I have always been afraid of strange dogs since I was a child. "Oh, he's friendly! He's never bitten anyone! Pet him, don't be afraid!" Chomp. Or then he chases me around the entire neighborhood growling and biting at my heels. Dogs sense fear and they had my number. Luckily, or consequently, I was a very fast runner as a child.
Today on my daily walk with my hubby we went down a street we don't often travel. I saw a very big bull mastiff (I think...it looked just like one, but bigger and all tan rather than the black face) behind a fence, running and barking when he saw us. I said, "We're in trouble." I think I said it. Maybe it was the electric adrenaline going through my body screaming it. The dog gracefully and effortlessly hopped over the chainlink fence and charged us, growling and barking, and I knew down to my panicking legs that he could take us both.
I thought of two things. One. I heard once that if you yell in a deep voice, "NO" that it will stop the dog. And two. Did you hear about the lady who fought off the mountain lion that was consuming her husband in California recently? I thought, "I cannot do that." You see, my body was moving in a direction away from the dog and to turn around and walk toward it would be impossible - it would make no sense to my body whatsoever.
The dog wasn't consuming Stan yet. I yelled several deep NOs and pointed at the dog assertively and kept walking, as if the entire incident was simply a boring moment in my relaxing day. Inside I felt like a dried pig's ear being gnawed in the jaws of a pit bull. The dog veered from me, ran toward Stan and then ran back to his fence.
Two great things happened. I faced my fear and I didn't have to beat the dog off Stan. Hopefully I won't have to face that fear ever.