(warning: this is one of those short stories that sorta turns into a long story)
Last week after I had planted all my new pepper plants I let a spot sprinkler run on them for a while to help them get settled into their new pots. So it was about 10pm when I went out to turn the sprinkler off. I don't have to leave the front porch to turn off the sprinkler, in fact I barely have to step out the door to do so, but I do have to turn my back on the driveway. As I turned back around to go inside, at the corner where my front porch meets the driveway, there was a massive, dirty pitbull just staring at me. I'm not sure I've ever moved as fast as I did getting through that front door.
So, of course, the next morning when it was time to take Emmett out to do his business I was terrified that the pit would still be out there. I didn't give Emmett an inch of slack on his leash, I made him pee on the tree closest to the door (he normally likes to mark the live oak down by the street).
For the next few days, I was hyper alert and jumped at every noise I heard. . . but by the time the weekend came along my worry had gone and Emmett was again enjoying all 15 feet of his leash.
All the fear and worry came rushing back in what seemed like the scariest 5 seconds of my life since bringing Emmett home from Savannah. . . Emmett and I were curled up on the sofa watching prime time tv when Emmett started doing his "I gotta pee" wiggle, so on went the leash and out the front door we went. I hadn't even closed the front door all the way when Emmett stopped dead in his tracks and all I could hear was this horrible deep growling coming from behind a tree about 10 feet away. The lighting on my street sucks, so with just my porch light on I couldn't see a darn thing, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I yanked Emmett back into the house before he even could even lift his leg. Thank goodness he wears a harness. I couldn't actually see the other dog, but I feel safe in assuming that it was the pit I saw last week, the growl was just so deep that I don't know what other kind of dog could have made it.
So I spent the rest of the evening peeking out the windows. Then I dreamt about wild animals over taking my yard trying to get at Emmett and Elsie. I woke up around 3, and couldn't get back to sleep. If a a large dog (especially one with the mouth the size of a pitbull) were to grab Emmett up there would be no Emmett anymore, and that thought terrifies me beyond belief. So when Emmett woke up around 5 am and was ready to go do his thing I wasn't really sure what to do. I pulled out my huge Mag flashlight and did a quick sweep of the yard and street, then I shoved my cell phone in one pocket, a can of mace in my other pocket and headed out the door with Emmett's leash in one hand (no slack) and my Mag in the other (two reasons for the Mag, light in the eyes might distract and it weighs about 5 or 6 pounds, so it could be used to protection if needed). Emmett was confused on why I made him pee right next to the porch, but I'd rather have a confused chihuahua than a . . . I don't even want to think about it. . .
I'll be completely honest and tell you that I do not like pitbulls. They make me extremely uncomfortable, and it doesn't help that about 50% to 75% of the dogs in my neighborhood a pit or mixed with pit. One of my best friend has two of them and she will swear up and down that they are the sweetest dogs known to man and she it completely at ease when her 3 year old and 6 month old are climbing all over them. But you know who else generally claims that their pitbulls were the sweetest dogs in the world - the mother or aunt on the local news after their pitbull ripped off their husbands face, or worse, killed a child. . . but that's not what this post is about.
What this post is about is the fact that I am terrified to let my dog pee in my own yard all because someone either let their dog roam, didn't make sure their dog was secure in their yard, or, worse yet, abandoned a large scary dog in a residential neighbor hood.
(I warned you this would turn out to be a long story)