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Today I feared for my safety and pulled my gun - lessons learned

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by dukeofurl, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. dukeofurl

    dukeofurl Well-Known Member

    Let me open this story with a few curse words: GOD ????ING DAMNIT!

    Thats better. Now this is not the story where 3 bad guys ambush me while I'm pumping gas. That seems to be the usual self defense scenario that is practiced.

    I went out with the guys - met them at the bar at Chilis. We took Kill Bill Volume 2 over to a friends place and watched it over a 6 pack of Amber Bock.

    Went to dennys for a late night breakfast. I left there a bit after 5AM.

    ????, I've got a semi-flat tire. I'll fix it when I get home which isnt too far away.

    I get home and I'm grabbing all my stuff, cellphone, et al. I open the door and the first thing that happens is I see this furry looking creature getting ready to stroll up to my door. I slam the door shut and instinctively grab my 45 I keep in the glovebox. I cant take it once around the block - because I might make it halfway there and with my luck the damn tire would go completely flat.

    Now, some situational awareness here - Its 5:30 AM. I'm in my car in my driveway holding a 45 that is cocked, unlocked, and unchambered. My first order of business: LOAD THE GODDAMN GUN! Many people seem to underestimate that this part is the first thing that comes to mind. Its not as fast as most people who carry without a round chambered make it to be.

    So I'm watching this dog stroll around my car several times, walk between the other cars in the driveway and right up to my front door. ????ing hell.

    I do some fast thinking: This dog could be rabid, could be infected with some other horrible human disease, or could just be a stray walking around. Seeing that I'm a gun owner and thus hope for the best, plan for the worst - I stuck the Para between the gearshift and my front seat as I reached for my phone.

    "911 - what is your emergency?"
    "Is animal control emergency?"
    "No, call them at this number"

    "Hi this is animal control! We're not open right now! If this is an emergency call 911."

    "911 - what is your emergency?"
    "Listen, I dont think this is too high on your priority list but there's a dog thats circling my car and the outside of my residence. I dont want to get out of my car in fear of bodily injury/rabies/etc... and I do have a gun in the glove compartment. I want to get inside my home but if this dog takes a run at me, I'm gonna have to drop him.
    "Can you tell what kind of dog it is?"
    "Its 5:30AM and my headlights only go one way - thats kinda hard right now."
    "Ok, sit tight and we'll send an officer out. It may be a few minutes.
    "Well thats easy for you to say, you dont need to go to the bathroom!"

    So that was 5:27AM. I roll down the window and try to listen for movement. I hear the pitter-patter of paws on asphalt and look in my rearview mirror to see that the dog is making another round.

    At this point I realize I'm a ????ing wuss. I look at my watch. 5:45AM. I wonder how long it would take for the county to send ANYBODY out if I call back and say "No need for service, I just shot the little furry bastard" - and then deal with the deluge of "shots fired" calls. Too bad discharging a firearm in city limits is a municipal offense, otherwise I'd take matters into my own hands.

    So its now 5:55AM. Completley pitch dark out and my view of the front door is obscured by bushes and I'm basically walking blindly. I decide to leave the headlights on and take the para to see if I can make my way IN the house and away from the possible threat. I sweep inbetween the cars, nothing. In front of the cars, nothing. My para is in my strong hand with my weak hand holding my keys.

    I manage to evade the elusive cannine thus far. I pie the corner to the right and walk up to my front door.

    Pitch ????ing black. Damn. The para is at the ready. I walk up and see nothing. I walk to the front door - and I feel a bump. The dog is right between my legs. he darted out of the way and I made my way to the front door. I'm fumbling with my keys at this point. Some of the lights from the car bounced off the wall of the house so I could see the animals eyes about 5 feet away from me as my back is against the wall.

    My Para is leveled at the 2 glowing green orbs. Oh I wish I had night sights, that would have made pointing a LOT easier. I'm staring at the dog and he's staring at me. My heart is in my throat and I said to myself - If this thing takes one step towards me, permanent hearing loss and city ordinances be dammed; I'm going to shoot this mother????er. What seemed like hours only took seconds. The dog turned his head and walked away. I fumbled with my keys and got into the house.

    At this point a family member wakes up and he's seeing me close the door while I'm weilding a 45 at almost 6 in the morning. I tell him to grab my Benelli 12 gauge shotgun out of the closet and when the cops show up to let me know.

    I pay a well overdue visit to the bathroom. Naturally my cell phone rings while I'm in there. Its animal control. Note: Time from initial call to callback is approximately 30 minutes.

    I find out they do not respond to these calls at 6AM and that they have 2 officers covering a municipal area of 1,018 square miles at 6AM. Yay for municipal spending!

    They tell me that since I made it inside I'm no longer on their priority list. Call back at 7AM, one hour for those of us who werent watching the clock - if the dog comes back.

    Lessons learned:

    Night sights. HAVE THEM.
    Flashlights. HAVE THEM TOO!
    Cell phones are great.
    Have a plan.
    Have a backup plan.
    Keep the damn gun loaded.
  2. techmike

    techmike Well-Known Member

    Good lessons learned! From your post I'm not sure why you reacted the way you did....seems a bit much for a stray dog. If it were a MZB circling your car it would be different.
  3. dukeofurl

    dukeofurl Well-Known Member

    Its one of those things - dog, wolf, who knows.

    I dont know where you come from but possibly rabid animals are a threat to my way of life. The phrase "Once bitten, twice shy" has to have come from somewhere.
  4. juggler

    juggler Well-Known Member

    You're not a dog person, are you? Not to make light of your phobia, I have friends who aren't fond of animals... they just don't come over my house often (2 dogs, 2 cats and a horse) :D

    I like the fact that you learned from the experience. Here are a couple of thoughts, though.

    A rabid dog wouldn't stroll anywhere...stagger, charge or run away but not stroll.
    This is the way my dogs (a Lab and Lab/golden mix) say "Pet me!" If the dog were aggressive or rabid he would've gone for your throat or ankles, not your family jewels. Domesticated dogs also like to do the crotch sniff, as many can testify to.

    I get the idea that you don't care for, or know much about animals. That's cool........ like I said, I have friends who aren't animal lovers and they are fine people, even if their attitude is confusing to me. I can't imagine never having a furry companion......always have and always will, to the best of my ability to care for them.

    I'd say if you think this has a chance of happening again you might want to research what an aggressive posture in an animal looks like. Ears back, teeth bared, tail between the legs (submissive, but don't corner them) etc.

    No need to shoot Snoopy if he's just being friendly.

    Yes, I know, he shouldn't be out loose scaring people. Call animal control back at 7 and have them pick him up. No loss of hearing, no city ordinances to worry about and no mess to clean up.
  5. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    Does your car have a horn? :scrutiny:
  6. dukeofurl

    dukeofurl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the advice.

    It was dark and I really couldnt tell what was, next time I'll have a flashlight. For me it was pretty much a business decision - 50 cent hollowpoint and $75 fine or $300 ER bill + shots.

    I think if I used the horn at 5:30 AM my neighbors would shoot ME.
  7. cpileri

    cpileri Well-Known Member

    roll down window just enough to...

    pepper spray. seriously, i carry a Fox Labs for jjust the situation you described. DOnt want to kill the bugger, just run him off somewhere to decontaminate his nose/eyes.
  8. MP5

    MP5 Well-Known Member

    I bought some Mace for just that sort of circumstance (and for aggressive two-legged critters since I don't CCW yet). Fortunately, I'm good with animals and haven't had any nasty confrontations with dogs that I couldn't calmly back away from without weapon use. I've come uncomfortably close, though.

    A reminder to dog owners: please be safe and courteous and leave your dogs locked in your house or yard to avoid the dog injuring a kid or neighbor's pet, or an adult blasting your pet with OC or bullets. Also, joggers/walkers like me don't enjoy over-friendly dogs jumping all over us and getting slobber and mud on our clothes :)
  9. BeLikeTrey

    BeLikeTrey Guest

    Tough situation I suppose..

    Knowing me and every dog is a "puppy", i'd have probably been playing with him. (he'd probably be currently residing with me as well.) Dogs around my house know how to spell sucker: T R E Y. sorry your morning sucked ;) All in all- good lessons learned and luckily not in a more serious way or with bad consequences.
  10. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Well-Known Member

    ...What Jiggler said...

    From your story the dogs actions were not threatening and I'm glad you didn't overreact and shoot it. You would've busted a cap in somebodys pet.

    I was working in my garage the other day and this huge black dog walks in (at least 75-100 lbs)...scared the crap out of me initially - until I saw her 'body language' - tail wagging, tongue out, ears up.

    I put my hand down for her to check out and she came over with her tail between her legs, ears down.

    Wound up giving her several dog bones and now we're best buddies. Turns out she's a neighbors dog from way down the street...she has a collar but no ID on her. But at least once a week now she'll stop by if I'm in the garage to say 'hello'.

    Also, it's not unusual where I live for people to be waking up at 5 a.m. and let their dogs out before they go to work ;)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2004
  11. Browns Fan

    Browns Fan Well-Known Member

    "I feel a bump. The dog is right between my legs."

    I think at this point I woulda lost all bowel/bladder control! :uhoh:
  12. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Well-Known Member

    Dude, you need to take a pill. Two words come to mind: mountain and mole-hill.

    And go easy on the caffeine. The decaffeinated brands taste just as good.
  13. DragonFire

    DragonFire Well-Known Member

    If a $75 fine or the fact you'd annoy the neighbors factored into your decision to shoot or not, then this wasn't a situation where you should have pulled your gun.

    If you're really in fear for your safety, wouldn't being halfway around the block be better than staying where you feel you're in danger?

    I can understanding being afraid of a strange dog in your yard, but I still think its a stretch to say you did right by drawing your gun.
  14. techmike

    techmike Well-Known Member

    If the situation was serious enough to warrent you drawing a pistol and dialing 911 I would think waking the neighbors would be the least of your concerns.

    I live in Rural Kentucky and rabid animals can be a problem here as well as packs of feral dogs and so called coy-dogs. I have killed agressive feral dogs, but it still sounds to me like you overreacted.

    That is sooo wrong.:evil:
  15. MP5

    MP5 Well-Known Member

    A vicious or rabid dog is no joke. Plenty of dogs can tear a man apart with ease if they're in the mood. OTOH, always walking around with a bunch of weapons, discussing tactics on message boards :) , and half expecting bad guys or rabid dogs to pop out at any moment might put some folks unnecessarily on edge. If your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. I.e., stay alert and safe, but don't succumb to paranoia or an itchy trigger finger.

    (And remember that many, if not most, pet owners consider their animals to be beloved family members. Please don't be in a big hurry to blast someone's loved one.)
  16. SunBear

    SunBear member

    A good bright flashlight ( a SureFire perhaps) would render you invisible to the critter, of any type.

    If people cared for their pets they wouldn't "let their dogs out" to: (1) p!$$ and $()!+ in other people's yards, (2) strew their garbage for blocks, (3) cause wrecks as motorists swerve to avoid them, and (4) to be run over andmangled or killed.

    They are not good neighbors nor do they care at all about their "pets" so probably wouldn't mind if you split Fidos head with a shovel. Most places have a leash law. I care about my pets. T hey do not roam uncontrolled. Happy trails.
  17. srschick

    srschick Well-Known Member

    Can you say small tactical flashlight? (even a cheap Surefire G2 Nitro)
    Even two? (one for the pocket, one for the glovebox)

    I knew you could!
  18. MP5

    MP5 Well-Known Member

    AFAIK, dogs rely more on their keen senses of smell and hearing than their sight.
  19. PzGren

    PzGren Well-Known Member

    I am cautious around dogs that I do not know. I am a dog person and get along well with them but there are people that bring out the worst in any dog, it's fear. The smell of fear and the adrenaline outpour of an attacker can not easily be distinguished by most dogs.

    Once a dog attacks, it is pretty hard to defend yourself with a handgun in close quarters, mastiff blood can take quite a bit of pain unnoticed in a fight. My Doberman is so lightning fast, I do not see him in the dark, when he jumps around playfully.

    I think, your neighbors would be as much disturbed by a gun shot as by a horn, but I would have just rolled the window down, in your case, and talked to the furry little fellow to read his intentions.

    Well, you made it safely to the bathroom and learned something, will also get nightsights. Now which ones will you choose, Ameriglos, Mepros,...?

    A Surefire is a good choice in any case.
  20. Backwoods

    Backwoods Well-Known Member

    The last stray dog I had to deal with was also an early morning encounter.

    I got off work early and upon arriving home, was just getting out of the car when a very large Rottweiller came trotting around the side of the house. We're talking 125 lbs or better of big, black, mean looking dog, the kind that makes you say "Damn, S.O.B.,M.F.!" while wrapping your hand around the grip of your 1911A1. Which was what I did.

    The dog stopped and looked right at me and I took the opportunity to yell "get out of here!", loudly and as sternly as I could manage. That big damn dog CRINGED like a kid caught in the cookie jar, looking scared, embarassed and ashamed all at the same time. That told me all I needed to know and I called him over to me. That dog was the nicest, friendliest dog you could imagine.

    Turned out that he belonged up the street at the garage where I get most of my auto repair work done. They were really happy to get him back unharmed as a well traveled State Route runs right past thier business, lots of car and truck traffic.

    Don in Ohio

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