Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Fang In the Neck or...

Somethings got ahold of me and it won't let go.

 Etta James was singing about love.  Me I'm thinking about a story. 

Sometimes the strangest things drive a story and in this case it's a healthy dose of Etta James.  One of my characters just loves her.  So I was listening to her music as I wrote a scene. 

That's how my day began.  I wrote the first lines of this post and the story was going well too.  Everything was well and then I decided to take my dog for a walk.   

I was attacked by a large dog on that walk.  Although maybe attacked is not quite the right word as he only bit me once and let go.  Although from the look of my leg, once was more than enough.  But now, when I look at those lyrics they were almost prophetic except that the dog that bit me - did let go. 

How could I end up bitten by a dog?  I asked myself the same.  In all the years I've walked a dog, adding up to two dogs over twenty years, I've never been bitten.  So the thought that it could happen, wasn't on my radar. 

I headed out on one of our lovely walks along the back easement that borders the city.  The path that looks like you've headed out to the country when you haven't.  Fortunately, the weather had cooled off and I was wearing jeans and not shorts - that was what saved me from stitches.  It was about a mile away from home when it happened.  Bad fencing and an enraged dog, more than likely pissed that there was another dog in his vicinity, broke through the fence and charged us. 

It was one of those I can't believe this happened moments.  One minute I had my dog by the harness and was hurrying past the raging dog and the next the dog was over the fence and had his teeth sunk into my leg.  I think I may have screamed at him or maybe I just screamed.  Either way he let go, still barking and growling.  I didn't know if he was going to attack twice or let me back out of the vicinity.  With a dog snarling at you that is close to as big as you are, this is a concern.

I ended up limping home that day with furtive glances over my shoulder for the reappearance of the newly named, Cujo.  It was a bad ending to a walk that reminded me that nothing in life is for sure.  I never expected to spend the rest of the day nursing a dog bite.  Balancing my laptop on my lap with my bandaged leg propped up wasn't quite how I anticipated finishing a few more scenes.
Kind of like the world I build for my characters, nothing is for sure.   I'm beginning to have empathy for them, the characters.  Made me think of a whole lot of things - like vampire lovers and all those other lovely fictional characters.  Let me tell you, a fang in your calf doesn't feel too good.  A fang in your neck - nope, not even in fiction.  Maybe I'll give them a little more consideration the next time I get them into a jam.  And maybe not.  After all, it is fiction.

Me, I'd just like to know that dog is safely fenced the next time I walk by.  Which, may not be for quite a long time.