Today I Was Intimately Sniffed By Pit Bulls

It’s true.

I was minding my own business, whistling a tune while heading to the mailbox to send a movie back to Netflix, when I spied two pit bulls in the grassy area in our circle. They were gamboling, after a fashion, and then one noticed me and stopped in its tracks. It did its best to catch my eye, which it did; I kept walking, nonchalantly, as it loped toward me. I was wearing a light sweater but suddenly felt very, very cold. I stopped and let it come up to me, and it sniffed, and then slowly wandered off.

“He just wanted to sniff you,” a young lady called out; I’d never seen her up close but she lives in the house with the owner of the dogs. “Don’t worry.”

And then the other one came toward me. They just do NOT look friendly, those dogs. Their little beady eyes are not like the eyes of dogs I’ve met in my life, dogs that you know you can trust. These dogs have mean eyes. That sounds irrational, I know; I’ve heard plenty of stories about friendly pit bulls, usually in response to articles reporting horrific events involving the dogs. Something in me just does not trust them.

And this second one came closer– determined, and definitely not as “friendly” as the first one. She called him away, not angrily, and I said “thank you.” And she said “you’re welcome” with a nice, big smile.

It was all so civil, though I could clearly see those animals in my mind’s eye, feasting on my marrow. I could easily picture my defining characteristics strewn across the green like cast off detritus… I remember a few years ago when the homeowner’s association polled us on the circle to see how we felt about letting a neighbor raise pit bulls. There must have been a resounding NO, because all we ever see are those two dogs. I haven’t seen them in months, actually, but this morning I was out early to go to Office Depot and the Post Office, and there they were.

I hope this wasn’t a sign regarding my hopes and dreams for 2011. There are old tales that tell of packs of dogs that come out of the forest at night, wreaking havoc on small villages, and I believe every one of them. Many times I’d been accompanied by dog packs when I came home in the dawn hours from a night of disco-ing. I’d have to walk blocks and blocks from the subway to get to my house, and there would be these dogs following me, sometimes surrounding me. Strange: thousands of people in the surrounding apartment houses, and just me on the street with all those dogs. I would stand there in a sweat and wait until they finished growling and sniffing, and then they would go away into the darkness.

But I survived. I’m still here, and I’ll just have to be careful of the devil dogs out there in the grass. After all, I don’t want them to impact my new year.

Happy 2011 everybody !


14 responses

  1. Most pit bulls are friendly. It all depends on how they were raised. You did a great job telling the story. I felt like I was being sniffed by pit bulls. The hair on the back of my neck prickled.

    I don’t think they were a sign of bad fortune in 2011. If that were the case, wouldn’t they have bitten you? Have a safe and happy New Year.

    • Hi Haley! Thanks : ) Deep down, I know I am going to have a great year. These “portents of doom” are merely warnings to keep both eyes wide open as I forge ahead. Happy 2011 !!

  2. I’m glad you’re okay, Jim. It’s not bad luck for 2011–it’s a sign that the new year is leaving the bad stuff behind.

    And sorry to all pit bull lovers but this breed–the pure bred–is unreliable. One always hears, “oh he was always such a sweet dog” before he bit off grandma’s arm. I’m not buying it. I think it’s time these dogs were outlawed in the U.S. Hasn’t England already done that?

  3. Hmmmmm…..I don’t think they were pit bulls at all. Retrace your steps, reset your view, redo the moment. Happy New Year….

  4. Good story, Jimmy! ad sorry, but Pit Bulls are not to be trusted. I have heard (not urban mythology) too much. You really never know. They have been “fine, so sweet, raised well” until something gets their mojo–and then they have killed pet of my friends and been the cause of horrific human surgeries and manglings and oh God what all else. Really, I know so many dogs and so many people with dogs, but these are the problem dogs, by a huge ass margin. Yes there are others with similar stories, but no breed or mix comes close to the Pit in sudden aggression with bad consequences.

  5. Hmmmm interesting pic to use. Kinda makes you seem like you are against the breed but trying to maintain a even word.

    Not the best pic.

    Pitbull owner

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