THE HOLY NAME SAVED ME FROM A DOG BITE
I know it is not a good idea to protest too much, but I must protest that I am an avowed dog lover. I have an obsessive love of dogs that borders on mania. When I was in primary school, aged about 10, the teacher lightly scolded me because I was drawing pictures of dogs too much.
Well, this week, I met a dog that didn't return my affections. He seemed eager to taste my blood. I had gone to a neighborhood for the sake of taking a long walk to unwind after a few days where my nerves had been taxed. Tis a leafy estate with many trees surrounding the houses. People come to walk their dogs there, as it has the feeling of a private park, and I usually enjoy pleasant interactions with pampered pooches.
This day I'd been walking for quite some time, and I had taken delight in the spring blossoms, the blue, orange and violet buds that were bursting forth like natures fireworks.
Suddenly, behind me, I heard a skirmish of paws frantically scraping the ground and through an involuntary reaction, I turned and saw a dog with teeth completely bared. He charged right at me. His enormous jaws were yawning, a land shark to be sure. He looked like "Taz", the cartoon character of a Tasmanian devil, but seemed to be a pit-bull mix. I screamed, ran for my life, and thought about climbing a tree.
I ran to a tree and started running around it, with the dog in hot pursuit. I put the tree between me and this hound, and tried to lurch in the opposite direction to him. It was quite a dance; me on one side of the tree and he on the other. He was extremely overweight and looked desperate for exercise. So he jumped slower than I.
Then a harassed dog owner came upon us. Clearly the dog had gotten off his leash or "lead" to use British English, and the downtrodden owner was struggling to get her land shark back. He wouldn't obey her loud commands, and she was staying a bit back from the jig I was doing to avoid him. Suddenly I thought to pray, "IN THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS, DRIVE THIS DOG AWAY FROM ME, IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION TO ME."
The beleaguered owner heard me cry out, "JESUS, JESUS", and saw their dog - instantly - give up his hunt for a chunk of my skin, while he turned and scampered away from me. She gave me a pained look, and ran after him, calling at him to come back, but he was not going to heed her for a minute. I saw her chase him way off in the distance. I had a very peaceful, relieved feeling, the balm of grace poured over me, and I thought that this was surely an occasion when a dog, a dumb beast, did not obey a human, but obeyed when Holy Name of Jesus was invoked so that he might be redirected from attacking me.