Today was a crummy day!*
It started off quite innocently, when my 7yo and I decided to go for a late-morning walk down a pretty country lane that we'd often admired.
And it was indeed very pretty. Pretty, that is, until we got near the end, at which point one of the homeowners on the lane decided that it would be a good idea to release her guard dogs on us.
Have you ever looked over your shoulder to see two enormous, snarling guard dogs hurling themselves at you, in a situation in which you are utterly alone and unable to defend yourself or your child?
I fervently hope you haven't.
The only thing I could remember, in the two panicked seconds we had before they reached us, was to turn and stand my ground rather than run. This I did. I don't know if it would have done any good in the end - probably not. But when the dogs were about ten feet from us, the owner stepped out of her gate and stopped them. She then proceeded to yell at us at length, while the dogs held us at bay, that we were trespassers and we had to get out right now.
(If anyone was wondering, the lane down which we walked was not marked as private property, either with a sign or any sort of gate. Whether or not it was private I do not know, but it appeared to be a normal public road, with houses and businesses on both sides.)
We turned and left, quite shaken. The 7yo was horribly frightened, and I can't say that I was much better.
Thankfully that was the worst part of our day, but it wasn't the last of it. Several additional minor events contributed to the mess.
Episode II came later that morning, when we found an enormous female black widow spider crawling in the same space where our 4yo had been playing 30 seconds before.
Episode III came this evening, when my hand slipped in the kitchen, resulting in my spilling half a gallon of coconut oil down the drain in one instant.
Anyone who knows and loves coconut oil is now screaming uncontrollably and hitting the computer screen. "Forget dangerous dog attacks, you spilled coconut oil!" I don't blame you.
This day was really a winner. And I didn't even write everything that happened! (Trying to keep it brief, people!)
Of course, in all of these things I recognize God's mercies.
The 7yo and I could now be in the hospital after being mauled (or in the morgue after being killed) by two extremely savage guard dogs. We're okay.
The 4yo could now be suffering the toxic effects of a black widow bite. He's okay.
And... I suppose I could have spilled the whole gallon of coconut oil. But I didn't, and I was even able to recover some of what spilled. Worse things have happened.
This day may have included fear, stress, and tears - but it could have been so much worse. Tonight I'm so thankful for the Lord's mercies that have been meted out to us in so many ways.
And the embittered and angry woman whose actions both endangered our lives and ruined our peace this morning has earned herself a permanent place in my prayer list. I have rarely seen any person with such bitter unrest and hatred in her heart, spewing words of such rage with no good reason. I can only describe it as soul-rot. It was quite clear that she was not just a cranky homeowner having a bad morning - she was a very bitter person whose heart was seething with rage looking for any outlet. She needs God's love in her life. I won't be the one going back to befriend her - there are a couple of canine obstacles in the way of that - but I can and will pray for her.
In the meantime, God help her neighbors. Living next door to that really would be something.
Okay, y'all. I'm headed to bed. I've had enough for one day!
Happy Sunday, everyone! Love to all!
Several sequelae came of the dog incident:
(1) Pepper spray and a dog stick just became part of our stroller accessories. Period. They wouldn't have done us any good in the above situation, because we had only 3-4 seconds of reaction time. But for the future, we need something in case of dangerous situations.
(2) In an instant, my habit of carefree "exploration walks" with the kids ended. I realized that I had trusted too much in the fact that we were in a "safe" area. Women in America have long been accustomed to walking alone safely in public places in daylight. But yesterday I realized how horribly vulnerable we were, and how unable I was to protect either myself or my child in the face of a sudden vicious attack, either animal or human. Any exploration we do in the future will be done with my husband along, or not at all.
Ladies, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. What do you think about animal attacks, public safety, encounters with hostile citizens, and etc.? This was so new to me, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
* The day in question was several days ago, but I've left the time references as originally written.