Of course, going out walking alone can yield some surprises--not all of them welcome. I've had the occasion yucky guy cruise past me a few more times than was welcome. But the thing that shakes me up most is when I encounter a dog on the loose. (not strays, I'll get to them later, but dogs who are "protecting" their turf) I'm somewhat leery of dogs I don't know, which goes back to when I was 5 and terrorized by the little old neighbor lady's little old shaggy dog who daily turned into a Hound of Hell when I had to walk past her place on the way from the bus stop to my house. That dog never bit me--but my uncle's pet dog did, on the face, when I kissed him (hey, I was a spastic kid--I don't blame him now). So, if a dog comes up snarling, I break out in an instant sweat, my mouth goes dry...yeah, it's not pretty, especially if he really means business.
Fortunately, where I walk now, the pet owners are responsible.
However. I still encounter the occasional stray. Which is the reason for today's post. Last Saturday, I ran into a large black lab, who I thought had just come down his own driveway to me, so I spoke to him in the hopes of averting a snarl-coldsweat/bark-drymouth & racingheart confrontation. And he followed me. And followed me. I never did pet him. But he alternately tailed me and ran ahead, of course crossing the road and walking right in front of traffic (earning me lots of glares from drivers who assumed I was irresponsible and not leashing my dog). Which made me wonder--why do strays follow me? It's happened to me several times over the years, and some have even followed me home, only to be penned into my backyard until Animal Control could come pick them up. I've been asked days later around town why I let my dog run in the street when we walk. LOL. (and I laugh now, but it's quite embarrassing to me when it happens, because if I had a dog, it'd be leashed, I assure you, and it would never, ever be allowed to run loose and possibly terrorize small, timid girls). I can't possibly have that "smell" of a dog lover. I like them, but we don't have one. So the only thing I can guess is, I must smell like food--or someone who has food to give.
So now I've got yet another "A-lias". I'm April and Autumn, my nephew called me Arpl when he was small, my favorite 2-year-old calls me Apple...and now I'm a stray's Alpo.