened to me and I bet you any money that even in the days of hot metal, ‘Dog Bites Newspaper Proprietor’ would have made the front page.