That Tail-Waggin’ Dog May Not Be So Friendly

On a recent daily stroll along the street, I did what has become a ritual of greeting and shooting pix of dogs, cats, birds, pigs and other pets of fellow hikers. I post many on this old guy blog.

One large bulldog (not dog in photo) had on an interesting collar, so I leaned down to shoot. First, to show I was friendly, I reached out to pet his head. In an instant, my hand was punctured by teeth in his large snapped-shut jaw. The result was a golf ball-sized, bloody hole on the back of my hand. It required an ambulance ride, rabies and tetanus shots, emergency hospital visit and many stitches.

During several painful, bandaged hand weeks thereafter, I stayed away from all dogs. However, as I was resting on a bench several days ago, this little one suddenly approached and put his paws on my knee.

As I quickly and fearfully snapped this photo, I asked why the dog wasn’t on a leash. The owner replied, “He’s very friendly.” I wish the big bulldog had felt the same. Simple lesson: Don’t pet a strange dog, especially a large one with enormous sharp teeth.

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