Pippy trotted on my left. Molly trotted on my right. The dog that came racing toward us from behind wasn't trotting at all. He was running full speed ahead.
Molly first sensed the threatening dog's presence, followed quickly by Pippy. By the time I realized why they were tugging on their leashes with terror in their eyes the muscular black pit bull mix was an unsettling few feet away. The moment my eyes met his my whole body leapt into defensive Doggie Mom stance. I pulled the girls in close and stepped out in front of them. In anticipation for an impending attack I broadened my stance and put my game face on.
My eyes scanned the neighboring yards in search of the dog's owner. Not a soul was in sight although the open garage at the home bearing a "Beware of Dog" sign gave me a sneaking suspicion of where this dog belonged - behind the home's chain-link fence. I would have happily heeded the posting had the dog heeded the fence. But an open garage door was an invitation to come out and terrorize the neighborhood and this dog was all too happy to oblige.
In the absence of a dog owner or a surprise entrance by Superman, I determined to be the protector and guard of my two terrified, trembling pups. I readied my most authoritative voice and, with as much gusto as I could muster commanded the dog to heel. When he stopped dead in his tracks I was astonished and emboldened. The dog started to take another step towards us but I put my hand up (as if that could stop him) and sternly told him no and then added, "go home." The beast didn't heed the go home directive but he did stop his advance.
I called out in the direction of the open garage hoping maybe the owner was inside and would hear me alert him that his super scary looking slobbering dog was lose and way too close to my schnoodles for my comfort level. But no one came. The dog was still standing there, staring at Pippy, Molly and I.
When the dog didn't try to advance any further I once again commanded him to go home and then I slowly started to back up. I kept my eyes locked in with the dogs. I was determined to show him no fear. A few steps backwards and I realized I'd have to turn around or I would end up face down on the pavement thanks to my own clumsy doing. So, with authority and confidence, I turned around and began walking at a quick clip away from the dog. When I made it a few houses down, unharmed and feeling quite courageous, I turned around to see the dog still standing in the middle of the street. Maybe he was stunned that a pip-squeak of a human had just stood up to him - and won.
The end to this neighborhood walk story is a happy one. Pippy, Molly and I made it home safely and , thankfully, unharmed. We even made it home with more confidence in our step.
In this life there will be threats, terrors and plenty of scary situations but the close encounter with the intimidating neighborhood dog reminded me that I don't have to live paralyzed by fear because God is my protector, guard and shield. He stands before me as one strong and powerful, able to overcome and conquer even the fiercest of offenses.
God never promised that this life would be immune to danger and peril but He did promise that He would always be our strong tower, safe haven and protection from our foes. On every walk God is there as our security and our defense. We have nothing to fear because, with God, we can rest assured that we will always make it home safe and sound.