I'm a longtime follower of your blog... good stuff my friend, keep it coming!
I lived in Portland Oregon around 2004 and there was a vicious dog attack
where a young child was being attacked (I believe there were 2-3 dogs) and
then an older woman tried to help her and she was attacked as well. If I
recall correctly it took several other people to finally chase off these
dogs. Both the child and woman sustained serious injuries, hers taking a
long time to heal.
Since then I've kept a can of bear spray in the glove box for just such an
occurrence. This kind of pepper spray shoots about 30 feet and has the
capacity to address multiple threats. It's available at most sporting
goods stores. I carry this when hiking on my waist belt and keep it handy
Parks that have fenced in dog areas for people to use will still have
people who think it's okay for their dog to be unleashed elsewhere. My
two boys are naturally fearful of dogs that come right up to them and I
always keep in mind that animals can be excited by fear.
With this in mind, I have stood between them and dogs off the leash
several times without it escalating by using this method: We usually
stop in our tracks, I step in front of the boys and I give the owner a
look that if they don't get their dog back it's going to get hurt. One
hand is holding my boys back behind me and the other hand is near my
pocket knife. This stance shows the owner that I'm concerned and ready to
react. If the dog gets near I would do exactly as you did, especially if
it's ignoring a command from its owner.
Dogs are a threat and so are strangers hanging around playgrounds watching
kids. I always take an assessment of who is there and if they have kids
associated with them or if they are just watching other people's children
which makes me a little suspicious. There are often homeless people
sleeping in parks and camping there too, usually a short distance away
from facilities but out of site. It's surprising where they are able to
set up unnoticed. These things can't be controlled so being aware and
ready to react is all a person can do.
When I go to the park/playground with my family in summer months I carry
my Glock 23 in a little red fanny pack that also holds a water bottle(half
full or empty to keep weight down.) This never gets a second look. It
holds the gun and 2 spare mags and I can climb all around without issue.
When it's not so hot I go IWB or OWB with jacket. Spare mags are handy in
a pocket. Quick enough for me and keeps weight off the waist. I totally
agree with you that it's imperative to have a gun large enough to shoot
accurately and with significant capacity. Learn to shoot AND carry the
same gun you use for home defense!
Hope this info is helpful for other people like myself who frequent parks
with their children. Many people live in condos or apartments and don't
have play space available without going into public where there are
unknown people and animals around. These things I mentioned are just some
of the basics that I follow to keep my family safe.
You're welcome to share any portion of this with whomever you'd like but
please exclude my name if doing so publicly.
Thanks again for all your hard work in sharing your important messages.
Hi R, thanks a lot for sharing your experience.
I think the same way as you do. Unfortunately it’s the people that are the true problem, not the dog, but we have to sometimes act a certain way to protect ourselves and our family because of their lack of respect.
I have a dog, in fact I just walked it not 30 minutes ago. I kept it on a short leash and even crossed the street when I saw two young girls coming my way and my English Bull Terrier showing too much interest. If I put myself in their position I wouldn´t want a strange animal that is almost as big as I am, definitely stronger and with big teeth jumping and pulling towards me. Out of respect for others, I keep a good distance, keep the leash short or even cross the street if I feel its called for. These people that simply let their animals run loose, not worrying if the dog bites someone or not, let along worrying if it scares a kid or even a person that just happens to not like dogs as much as them. The way I see it there’s just no excuse for that, and a half rational person knows its simply disrespectful to others, even dangerous.
I’ve heard different reports about spray for dogs. In general it does work very well. Dogs having such a sensitive nose, it will react to OC spray. In some cases with certain terrier blood breeds like Staffys, English Bull Terriers, American pit bull terrier and Dogos Argentinos, when blinded by the rage of the fight they don’t react to OC at all. In fact I know of many cases where even shooting the animal wasn’t enough and entire mags where shot into them. I know of a Dogo that took all 7+1 rounds of 45 ACP before dyeing (still killed the person, in this case a carjacker) and similar cases with Pitt bulls. It seems that terriers with a fighting instinct are very tough when driven like that.
You’re right about strange people in the park. Sometimes a homeless person is just that, but others its people with mental problems and it wouldn’t be the first time a person living on the street pushes someone into the bushes of a park to abuse them.
People that look out of place too, maybe adults looking at the kids play but don’t seem to have kids of their own that justify their interest would be another sign to watch for. Perverts can be founds everywhere in the world, there’s really no place safe from that sort of crime.
I like your choice of gun too, cant go wrong with Glock. I carry a bottle of water as well. My kids often need a drink so its one of the things I clearly use the most of my EDC bag.