Friday, August 04, 2006


I remember getting bit by a dog...

It was the summer of 1985, somewhere in eastern Nebraska. I was selling books with the Southwestern Book Company, based in Nashville, Tennessee. I won't even get into the psychological brainwashing you have to allow in order to be successful at door-to-door sales. I just want to tell this one story.

It was my day to ride with our sales manager, to follow her around and see how it's done. She had a car, so she was selling out in the country, driving to farmhouses to show them books. Linda was so good at the job, she sold books at almost every house we stopped at. I was in awe. We pulled into another farm house, and as I got out of the car a big farm dog loped towards me. He looked friendly compared to some we'd seen, so I was able to push away my normal fear of strange dogs (I had been terrorized by a neighbor's dog when I was a child, and I had a healthy respect for dogs I'd never met). I reached out to pet him, and he bit my wrist, quite hard. I turned away from him slightly, and as he released his grip on my wrist, his teeth snagged my back pocket, ripping through my pants and cutting my skin a bit.

My reaction was swift and immediate. "BAD DOG!! Go lie down!!!" He hunkered down in shame and ran over to the corner of the house and curled up. I couldn't believe it. If I had tried to run, that dog would have been all over me, but somewhere in my bookseller-brainwashed-I-can-solve-every-problem brain, I found the right thing to do.

It turns out nobody was home at that farm, so we put a couple of band-aids on my wrist and headed to the next one. You don't stop selling books for a little thing like a dog bite.

9 comments:

delynne said...

OUCH! I got bit by a German shepherd when I was 12 (he chased me on my bike and bit my ankle) and I have this terrible, irrational phobia of any dog that I couldn't kick to death.

Oz sold encyclopedias for a brief career - I've always been amazed by that!

Spoke said...

In North Vancouver, I rode my trusty mountain bike to work at my job in a restaurant. My short cut took me through The Squamish Nation's reservation. Many stray dogs. I kept a metal rod on the bike in a holder, like a lance, and used it often to pursuade the dogs to let me alone.

My Own Lamp Post said...

So this is my dog bite story; My dad picked up the milk at local farms to take to Calgary and I loved going with him. I loved animals and one farm had a dog. I went to pet it and then I remember being on the ladder on the side of the milk tank crying. Then I remember my dad having to check my hiny where the dog bit me. I don't remember him kicking the snot out of the dog but apparently he did. Stupid dog!

Commenter said...

My dog bite story was from a stupid little rat dog an ex wife of a second cousin got for something when I was like... 7. I remember saying that a bite from a little dog like that couldn't possibly hurt. As we were leaving, I stuck my finger in it's little carrier to pet it, and it bit me. I was right, it didn't hurt.

What a crappy little dog. It was ugly too.

Shari

Delynne said...

can you send me your email sometime? delynnel@yahoo.com

i'd love to talk to you about stuff. like, the whole N.A. affluence thing you mentioned; how does one avoid that when, say, building a house? should one even build a house? (-:

papa herman said...

(i do not know if you have seen the book or tv show but...) I think your reaction to this dog is one that "The Dog Whisperer" would approve of!

Kim said...

I heard you and Spoke wrote a comment to CKUA, and that it was read on the radio, what were you guys saying? (I feel like from the comment like I have a group of spies set on you on your every move, but it was just a passing comment on a blog I read.

Paula said...

Yeah, Spoke wrote in about a song that defines summer for him, and he wrote about how his brother and he used to stand outside the house on a cool summer's evening listening to their mom listen to the Rolling Stones. We meant to listen to hear them mention it on the radio, but we went on a motorbike ride instead. Oh well!

Kim said...

Well, motorbike rides are nothing to sniff at either...not that I would know....