How do little dogs manage to convince themselves they’re really big dogs? I think you know what I mean … yappy little things that don’t realize they’re not the biggest dog on the block. I had a run-in with such a little dog Tuesday, and I’m only slightly the worse for wear.
I’d ridden my bike north through Neptune and Atlantic beaches, heading north on Seminole road to the spot where it USED to connect through to Hanna park, but now has a big fence and a loop that spits you back out going south on Seminole road. I’ve probably looped that loop several hundred times in the past few years, but Tuesday was … different.
As I came up around the loop, there was an older gentleman walking his toy poodle. I’ve seen lots of people walking their dogs as I ride, and most of them are well behaved. This guy, however … not so much.
See, this toy poodle had a Rottweiler complex. He dreamed big dreams, and one of those was to scare away the 240 pound guy on a bicycle going about 10 miles an hour. Complicating the scenario was the puddle of VERY dirty water left by Monday night’s rain which I really wanted to avoid if I could.
Unfortunately, the man walking the dog didn’t seem to completely grasp the concept of the retractable leash the dog was on.
Doggy charged me. Came hard, teeth bared, snarling, yapping … like he was going to tear off my leg and beat me to death with the bloody stump.
He crossed all the way in front of me, so now I’m on the brakes, between the dog and his walker, with the leash in the way.
You can imagine what’s coming next. Walker starts to try to reel in the leash just as my front tire got to it … pulling the dog right into my wheel. I T-Boned the toy poodle. I went down, into the puddle I was trying to avoid, hands and left knee first, onto the asphalt, thinking “Oh crap, I’ve killed this guys dog.” Doggy … not feeling nearly so confident any longer … runs yelping a classic hurt-dog yelp as far away from me as the leash will allow. And by now, I’m lying on my back in the middle of the road about half in the puddle.
The dog has a nice, black tire mark running up its side where my tire hit him. He seemed to be just fine, and I’m only slightly the worse for wear. Walker was VERY apologetic.
The bike was OK too … I got back on and rode home … got a shower and cleaned off my knee, which is what they would call in the medical profession (I think) a minor abrasion.
I hope that some of the Rottweiler complex has been knocked out of the poodle by the incident. The only thing I’ve learned is to dismount and wait for people walking a toy poodle to pass. As much as I ride, accidents are bound to occur. I’ve been bumped by a couple of cars, which were often due as much to my impatience as anything, and have endured the slings and arrows of smoking drivers who seem to be annoyed just because I’m getting some exercise and it might make them look bad.
So, sorry about that, Mr. Toy Poodle. But next time keep those big-dog dreams tucked inside that walnut-sized brain.
You might live longer.