24 Dogs and a Dead Alligator

They call this low country but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it’s the southern side of South Carolina. Dogs run free here in packs of four and five. They’re strays and no one cares for them, at least that’s what Miss Linda from the local newspaper said. She stopped to do a brief interview of a guy the townspeople were describing as Moses.

Walking through Fairfax, four dogs of various sizes and appetites spotted me strolling through town. They started to bark and yelp and make their way toward my leg bones when I decided I better cross the street. There wasn’t enough traffic to slow them down until a gentleman in a pickup saw my plight. He slowed down, placing his truck between the dogs and their noon day lunch…that’d be me! He actually “escorted” me down main street. I felt like the mayor on fourth of July! I was tempted to smile and wave but I thought I’d better just concentrate on scurrying on down the road. When he determined I was in the clear, the kind driver sped up, waved and drove off. Unbeknownest to me, one of the dogs decided to make another run at me. He never saw the truck that hit him. Neither did I but Lucy, unfortunately, saw the whole thing happen.

That wasn’t my only encounter with multiple mutts. Over the next three days, I encountered dogs in groups of two’s and four’s and five’s. If you know of anyone who sells leashes, collars or pet sedatives, send’em on down to South Carolina…there’s a market here!

On our first journey, I met a dog trainer who gave me some insight on seemingly aggressive canines. She said some were just territorial, they would make a lot of noise just to drive you off their domain and then be done with it. She said never be aggressive with a dog. Face them, stay calm and make yourself bigger. She told me to use my stick to hold them at bay but not to threaten. Generally, I face the animal, point the staff downward toward the dog and move it side to side….much like someone looking for water with a divining rod. All the while, I’m moving down the road sideways whispering “Blessed be the Name of Jesus.” I got a lot of practice with my sidestep these past three days as I encountered two dozen of God’s little (and not so little) darlings.

Dogs I’m kind of used to but the road I was on walking out of Allendale toward Sylvania, GA had swamps on either side of it. I knew they had alligators in Florida but did they have them this far north. I wondered what I would do if I saw an alligator. How fast do they move? Could I outrun it? I pictured myself heroically subduing the reptile with with trusty staff and right in the middle of my day dreams, I glanced over to my left and saw an alligator on the lane next to me. Thump! Thump! Thump! Be still my heart…I took a closer look and thankfully it was dead. I don’t know what he would have done with me if he was alive but I know this…even dead he quickened my step and improved my prayer life! “Blessed be the Name of Jesus!”