Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Last week I was on vacation in Florida and went out for an afternoon walk. Florida, for all its heat and humidity, does not allow open carry. So that afternoon I was carrying a Sig P320 subcompact in .40 S&W in a small fanny pack over my appendix.
At one point during the walk through a neighborhood in Cape Canaveral, a mother pushing a baby in a stroller was walking in the opposite direction. As we approached each other, the mother suddenly got a frightened look on her face, stopped, and backed up with the stroller, partly into a yard.
My radar went up, and I looked to my left, only to see a pit bull running out of an open fence gate across the street and headed straight towards me, with no owner in sight! All I could see were those large jaws and extremely muscular physique.
I had just enough time to unzip the fanny pack and to grab the grip of the P320 before the dog was next to me. I avoided eye contact, looking straight ahead and continuing to walk, but watching the dog in my peripheral vision.
Was this dog about to attack or was this just a playful, BUT FULL-SIZED, “puppy“? As a dog owner myself, the last thing I wanted to do is to shoot someone else's dog if there was any way to avoid it.
In that two-second interval as I was reaching for my gun, I had already decided that if that dog attacked me, that baby, or her mother, I was going to shoot the dog, in the spine if possible, else wherever I could get a safe shot. Pitt bulls have a thick skull so that a headshot can be tricky. Also, you don't want to destroy the dog's brain, if possible so that it can be later checked for rabies.
[The sheepdog in me: I also remember thinking that if someone was to be attacked, far better it was me than the baby or the mother.]
Bam! The dog ran behind me and then quickly hit me hard in the back of my right knee, making my leg buckle. But I did not detect a bite or an actual attack.
The dog then ran in front of me, bounding in short leaps. “Only a puppy!,” I prayed hopefully.
The dog then started running towards the baby in the stroller, as the mother stood frozen. I continued to watch the dog intently while walking quickly to close the distance between the dog and myself just in case…
But the dog stopped short of the stroller and then turned and ran back towards one of the houses.
I let out a final sigh of relief, released my grip on the gun (the gun remained concealed through the entire event), re-zipped the fanny pack, and continued on my way, as did the mother and her baby.
Some important notes:
- Many dogs, including pit bulls, don't always growl before an attack. So you can't count on a growl as a warning or precursor to an attack. Truth is many dog owners inadvertently train their dogs to attack without warning when they bop their growling dog on the nose. The dog doesn't learn that he's not allowed to strike, only that he's not allowed to growl!
- A wagging tail on a pit bull doesn't necessarily mean they are friendly. Pitbulls wag their tails when excited. There are plenty of videos with pit bulls tearing into another dog or person with the pit bull's tail wagging to beat the band. Thus, while the above dog was indeed wagging its tail, I gave that no credence one way or the other.
This event served as yet another reminder that danger can appear anywhere and at any time. You're either ready or your not. I was ready, but very thankfully, it was but a false alarm.
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.