As a reporter, I cover the news. If something bad happens, it's me or one of my colleagues out there finding out what happened and bringing the information back to the public. So finding myself suddenly becoming news last week was a decided change of pace.
Last Friday, I was walking my dog, Dolly, when we ran into two pit bulls.
It was not a good situation. We were in the middle of a field with no one in sight. Dolly, leashed, immediately started barking at the unleashed dogs. I was holding Dolly to keep her from getting into it with the pit bulls. At 30ish pounds, she is cute, fluffy and black, but she isn't light and standing there with her in my arms, I had no idea how I was going to get us out of this situation. The dogs started snapping at Dolly, jumping at me, and looking around there didn't seem to be a good way out, or any way at all.
That was when I started screaming. It has always seemed melodramatic in movies when people do that, but it turns out, it's the most natural thing in the world. When something is bad enough,when a situation is dire enough, you don't have to try,. The terror is jolting through your body and you don't even realize that shriek that Janet Leigh, circa "Psycho" would be proud of, is coming from you.Trapped as I was that was the only thing I had.
And even as I realized I was the one screaming, it occurred to me it might not do any good. It was possible no one would hear me, that no one would come.
And that was when it happened, the amazing thing. Four guys stopped their trucks in the middle of the street and came running across the field to help.
Between the four of them, they pulled the dogs off of Dolly (still in my arms despite some energetic kicking that left me scratched and bruised - she was sure she could take them, though I still have my doubts) and held them so I get out of the field and get Dolly away.
If they hadn't, I don't like to think what would have happened, how much worse things might have gotten.
They were strangers and I didn't even have the sense to get their names when I said thank you. Because, you see, they did stop. They ran up and grabbed the dogs and it all ended some scratches for me and a couple of bites on the rump for Dolly.
There are a lo of different things to think about after last week's attacks - about responsibility and response and how animals are raised, how they are bred and how they are treated. Normally, if I were outside of it all, I'd be pondering these things, but in this case I'm stuck on something a bit more prosaic. People are remarkable creatures.They didn't have to stop.
Point being, people are amazing. It's easy to forget that in this business where we so often see the worst of mankind, the darkest things we humans are capable of. And then you find yourself a part of the story, and complete strangers don't simply stop to help, they come running to your rescue.
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