Fight, flight, or freeze and get eaten?

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As it turns out, I don’t have fight or flight instincts. I have more of a “freeze and get eaten” type of instinct. Something has got to be done about this city’s loose dog population. I’ve been trying to be more active so I try to take a walk several days a week.

Almost every day I’ve been chased by a loose dog while I’m walking on public property – sidewalks when available, and the rest of the time, on the street. When it’s a small dog it doesn’t really phase me. I just keep walking because I can outrun the small dogs. Well, I probably can’t outrun them, but even if I’m bitten by the small dog, I’m not going to be killed by it, unless it has rabies, and even then, it’s a minuscule chance, compared to being attacked by a large dog.

However, several times it has been large dogs. Some are loose in their own yards and merely bark as I walk by, but they don’t leave their yards. Some, are not in their own yards and start walking or running after me. One such incident happened as I was walking past the park. I didn’t see the dog at first because it was behind a car. I actually thought it belonged to whoever owned that car. So I crossed the street and attempted to keep walking but the dog started chasing me while barking and growling.

The owner eventually saw what was happening and stood in their doorway just calling the dog’s name instead of trying to catch the dog. So it just stayed there barking and snarling at me, and I just stood there crying, sure I was about to get eaten. In fact, I was so terrified that an alert popped up on my fitness watch, warning me that my heartrate was at a dangerous level.

This situation isn’t just dangerous for pedestrians. It is also dangerous for the animal. Oklahoma is an open carry state, no license required. You would think if people loved their dogs like they say they do, they would make every effort possible to keep them contained.

Over the last month, I have been chased by one rooster, divebombed by a blue jay, followed by two men (although animal control probably can’t do anything about that), followed by two cats, and chased by so many dogs that I can’t even count them all.

There are city statutes regarding dogs running loose, but if the police write tickets, and the city doesn’t enforce payment of said tickets, nothing is going to change. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck in my car because of loose dogs on my own property. The situation is out of hand and something must be done.

If you’d like to share your own stories of being chased and/or bitten by loose dogs, send them to kathleen@press-leader.com or message me on Facebook at Frederick Press-Leader. I plan to attend a city council meeting to discuss the situation. You can share your story anonymously, just be sure to let me know that you want to remain anonymous in your message.

We should not be forced to stay in our houses because other people aren’t forced to be responsible dog owners.

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