December 04, 2005

Random acts

The dog attack that I just wrote about is the second significant random act to happen to me in the last 6 months, along with the car accident.

What both incidents made clear is, well, the role that happenstance plays in our lives, and how all your plans can so easily get shot to hell in a heartbeat. In both instances, I was on my way to do other things, and had planned out, well, at least the rest of the day. And in both instances, everything pretty much had to stop and that specific thing needed attending to.

It reminds me of that remarkable story-within-a-story in The Maltese Falcon, of the man Flitcraft who nearly dies from a fallen beam, and is spurred to start a new life (which ends up looking just like his old life). It's a brilliant and bizarre detour in the novel, a long passage in an otherwise highly efficient narrative that serves almost as a primer on existentialism.

Anyway, such dramatic incidents always bring the immediate, the present, to snap into focus. It demonstrates just how tenuous all our plans really are.

Posted by peterme at 06:14 PM | TrackBack

Diary entry: Today I was attacked by a dog.

I am fine.

Stacy and I were at the Alameda dog park, and wandered over to a clutch of dogs and their people. Among them was a German shepherd with a tennis ball in his mouth. He came over with it, so I bent down and held my hand out. He backed away, a little nervous, and then, well, got aggressive. He decided he didn't like me, so, um, started attacking, tearing through my sweatshirt. I tried to stand stock still, in hopes that he would just back off, but this dog was quite insistent. So I kept turning my back to him -- I know how claw marks on my back. He then came around my front, and I ended up putting my arm in his way -- so I got a bite on my wrist.

It was a little like this, though I didn't have a big puffy thing on my arm:

Public domain photo from here. (Get yourself a real job, Gary.)

During this ordeal, I kept shouting at the dog's owner, "Control your fucking dog!" But she was at a total loss. It's clear she is simply unable to control this dog. Thankfully, the other people around were able to get the dog under control.

The wrist bite is a small bite -- no puncture, no real bleeding. Just some bruising and swelling.

Stacy talked to the dog's owner afterward, and found out that a) this dog has had problems and b) the dog's owner is clearly out of her league with this hound. German's are bred as attack dogs, and this one performed that service well. Funny, I've been licked and loved by plenty of pit bulls at dog parks and on walks... This, my first attack, came from a German.

A brief trip to the "urgent care" ward at Kaiser lead to a prescription of antibiotics (just in case) and a tetanus shot.

What I learned: be respectful of Germans, and, hey, don't look them in the eye. Also, with Germans, it is good to put something in their mouths. If you don't have a stick, it does turn out that your arm is the next best thing. You just don't want them on your face and neck.

Posted by peterme at 06:01 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


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