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How I was Almost Mauled by a Pack of Dogs

Concealed Carry Exercising

How I was almost mauled by a pack of dogs

When I walked in the door one past Friday, I told my wife she was almost a widow. (Seriously.) Let me explain…

I was out in California recently visiting the in-laws. They live at the end of a dirt road and right next to their property is an Indian reservation. I run 2.5 miles everyday, so about 10am I decide to head out for my run. Because I’m in the state of California I do not have a gun on me.

Well, I’m huffing and puffing along this dirt road when all of the sudden a big black dog comes out of nowhere and starts charging at me while barking ferociously. My first instinct is to go for my gun, which, of course, is not there. And, since I’m in the middle of the desert, there is nothing around. Luckily, there happens to be one of those Waste Management dumpsters nearby.

I sprint towards the dumpster and hurl myself on top of it, as the dog barely misses taking a chunk out of me. The dog stands on its hind legs, scratching the side of the dumpster and continues to bark. Almost immediately, four more dogs appear so there are five dogs surrounding this dumpster, all on their hind legs, trying to get to me.

For about five minutes…

My head is on a swivel as I look around to make sure that one of the dogs isn’t suddenly going to make the leap of a lifetime and get to me. Finally, I see a little old Indian woman walking towards me. She looks like she’s about 109 years old and I’m hoping she doesn’t die before she gets to me.

When she’s within 20 yards of the dumpster she says to me, “those dogs won’t hurt you, don’t be afraid, you can get down now.” Keep in mind, as she says this there are still five dogs trying to climb up the side of the dumpster to get to me, barking like crazy. I told her I didn’t think it was a good time for me to get down and I would wait for her to get her dogs.

She ended up getting all five dogs and took them into a fenced-in yard. I then hopped off the dumpster, noticed a huge bruise on my shin from my Olympic-like leap onto it, and headed back to home.

Now, to tell you the truth…

There have previously been two times in my life where I thought I might end up meeting my maker. This is the third time. When I was standing in the shower afterwards I kept thinking about what would have happened if that dumpster wasn’t around. (One of my thoughts was that if I’d survived, I might be first man in history to kill a pack of dogs with a tactical pen.)

I was also a little ticked off that I was in California. I was ticked off that I had chosen to go there and I had chosen to go running without a gun. The fact is, I hear people all of the time complain about living in New Jersey, or Maryland, or New York, but each one of them makes the choice to live there.

The beauty of living in this country is we have the freedom to live where we want. Anyway, not that I needed the reminder, but I think it’s pretty safe to say it will be a cold day in you-know-where before I move to California.

The moral of the story is to have a gun with you when exercising (if you legally can) because there are numerous incidents every year where people are mauled by dogs.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5RMP2XLUR2TSIKYN3SN26NDHI Cobra

    Well I live in the San Francisco Bay area which like N.Y.C. is ground zero for the anti-gun movement.   I’m a retired cop who doesn’t leave home without my Kimber Ultra Elite compact .45.   When others ask me what they can do to protect themselves, I tell them to get and carry a gun.   When they respond that they aren’t allowed to carry one and ask again what they should do I respond with . . . get and carry a gun.   Am I right in telling them that?   Nope.   Will they one day thank me if it saves their life?   Yup. Yes, they’re risking jail. But do you want to risk jail or your life?

  • Mark

    Even the DOGS know you’re unarmed! When my wife and I lived on the left coast, we had to get training and purchase a permit to carry pepper spray!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Tipton/100000994100952 William Tipton

       Dogs in CA know the law :-D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1082881734 Donthaveone Starfire

    You are lucky she didn’t sue you for harassing her dogs!

  • Tlkirbyjr

    I agree with what you did. It sucks that you were chased down. I only disagree with the fact that you would have shot the dogs. Lots of vocal dogs are killed needlessly. Me, I would have done what you did but not shooting the dogs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Tipton/100000994100952 William Tipton

       Then the OWNERS are to blame for letting the mutts run free.
      If YOU dog is running loose and makes me think its going to bite me…YES…I AM going to shoot it.
      And that is YOUR fault for letting it be off a chain and out of your yard, isnt it….

  • JJ_Swiontek

    While a large dog can be a formidable opponent, running from a predator induces a ‘chase’ response. Even against a feral pack, you should face the lead dog and prepare to fight with anything and everything you can. Most dogs (like many 2 or 4 legged predators) are looking for an easy victim. And the pack follows the leader.

  • FireFighterChen

    Thank you, thank you for not calling out the Pitbull breed like so many firearms authors do to sensationalize their stories.  And what a great point about it being a choice where you live, as that is the bottom line of everything in our lives, everything is a choice.  Too many people feel they have no choice, but that in itself, is a choice they have made.

  • cj

    I recall a similar feeling of helplessness while hiking when living in California, except it was running into a small pack of coyotes. I had to vacate the park before sunset and was hiking out when a pack of coyotes parked themselves on (and perpendicular) to the trail. Fortunately, they weren’t aggressive, just sat there looking at me expectantly, but had they decided I looked tasty, I’d have been there with a stick to try to fend off the pack.

    Fortunately, they eventually decided to move on, and when I reported it to the ranger, he blew it off indicating that some other hikers had fed them recently and they were probably hoping for a handout. Not much reassurance when you’re facing a pack that isn’t frightened off. Got a CCW as soon as I could after I moved.

  • Tesladriver

    The old lady was probably right. You should have faced the dog down and showed no fear. A hard hit on the nose would have sent him running if he did leap at you. Worst thing you could have done was flee from him. This is true no matter what state you live in. If you had a gun you could have pistol wipped that bad puppy if he got out of line!  Having a gun doesn’t mean we have to kill everything.  NO FEAR!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Tipton/100000994100952 William Tipton

       Sorry but if what happened to the author happened to me…yeah, Id be KILLING the dogs without blinking.
      Sorry, Im not ‘pistol whipping’ a biting dog and hoping I win. Im shooting it dead on the spot.

      • illinoisshowershoe

        I have heard of people whacking a crazed dog with a 2×4 with no ill effect…just a little more agitated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darrylhadfield Darryl Hadfield

      Sir, have you ever found yourself in the position of defending against a medium-large to large framed canine that seems intent on doing you harm?

      I suspect, from your comments, that you have not.

      “a hard hit on the nose would have sent him running”..   I’ll apologize in advance, as this will likely sound inflammatory – but that is utter lunacy.  I invite you to request of the local police K9 unit when you can be their attack dummy (they pad you up like a fat man eating cake)… I’d love to hear about how you’ll send the dog running with a “hard hit on the nose.”  In case you’re wondering? Those dogs are NOT trained to be extra aggressive… they’re trained to be extra obedient.

      Good luck with that.

  • http://twitter.com/CyaCrazyCA Me not You

    California. (in voice of Adam Savage) “THERE’s your problem!”

  • Paul E

     

    When travelling where carrying firearms is not an option,
    perhaps you might consider alternative defensive weapons such as pepper spray.
    Just because a weapon does not work as well as another, does not mean it is
    useless. Of course, check the local ordinances for restrictions on alternative
    defensive items.

    Cougars have attacked runners, hikers, and bikers on the
    trails. You might carry something like bear spray if you choose to run in the
    wooded areas.

    • Rick246

      Due to the frequency of human-bear encounters, the Montana Fish and Wildlife
      Branch is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen and any persons that use the out
      of doors in a recreational or work related function to take extra precautions
      while in the field.

      We advise the outdoorsman to wear little noisy bells on clothing
      so as to give advanced warning to any bears that might be close by so you don’t
      take them by surprise.

      We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry “Pepper Spray” with
      him is case of an encounter with a bear.

      Outdoorsmen should also be on the watch for fresh bear activity, and be able
      to tell the difference between black bear feces and grizzly bear feces. 
      Black bear feces is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel
      fur.  Grizzly bear shit has bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

      Due to the frequency of human-bear encounters, the Montana Fish and Wildlife
      Branch is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen and any persons that use the out
      of doors in a recreational or work related function to take extra precautions
      while in the field.

      We advise the outdoorsman to wear little noisy bells on clothing
      so as to give advanced warning to any bears that might be close by so you don’t
      take them by surprise.

      We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry “Pepper Spray” with
      him is case of an encounter with a bear.

      Outdoorsmen should also be on the watch for fresh bear activity, and be able
      to tell the difference between black bear feces and grizzly bear feces. 
      Black bear feces is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel
      fur.  Grizzly bear shit has bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Tipton/100000994100952 William Tipton

    Biting dogs and the worthless owners who let them run free is the main reason I even carry a gun.
    People who let ANY breed of dog fun free should be fined and imprisoned and lose their dogs.

    • Stanley in Kansas

      Get a life. I too am from a state that allows conceal carry. To be used for personal protection and protection of others. However, I have dogs that also protect me and my family. I live in a rural area and own several acres. If you or anyone pose no threat to me or my family they will show you no harm. however if you attempt to create mischief or enter my home without authorization you may end up in a bad way. My dogs do run loose, they will protect, and that does not make me irresponsible. By the way they do love children, even the ones that tug on their ears.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Tipton/100000994100952 William Tipton

    John, I know how you feel.
    Ive been bitten by multiple dogs before and accosted by the mutts more than once because some worthless owner decides to let their animals run free instead of being RESPONSIBLE.

    What if this had been a child?
    A couple people here have made whimsical comments about pepper spray and/pistol whipping the dogs…but when was the last time you saw a CHILD carrying either?
    And how many CHILDREN are going to stand up and play tough guy with a big dog…let alone FIVE big dogs?

    It is PREPOSTEROUS to blame anyone but the owner here.
    And it is ABSURD to even remotely pretend that we should have to try to find a way to negotiate with the dogs.

    I am so glad that my state of Ohio has made it crystal clear in our laws that if YOU let your dog run and it even makes someone THINK they MIGHT get bitten that we can kill the animal on the spot, no questions asked.

    ====================================================================================
    Ohio Revised Code
    955.28 Dog may be killed for certain acts – owner liable for damages.

    (A) Subject to divisions (A)(2) and (3) of section 955.261
    of the Revised Code, a dog that is >>>>>>>>> chasing or approaching in a menacing
    fashion or apparent attitude of attack,<<<<<<<<< that attempts to bite or
    otherwise endanger, or that kills or injures a person or a dog that
    chases, threatens, harasses, injures, or kills livestock, poultry, other
    domestic animal, or other animal, that is the property of another
    person, except a cat or another dog, can be killed at the time of that
    chasing, threatening, harassment, approaching, attempt, killing, or
    injury. If, in attempting to kill such a dog, a person wounds it, the
    person is not liable to prosecution under the penal laws that punish
    cruelty to animals.

  • illinoisshowershoe

    Do not come to Illinois!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Boothby/100001425250749 Robert Boothby

    With some luch, those of us who live in California will have the support of the “shall issue” provision.  I live here because it used to be a great place to live, and my job kept me here.  No that I am disabled I have to stay here until the disability case is closed.  Maybe I will have enough cash to move to Arizona, Nevada, or Texas, just to list a few choices……..   In the mean time, I carry my Kahr PM45 while on my own property to defend myself from dogs, coyotes or mountain lions (all have faced me with blood in their eyes on my own property.  Oh, the wayward wonderer who steal eggs in my neighbor has choosen to leave my few hens alone………. Could it be my being armed?

  • blogengeezer

    In NM, the act of carrying Pepper Spray while armed, is considered as having ‘A less than lethal’ form of self defense on your person, at time of ‘the shoot’. It works well when Aftermath’ is routinely a ‘question and answer test’. Having the ‘less than lethal’ means at your disposal, makes the trial by jury less (slightly) likely to find fault with the shooter (even if you are found innocent and charges are dropped, it will cost you at least $20,000 for your defense…. ‘Luke Sanchez’ Los Lunas NM).  Of course this is the wild and wooly NM, where the Career Repeat Dependency Addicted are freely roaming among the Law Abiding. The latest form of self defense ‘less than lethal’, and Not requiring regulating in any states available, is the easily obtained Wasp Spray. According to those locals that have successfully used it on… ‘Unarmed’ …attempted ‘thuggery’ incidents, they report it is quite effective, has good range (up to 20ft) and there is ‘Lots of it’. Enjoy a good ‘tight spray pattern’ shooting on your next ‘Wasp DOGS’… ‘Chupacabra’….or?.. :>)

  • Top Shotta

    I just got back from a trip to Washington DC where apparently it is not only illegal to carry a gun, it’s also a huge grey area about carrying knives. To legally walk with pepper spray, you have to purchase it in DC and then register it at a police station. Yea… that’s a stretch. I did bring my tactical pen however. I’ve been practicing with it like I do with my knife. Not so sure if I would be able to fend off a pack of dogs though! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749486456 Andrew Michalak

    Thanks for the story dude, It was a scary one to read first thing in the morning.  Glad you made it out alright!  I have guns but generally don’t run with them and also have had a few problems with dogs.  In the past I have run with an Titanium EOD Probe about as long as my wrist and hand, or a knife. (both are easily concealed and lightweight)
    After reading this my complacency level has dropped a bit and probably will carry more often on outings.

  • lovingmaryland

    Wow .Stories like that make me proud to fight for any law that limits the ability for the paranoid to own or carry guns .If you had your pasifier the dogs would suffer. Till the country gets guns under controll we can never becoma a civilized country. Go Obama. We love you.