Well, I Didn't See That Coming! Mad Dogs But No Englishmen - CycleBlaze

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Well, I Didn't See That Coming! Mad Dogs But No Englishmen

George Hall

Whenever you are depressed because things aren't going as well as you wished, just remember this; Things could suddenly get a whole lot worse! 

We are (actually,"were" is now the proper word) all set to depart on Saturday to commence the N Tier E to W.  It was a gorgeous day in Tulsa yesterday, 70-ish, and I was out for a 35 mile ride.  I had to cut it short.  WARNING; the 2 pics at the bottom of this post contain some blood and gore - if you are very squeamish regarding such, you do NOT want to look - I'm giving you warning now so you can carefully scroll and just read the text if you wish.  

I've ridden this route at least several hundred times - out past the waterfall at Pretty Water Lake, then back through suburban areas and industrial parks to my house.  Occasionally a loose dog will come out and bark, maybe follow me just a bit as it is defending it's territory.  But, holy cow, this was different.  

The 2 dogs appeared from my right side, and they were excessively aggressive from the onset, snapping at me as I rode away and zig-zagged to avoid them.   One was a yellow lab, fully grown - the other was about the same size but had a bulldog-like head.  These were big dogs, and they weren't happy with me.  I thought they would drop off after a few blocks, but I was wrong - they chased me, galloped alongside me at 12-15 mph as I negotiated some rolling hills, and occasionally one of them would make a foray attempting to get me.  This went on for a full mile - I was utterly amazed that they could maintain the pace - as it turns out, these guys weren't in their right mind.    One ran in front of me at times and I had to swerve to avoid him.   I had pepper spray with me - I carefully waited and gave one of them a full blast right in the face from only 3 feet away - it didn't even faze him.  

These guys were mad dogs - rabid - their brains were suffering and they didn't respond to normal stimuli - they will die soon if they haven't already.  Heading up a steeper hill, the beasts caught me.  One sank his fangs into my left leg just below the knee, and the other ripped my ankle down low.  They pulled me over and I veered and crashed off the left side of the road.  I rose quickly ready for a life/death fight, but the mutts had moved on about 20 feet away from me.  However, when I got up they came back and they were determined to rip me to pieces and end me. One was on my right and the other was on my left, snarling and lunging at me with ferocious intent - in their eyes you could see their malicious intent.  I was swinging my bicycle around to keep each of them at bay - even with the adrenalin pumping I could tell I was in a losing situation as one of them would eventually lunge past the swinging bike.   I had passed a utility worker parked beside the road a block prior - he saw my predicament and drove up and got out and the beasts retreated.  

One of the beasts had a lot of saliva coming out the rear of his mouth - I'm not certain if we would say that he was "foaming" at the mouth, but it was abnormal.  They galloped on behind an abandoned house and off into the woods.  I called 911 and got the Sheriff's office and they said a deputy would be headed my way - I was hoping he could shoot the beasts so they could be tested for rabies.  But he wasn't there 15 minutes later, and I was bleeding enough that I needed to get home - I was only about 6 miles from home and it was mostly flat to get there.  At the time, I only saw the damage that had been done below my knee - the adrenalin was pumping so hard that I didn't notice the laceration behind my ankle that was hidden by my sock - if I had then I would have probably accepted the 911 operator's offer to send an ambulance.    Without further ado, behold the damage - WARNING,  Bloody Content;

There Were 10 Punctures Below the Knee
They Ripped A Chunk From Just Above My Ankle

While I was riding home, my wife was calling to find out the best place to go for a possible rabies infection.  As it turns out, at least in Oklahoma, the Urgent Care centers are not staffed with rabies shots - they require refrigeration/special storage, and you must go to a hospital ER to get treated.  And so I did.  They gave me a tetanus booster in 1 arm, rabies shot in the other, and injected each puncture site with a rabies antibiotic - that last part stung a bit.  Some of the punctures below the knee were big enough that the ER doc would normally have stitched them closed, but she said she didn't want to do that and possibly close in some infection, so they were left open.  The laceration behind my ankle was way too big to leave open, so it was stitched close.  I have to report for 3 more rabies shots for the complete 4-shot series; yesterday's shot was Day 1, and I will have shots on Day 3, Day 7, and Day 14.   But that alone will not delay the tour - they gave me paperwork showing what happened to me, and told me that I should be able to go to any hospital ER along my route and get whatever shots are remaining.  I will get Day 3 shot here anyway, as that doesn't impact our schedule - and waiting to get Day 7 shot here only delays us by 2 days, so I will do that.    However, I'm not going to wait an entire extra week here to get the Day 14 shot, so I may need to find an ER along the route.

The reason I say I MAY need to find an ER along the route is that currently I can barely walk - obviously I will have to  heal up enough to be able to walk and bike before we leave.  The muscle along the back of my leg is incredible sore - it may have something to do with the tendon getting yanked where the beast ripped me - it's very painful when I try to pull my toes toward my knee, and I'm walking by shuffling along.  But this is just 1 day after the trauma, and today and tomorrow should be the worst days - maybe in a few days I will be much better - but for the moment, I just don't know.   I'm on a heavy dosage of antibiotic for the next 7 days, and it will mess with my digestive system - so I'm not going anywhere for the next week anyway.   My stitches can come out in 10-14 days, I have taken stitches out before, no big deal - and besides, my riding partner for this tour is a physician and he could remove them when ready.   So, at the moment, I just don't know when we will depart.  

Stay safe out there; you never know when you may get attacked by an escaped gorilla or wild dogs or struck by a meteor - I certainly didn't see it coming.   Best of luck to everyone,

Buddy

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2 weeks ago
Kathleen JonesTo George Hall

Holy @#$%, Buddy! What a frightening, painful ordeal. I hope you feel better soon that you’ll still be able to go on that tour. 

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2 weeks ago
Andrew HaycraftTo George Hall

That's terrible Buddy, have been chased by a few dogs in my time but nuthin like that! Hope u heal quickly and get going on your tour.

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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo George Hall

That looks really terrible, Buddy.  I’m so sorry.  It looks as bad and probably worse than mine last spring (https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/austintoalbuquerque/in-dayville/), and definitely a more frightening encounter.  At least I wasn’t afraid for my life.  Take your time recovering and make sure you’re ready.  The continent will still be there waiting.

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2 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Scott Anderson

What an experience!

IMO your attempt to out run/ride them was the best evasive measure but it didn't work this time.

Capsicum spray doesn't work every time either.

Hope you heal soon and get on with your tour.

Mike

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2 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Mike Ayling

My mother lost most of her left calf muscle from a dog attack so I am very aware of how easily dangerous situations can arise.  However, I'm not sure trying to outrun dogs is a good tactic at all.  Their instinctive response is that a hunt is on and they will almost always chase you.  Our standard response is to immediately stop,  get off the bikes and face the dogs.  Usually, they will calm down and back off .  Hope George recovers quickly and fully.

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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jean-Marc Strydom

I really agree with that approach.  It’s been decades since I’ve tried to outrace anything but short-legged yippers.   Playing the rabbit for them is just too provocative.

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2 weeks ago
George HallTo Jean-Marc Strydom

Stopping and facing dogs usually works - actually, a sternly shouted "Get!" usually works for me.    But there's a reason the term "mad" is used to describe dogs infected by rabies - the infection reaches their brain and they become wild ravenous beasts - our usual tactics won't work with animals that have lost their minds.  Fortunately, it's a very rare occurrence - I have never experienced anything like this and I have been cycling as an adult for 46 years now.  You can probably deal with 1 rabid dog by dismounting and using your bike as a shield - but if there are 2 then it's a very different matter.    I cycled across KY on the Transam and experienced their legendary aggressive dogs - but that was a cakewalk compared to dealing with these 2 rabid beasts. 

Buddy

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2 weeks ago
Mike AylingTo Jean-Marc Strydom

I stand corrected Jean-Marc and will try your method in future.

Mike

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2 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo George Hall

Buddy! How horrible! Did you dream about attacking dogs all night long? Ugh. I hope your recovery is as quick as possible . . .  were they able to find the dogs? I hope they didn't attack anyone else.

You've gotten the excitement out of the way, hopefully the rest of your tour will have normal activity levels!

Kelly

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2 weeks ago