Dogs are a part of daily life in Taiwan. Initially, I would walk across the street and keep a watchful eye on all of the canines we came across. Quickly, we began to realize that for the most part, the dogs are really scared of us. People walk around with sticks in their hands and rocks in their pockets. If a dog gets too close, they are reminded why they stay away from humans. The only time I have had to utilize the stick has been while walking Audrey. It appears as if the mangy mongrels are none to happy about a foreigner invading their territory. Audrey becomes the object for all of their attention. I quickly go into “protect the child mode” and comically chase after the mutts with the handle of a broom. The dogs invariably, run away with their tails tucked between their legs. It appears as if even the wildest of the dogs are no match for our big stick and crazy yelling.
This was until yesterday. Yesterday began like any other day. Frank and I loaded our bikes into the tiny elevator, carried them down the final steps at the front, and hopped on board for our daily commute up the mountain to work. Upon turning the corner of the site for a new development, a huge 125 pound lab came barreling towards me, teeth exposed. I initially attempted to ride my bike into the monster, hoping to scare it away. No such luck! The stupid thing barked ferociously and kept coming my way. I tried to avoid it by bearing left—big mistake. I hit a ditch and flew “ass over teakettle” (as my grammy would say). Luckily I was wearing my helmet, because my head definitely broke my fall. The dog kept coming and Frank, my darling, sweet husband, went after the pooch with a vengeance. I slowly came to my feet and quickly hopped onto my bike to get out of there. All the while, the owner was shouting her apologies. We rode off; me with bent up handle bars, bruises a plenty and Frank leading the way to protect me against any further attacks.