The news is full of bad and even horrific incidents where “man’s best friend”, the dog, has turned on people and bit or mauled them.
Just the other day two pit bulls in Charlotte, North Carolina mauled a 9-year old boy so severely that he will be in the hospital for about six months. He has already undergone multiple surgeries.
A family member reported, “Both of his arms are messed up. His face is messed up. His ear from there to there has been messed up. His legs are messed up. He wants to get up and walk, but he can’t right now.”
And in Columbia, Tennessee a 5-year old girl had to receive 40 stiches in her face because of an attack from a neighbor’s dog. The neighbor said it was probably an “attempt to play” from the dog.
Children are not the only ones vulnerable to a dog attack. Also in Charlotte an 85-year old woman was attacked and killed last month by a pit bull. A few nights ago, a heavily pregnant woman was attacked by a dog in Christchurch and hospitalized.
While dogs can come out of seemingly nowhere to attack by surprise most often there is some initial interaction between a human and dog. If the dog is rigid appearing, with their head, body and tail are all straight line like an arrow it is a sign of an imminent attack.
Dogs are, at heart, wild animals. They can quickly revert back in a moment to behavior that more properly is useful in the wild against other animals. If the dog considers you a challenge to it by your staring it directly in the eyes it may attack you out of what it considers self-defense. If you run from it the instinct to run down and kill its prey just may kick in. Move slowly, try to keep something between you and the animal, and try not to show fear.
Of course, carrying pepper-spray is always an option in most places. You generally do not need the larger, bear-sized pepper spray while in your own neighborhood, unless your neighborhood is in Alaska or the Rockies. Even a smaller pepper spray dispenser is effective against dogs. The best pepper spray against dogs is also the best pepper spray against humans. The pepper spray will not hurt the dog permanently but will give you time to safely get away.
I have fire extinguishers by our fire-place, the kitchen, and my workroom. I don’t expect any fires, and I am not paranoid about them. But I do want to be protected “just in case.” I would much rather have one and not need it than need it desperately and not have one.
Having a WildFire 1lb Pepper Spray 18% Fire Master canister handy by your front and back door is not a sign of paranoia either. It is just being prepared like a Boy Scout. Carrying one easily accessible when out walking or jogging is also being prepared. It is not so much the “risk” that is involved, it is what is at stake. For a few dollars, you can have “peace of mind” while enjoying life.