“Oh, honestly,” said the woman on the trail, grabbing her frothing Rottweiler by the collar and pulling him away from me so I could continue unmolested on my hike. As we passed, she squatted down and nuzzled the drooling dog like a lover, whispering endearments that ended with, “She doesn’t like Baby Wuggums, does she?”
Baby Wuggums had come tear-assing around the isolated woodland corner, no owner in site and no leash despite a state park law. He bypassed my husband and cornered me, accurately singling me out as the weakling in the herd. I froze as he circled me – I don’t like dogs, and they know it. Wuggums took advantage of my vulnerability and stuck his slimy nose in my crotch, where it stayed until his owner waddled down the trail, leash hanging in her hand.
Baby Doll sat there, tense and poised on his haunches, eying my tender throat and daring me to move. I chose not to.
“You can go on ahead, honey!” she laughed at me, still a good twelve feet away. “He’s OK!” Wuggums did not remove his steely gaze from me, and I tried my damnedest not to appear threatening – as if my standing there frozen in terror could remotely seem aggressive.
“Please get your dog away from me,” I asked, in a sweet and friendly fashion. That’s when she became impatient, flouncing over in exasperation to catch him just as he lunged for me, veins popping in his neck.
I would have let the whole thing go, but she rolled her eyes at me.
Now, I can tell from the back of his head when my husband rolls his eyes at me. I can tell from the next room when my kids do. There is nothing that pushes me over the edge faster than a rolling eyeball.
I let out a string of invective that would make a sailor blush, something I’m able to use to great effect since I look like a meek mealy-mouthed mild-mannered librarian. Alas, I could finish up with nothing more powerful than “ . . . and . . . and . . . I’ll report you to the park ranger!”
Whereupon she told me to get a life, and moved on. Now, this is the sort of thing I can brood about for days (which probably has something to do with my hypertension). But I decided to let it go and move on myself – it was too lovely a morning to stew.
A mile or so farther down the path, a beautiful big buck went bounding across the field. My husband and I were doing that tiresome yuppie-nature-appreciation thing, admiring the symmetry of his leaps and the beauty of his movements and the wonder of it all, when two does noisily followed him. The does were not graceful – they were running headlong in terror. There at their heels was Baby Wuggums – I knew him by his neon green high-tech expensive collar.
Where I grew up, they shoot dogs that run deer, and no questions are ever asked. For the first time in my life, I wished that I had a goddamned gun – and knew how to use it, and had it with me.
But I’d have had to shoot Wuggums’ woman, too. And even for eye-rolling, she (arguably) didn’t deserve that.
I realize that I risk losing my fledgling readership by admitting that I am not a Dog Person. While I might be forgiven for raging bleeding-heart liberalism, only an anti-American baby-hating atheistic socialist could object to having Baby Wuggums’ snout stuck between her legs.