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.