Beware of Dog

My little part of Prague is like a hidden gem. It’s out of the center but close to it, it’s quiet, green, and dotted with places which offer beer to weary travelers. What might be considered drawbacks of my location is that I am in between two hills. One that goes up and one that goes down. Also I have to walk to get anywhere. While some of my friends live (literally) upstairs from a market or a(n again, literal) stone’s throw to a tram stop, I have to walk at least six or seven minutes to get anywhere. I have learned to spin this into a positive direction and look at it as something that has helped me stay fit, heart healthy, and out of motorized scooters and Walmart memes.

The walk to the metro is about twelve minutes. It was during this walk that about a month ago, along a little row of houses across from a nearby cemetery, that I first met the dog. It is a large German shepherd. I also know that he is bad-tempered and that his bark is terrifying. And, while I can’t be certain, I would say that his goal in life is to one day literally scare the shit out of me.

The fence sits on the edge of the sidewalk and because the yard is raised, the dog barked at me the first time from inches away from my face and at a terrible consistency and volume. I made a sound that I will never relate to another human and jumped and reacted in a way that isn’t getting me into war dispatches anytime soon.

The second time he got me I was coming the other direction a few days later. This time he erupted into the left side of my face. I jumped and my heart went into worrying palpitations. I then, admittedly, ran away.

After a week’s détente, the dog struck for the third time. What surprised me this time was that there were people walking in front of me who, naturally, passed the fence before I did. So I thought it was safe. It became clear, though that the dog was singling me out. Not only that, but he hid and camouflaged himself too between bushes and beneath a tree. He’s a shepherd, so he’s black-brown and he’s German, so he’s ruthless and calculating.

The next time, the owner was in the yard and as his dog barked and growled at me it was evident that he had no control over the animal. I glared at the man as I bravely ran down the street in tears. It was undeniable: we sort of looked alike.

I have been trying to figure out the root of the dog’s problem with me. I would gladly talk to him, but he doesn’t speak English and he never stops talking long enough for me to get a word in edgewise. Any words I do get out are not very rational and typically consist of several fucks and something like whthecfallllmajacockfffmom! So we’re not getting anywhere.

As with most things that seem to hate me, I want him to like me. I tried smuggling a dog treat to him, but he barked at me and I dropped it on the sidewalk in my hasty retreat. I tried smiling at him, but that seems to stimulate his blood lust. It must be said that this exact observation was related to me by Melissa Partridge in the third grade. I’ve studied my smiling face for hours in a mirror and I don’t see it. I am adorable. In the end I decided to take a detour for a while and walk around the block so I don’t pass the house. It’s OK, some people think it’s a downside, but it’s more steps. Better for my heart. What am I going to do with these dog biscuits?

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