Wherein fears from age 7 come flooding back

by Katie on September 14, 2011

Roughly two decades ago, my mom’s cousin had this poodle. Not just any poodle. This poodle was probably close to two decades old herself, was blind, deaf and had so many other ailments and handicaps I couldn’t even begin to recount them all.

And I thought that poodle was the scariest thing I had come across in all my years (although they were few at the time). I was terrified of that thing. No one could figure out why (see above description of the poodle, not to mention half her teeth had fallen out as well), but I was. I wouldn’t hardly enter their house if I knew that poodle had free roam inside and could sneak up on me any minute.

That poodle started all of my fears of/general dislike for small dogs. I’ve never liked them. And it all started with the Helen Keller poodle.

Yesterday, all my fears from so many years ago came flooding back.

I had headed out from home on a run to my in-laws house, exactly six miles away, to pick up my hay truck to use for the week. (Yes, I could have driven, but it was a convenient day for a long run, so off I went.)

Just past mile one, I was running on one of our field roads, which has our cotton field on one side, and a few houses on the other, jamming to whatever I had going on the ol’ iPod. Minding my own business, that’s for sure.

When all of a sudden, I hear this crazed, high-pitched, yap-barking. I turn to see a toy poodle bolting out of an open front door of one of the houses.

Now, I’ve had run-ins with dogs while out running before. Typically, they just want to give you a little “warning” and check you out, then they lose interest. So I ignored the poodle. Until it got right on my heels and started trying to snip at them. Not cool.

So, I took off. Sprinting. Trying to out-run a poodle. Eventually, somewhere around a full quarter-mile, I decided I would not be able to continue sprinting from this dog forever, but it was right on my heels, growling, still yap-barking, and reaching with its tiny little teeth for my Achilles’ tendon. Without any relief in sight (a cotton field on one side, an irrigation ditch and three-strand barbed-wire fence on the other), I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

Then, I saw it. My answer to safety.

A dumpster.

Let me tell you, I made the term “dumpster dive” proud.

I lept up, hoisted a leg over, and somehow managed to keep the rest of my body balanced on the side of the dumpster. All the while, trying not to look down to see what I was dangling over.

Then the standoff began:  me, clinging for dear life to the side of a dumpster; the poodle, as fierce as ever on the other side, gnashing its teeth with every yap-bark.

During this standoff, I realized a knot the size of Texas had already started forming on my shin, as a result of my dumpster dive.

Eventually, the poodle began to back down, and took a few steps backward, yet still letting me know who was boss. I felt comfortable enough to release my post on the dumpster, since the poodle was on the other side. Soon enough, a car pulled down the road. A car that knew the poodle. The car began to slow as it approached the poodle, and I saw my chance…

Off I went! Running limping into the sunrise.

No poodles in sight.

I always knew I hated them.

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