We had a rough night last night and were both too tired to deal with Rachel after dinner. She had more energy than both of us combined and needed to get it out, so we packed her up in the stroller and headed out to a park not too far from our house.
Our plan was to sit on the grass and study Arabic while she crawled around and ate dandelions, ants, twigs, and dirt. Then when she seemed as exhausted as we felt, we would take her home and put her to bed.
Our backup plan was that if she fell asleep in the stroller on the way to the park we'd just turn around and come home.
So we walked to the park, Andrew giving me an Arabic lesson on the way. We did the first lesson of Egyptian Arabic that BYU teaches and I pretty much knew everything. I was feeling pretty smart until I realized that there are more lessons to go through and since pretty much everything I knew was on that one little piece of paper I'm definitely going to be struggling down the road.
Rachel was asleep by the time we got to the park but just as we were preparing to turn around and go home a little boy with a big dog (or horse, I'm not sure which) came barreling down the sidewalk straight at us. I swear the dog was twice the size of me!
For anyone who knows me well, this [having a dog charge at me] is never a good thing to have happen to me. I closed my eyes tightly and gripped Andrew's arm.
"What do we do?" I asked, my voice getting shriller with each word.
Sure, the dog was on a leash, but I was still terrified.
"Nothing," Andrew said calmly, "We'll just turn around and go home."
The boy zoomed past us, his arm nearly being yanked off by the dog. We continued on the path only to be intercepted half a minute later by a man on a skateboard being pulled by yet another huge dog.
"We're going to die," I gasped, "This was not a good day to come to the park!"
As you might have guessed, being eaten alive by a dog is one of my greatest fears. That and having a dog in a 200 foot radius of me--all the worse if it breathes or drools on me, or if it jumps up on me or runs around in circles.
"We're not going to die," Andrew reassured me, "Just keep walking."
The second huge dog zipped by us, trailing its owner behind it. We walked on down the path, getting ready to turn around nonchalantly and head home. The sidewalk at the park is in a figure eight set up. Whoever thought that would be a good idea should be shot.
We approached the center point of the figure eight, ready to veer off and go home instead of completing the loop, when my dog-radar went wild!
To my left, the skateboard-toting dog is rushing towards us. To my right, the other dog is careening straight at us, the little boy flying behind hm. And here we are standing in the middle of the intersection. My heart was racing, my palms were sweating, and all I could think to do was to move off the sidewalk but I was frozen in place. The dogs were closing in on me. I could hear them panting and coming ever nearer!
After a moment's hesitation I forced my legs to move and pushed the stroller onto the grass, which for some reason seemed like a much better place to be.
The dogs had the same idea and each of them started heading onto the grass right in front of us.
I watched in horror as the little boy being walked by his dog was dragged onto the field. The man on the skateboard held his course while his dog tried to ran out and join us all standing stupidly on the field. The little boy tried to get his dog to move but the hulk of a creature wouldn't budge. The man on the skateboard pulled on his leash but the dog kept on running.
I was desperately looking for an exit when I heard a loud *SNAP!* My head whipped around to survey the scene. The leash had wrapped around a tree and broke in two. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the skateboarder slow to a crawl while his dog sprinted straight towards us.
Bracing for impact, and quite sure that I was about to become dog chow, I held my breath and tightened my grip on the handles of the stroller.
But wouldn't you know it, just before the dog bit my head off it was distracted by the other dog and went over to sniff its...uhhhh, well...we all know how dumb dogs can be.
"Come on, let's go home," Andrew prompted, pulling on my arm.
The little boy's mother helped him drag his dog away while the skateboarder tied his leash back together. I checked my pulse and gave myself a pat down to make sure I was still alive, willed myself to uproot my feet, and shakily started for home.
I'm sorry to say that Rachel will never have a pet dog. Ever. No tagsies.
And may I also proclaim to dog owners everywhere that if your dog weighs more than you they should most definitely be on a heavy duty chain of sorts, not a retractable leash. Your compliance is appreciated.