Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Behold The Power of Catecholamines...

Had a rather scary incident this morning while getting the kids to the bus stop. Since it's spring, and the Harley now lives in the garage, the giant Gaia-hating gas-guzzling Ram-o-Doom lives outside. I opened the garage door, unlocked the truck with the remote, and gathered up my stuff while the kids got themselves into the truck.

Except that BabyGirl G. was "attacked" by a stray dog.

Now, I put the word "attacked" in quotes for a reason - he just came up to her and sniffed a bit and kind of jumped up a bit. There was no biting, growling, or other aggressive behavior that I could see. But for a brief second, I heard my daughter scream, and looked out to see a large dog jumping up on her.

Time really does slow down in these situations, and you most certainly get tunnel vision.

I grabbed the metal shovel that's used to clear ice and sprinted out of the garage screaming like a man on fire. I couldn't tell exactly what was going on, and could only hear my daughter's screams echoing in my head like the warning klaxxons on Star Trek. "RED ALERT!" "RED ALERT!" There's an animal attacking my child.

I went into condition red.

Fortunately my screaming scared the dog off, and the shovel was not needed (either for hitting or burying...). Talking to BabyGirl G. while we waited for the bus, she told me that he was just sniffing her and licking her a bit, and that he came around the side of the truck and startled her, not that he had hurt or actually scared her.

Sometimes it's good to test the fight-or-flight reflex. I now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I won't freeze in a critical situation. My first instinct is to act, to act quickly, and to focus on the (perceived) threat first while simultaneously assessing the situation. While I'd like to think I looked a lot like Clint Eastwood in "In The Line Of Fire", I have a feeling to passers-by I looked more like Tim Allen falling off the roof in "Home Improvement"...

But I got the job done: My little girl was safe, saved by her daddy. While the epinephrine wears off, I'm going to bask in the glow of rescuing my little princess from the jaws of the big bad wolf. Even if the wolf was neither bad, nor actually a wolf.

It's not every day you get to save your princess, and I'm going to cherish this moment...

That is all.


Christina RN LMT said...

Good for you, Daddy to the rescue!

You might want to teach your kids what to do when strange dogs approach, though (assuming you haven't done so already). And make sure you know canine body language and behavior; could save you a lot of hassle, not to mention adrenaline! ;)

Tim Allen? Did you make those "man-grunts" while driving your kids to the bus stop? You should have!

TOTWTYTR said...

Glad there was no danger or injury.

Just a reminder that in a few years she'll be dating and no matter how tempting it is, you can not repeat this behavior with her boyfriends.

Well, at least not in front of witnesses. ;)

Jay G said...


That's an excellent suggestion. We've done basic "strange animal" safety, i.e. you approach and talk to the animal's human (hooman for those who speak lolcat).

And yes, I was doing the grunts (Rrr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r!) all the way to work this morning... ;)


Oh, it wouldn't be a shovel.

Think bayonet...

Paul, Dammit! said...

Super-cool use of biochem geek talk in the title! I always loved the enzyme 'catecholamine oxidase,' which is the one that puts things in motion- sort of like a motivational fire-axing at a croquet match.

In the meanwhile, it's certainly a good thing that you got to know yourself a little better, and that your little one is OK.

Mikee said...

Had a similar occurrence almost 12 years ago at a Baltimore park where people unleashed their animals to run loose. My only regret is that I did not file charges against the owners, who went on to continue their douchebaggery.

If you can find the owner, have a little talk. Leave the shovel at home. Emphasize that you would hate for the dog to get lost forever should it wander untended. Keep a leash handy, and take it to the pound next time.

Asphyxiated Emancipation said...

Good on ya, man. That rocks.