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This will be brief as I’m a busy man, no wait I can’t do that as I’m verbose by nature. Just know that the time is now 6:06am and I’m freshly showered from an early Sunday morning jog. Typically I have a rule which is “no running when it’s dark out” even if I wake up way before the sun comes up. Today I changed my mind as I was just too antsy so I grabbed a flashlight and left. I take the flashlight because I don’t want to step on a snake. I’ve never seen one and hopefully that trend continues.
It’s a cool temperature, part of the reason I love this time of day. Not a soul in sight until a random biker comes by and we make small talk partly because we’re two souls in a dark jungle before the lights go on and partly because we have something in common, we’re nuts and wake up stupid early on the day of rest. He leaves and I start passing this junk yard that has a massive junk yard dog…
This dog is huge and very scary. I’m genuinely scared of this dog and every time I run by it runs at me barking like it has never been fed, salivating and filled with angst until its leash stops and its neck snaps back. Today, much to my chagrin and the health of my heart, it was not on the leash and it charged me in the darkness.
You never really know what you’re made of until you’re tested. In the past when people mentioned fight or flight I was always joked I’d be the first out the door in my pristine Nike Air Flights. You wouldn’t have to ask me fight or flight as I’d already be down two flights of stairs or better yet, caught the plane that left a moment ago. Suffice to say this time was different and when I realized this monster wasn’t on the leash something interesting happened.
Instead of acting like prey and running like a scared little $#*#! I instinctively held my ground, let out a thunderous tribal roar filled with fear and insanity. I raised my arm gripping the plastic flashlight as hard as I could. If I had a strong grip pressure, I’m sure the light would have burst. While yelling like a yahoo not to be confused with a shriek, cry or scream I stared the dog in the eyes, held my ground and was waiting for him to passthat magical line in the sand where I’d deliver a death blow between his eyes hopefully smashing his skull and avoiding his big teeth.
I’ve been attacked by a dog before in Bangkok, a few times as a kid and chased all over the world by gangs of them. I know what it feels like to have one of them lash on to your leg and it’s horrific but I digress. So as we stood there him barking at the top of his lungs and me trying to find where my heart went as it clearly was no longer in my chest, he stopped approaching. At this point I stepped forward with my teeth out like some kind of primitive maniac vampire and the owner turned a flashlight on and yelled at the dog.
Totally shaken I continued my run as this location is roughly 1/6th into my tour and realized I was more awake than ever before with adrenaline pumping like I was overdosing on vodka redbull buckets on a Thai beach somewhere with fire dancers, eaters and pranksters dancing in the shadows as I stumble around in vertigo. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to ever underestimate yourself. I’m known as joker and a chiller who at times is pretty intense but nobody would ever describe me as aggressive or macho.
Until you’re tested you’ll never know. Instinctively it’s always fight or flight. I sincerely hope this never happens again because my words can’t convey just how much this shook me up. This junkyard dog is a brute and a Pero Bravo as they say around here. That said, I leave this experience knowing more about myself and with a deeper confidence that regardless of what my mind tells me, when push comes to shove or it’s time to fight tor flight, I’m not scared of a fight if it’s my only option… Had I opted for flight I assure you I’d be writing about “Getting Bitten by a Dog in the Jungles of Costa Rica”.
You’ll never know unless you go my friends, you’ll simply NEVER know…
Tips hat while tap dancing to minimal techno and smiling like the joker.
P.S: On the way home, the dog was on the leash and didn’t even look at me as I passed.