Monday, August 16, 2010

Twilight Zone Meets Animal Planet

You know those people that "stuff" happens to all the time?  Where they start telling stories and you think, "They have to be kidding me," because it's absurd? 

Yeah, I'm one of those people.

This post is going to kick off a series of baffling occurrences I've experienced that leave my friends and family and complete strangers scratching their heads, raising eyebrows and dropping jaws.  There are no deeper messages here, no reflections on life or gooshey sentiments to be found... Nope - this is pure entertainment. 

On Friday after dinner, we decided to pile into the van and go scout out some land tracts we're interested in around here.  We mapped out a route and got started, armed with sippy cups and a giant container of Goldfish crackers to keep the kids happy while we dragged them from one oddly-shaped patch of trees to another.  When we passed the final lot on our itinerary, which we vetoed because it was a teeny sliver of land in an established subdivision, we found ourselves being forced to continue driving deeper into the neighborhood as we couldn't find a safe place to turn around (and we aren't big on the idea of using people's driveways).  So, we figured we'd just keep going until we reached either a cul-de-sac or a safe enough spot to execute the turn. 

As we drove on, the houses got progressively larger and more stately until we reached the end of the street which contained about 4 incredible mansions with water views... and, incidentally, a turn-around spot.  As we slowed down to appreciate the view of the lake and to navigate the turn, a tan-colored pit bull materialized at the side of the car.  I was driving and it got so close to the vehicle that I couldn't even see it - Justin alerted me to its presence.  It had run right up to the tire on the driver's side and wouldn't move.  I gingerly tried to nudge the car past it, but the dog circled to the front of the van and started barking and snarling at us.

From nowhere another one, this time black, showed up to join in the weirdness.  At this point, both dogs were ferociously barking at us in front of our car.  I thought, "Surely if I inch forward they'll freak out and at least move to the side."  So I did.  Neither dog budged and seemed, in fact, energized by the game of chicken, as they started hopping up and down excitedly, barking - if possible - louder than before.  I stepped on the brake again and looked at Justin who was looking at me, totally confused.  We weren't on anyone's property - why were these dogs so aggressively bothering us?  And why were they so fearless? 

I did the only other thing I could think at the time... I started beeping my horn at them.  No response except more barking and growling.  I honked harder. At this point I was hoping to draw attention from a resident of the street who might be able to call off the hounds... or at least call the police on me.  Nothing.  No lights went on, no curtains fluttered.  Just the continuous barking.

So we rolled down the windows to yell at the dogs which only made them circle from one side of the car to the other, barking now at the window that had opened most recently and we were getting absolutely nowhere.  Finally, in desperation, we grabbed the kids' snack cups of Goldfish and Justin and I alternated chucking handfuls of snack crackers at the beasts which seemed to confuse them just enough for a brief enough time that I could slowly start to inch forward.  So we kept raining Goldfish down on them until I was able to break past them and build up some speed.

As I drove away, slowly since I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, the dogs began chasing the car, barking louder and with even more intensity than before, snapping at the bumper.  I gained speed and all of a sudden, two more black dogs took up the chase with the original two... seemingly appearing out of the shadows like phantoms.  Soon, I was speeding down the road at a dangerous pace and only after a half a mile did the crazed pooches give up.  The came to a halt, shoulder-to-shoulder across the middle of the road and then dissolved into the dusk as we kept driving, more slowly now, out of the neighborhood.

The whole episode lasted maybe 10 minutes but it left us bewildered and a little disturbed.

We weren't trespassing.  We don't look sketchy.  And these dogs came from multiple directions... and the fact that not a single person so much as stirred in the 4 surrounding houses.  Barking, honking, shouting... nothing. 

Needless to say, we're not going to consider houses or land in that neighborhood.  Nor will we be attending any dinner parties in that area anytime soon.

What would you have done? 


Kate said...

Oh my! So crazy AND scary since you had the kiddos too! Quite honestly though, I think maybe I might have just run them over. Clearly their owner(s) didn't care much about them....

blunoz said...

That's totally bizarre. Not sure what else you could have done other than call the police from your cell phone. Is it legal for dogs like that to be unrestrained?

Natalie said...

Ugh! It's like the story of Cujo on steroids! That is SO scary - thank God for goldfish (and that's not the first time I've said that!)


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