It happened a few years ago when I decided to take time off from work so I could spend some special traveling period with my son, visiting a few places around here; an opportunity that would serve in strengthening our bond as parent and child as well.
Baguio City, from the Pearl of the Orient: a tourist spot in our country known for its much elevated land and cooler climate. I had never been there; I put it on top of our target list in spite of the 16-hour excruciating bus ride (for me) back and forth.
The day after we arrived and settled at a reasonably-priced hotel, my son and I, with our backpacks, strolled along the popular metropolis’s green parks. Much of the pretty scenery available for free, we tried to explore on foot.
On our way to a specific destination one day, a house with a spacious open green yard enticed me to get closer so I could have a better look at its surroundings. “The view looks lovelier over there. Let’s go!” I prodded my son.
But as soon as we got nearer, we caught sight of a dog sitting in the porch — which, upon seeing us, started woofing furiously. It looked large when it threateningly stood up. Then we heard another dog barking from somewhere. Trouble was no doubt flashing on the horizon. Before we were able to pull back, the first dog we saw started heading toward our way – at the same time that another equally scary one turned up to chase us.
Both my son and I got shaken by the sight of the approaching danger. And it was him who made the decision there and then what to do next as I heard him cry out, “Mommy, run!”
Lacking of a chance to think more clearly, we bolted and found ourselves fleeing from the scene as fast as we could. We were running for our lives. The hapless circumstance of the grassy terrain slanting upward plus the back pack I was carrying ended up becoming obstacles to a speedier escape. Taller and younger, my boy was instantly able to advance ahead by three yards.
In my struggle to catch up, something caught the front edge of my foot and down I fell hard. I couldn’t get up.
My heart might have stopped beating at that moment: I knew the dogs would be all over me in a matter of seconds.
The loud barks soon sounded considerably nearer; I froze in terror. . .
To my amazement, no physical attack was happening . . . I turned my head to look at the dogs behind me. They were just standing there, fiercely barking, a couple of feet away from where I was lying. It seemed as if a fine glass was fencing them off from me. The barks continued piercing like hell, yet they weren’t charging any further. Someone from inside the house began yelling to make the burly animals come back. Still stunned, I managed to rise to my feet and trudged in the direction where my son — who had been standing far away and probably stupefied by it all — was waiting. The dogs persisted on barking wildly while I took more steps for distance. They were, however, letting me go.
That very night at our hotel, I checked my lower legs for any bites or scratches. There were none, of course, because no mauling had taken place. I just couldn’t believe my luck.
I’ve thought about that incident many times. I have since held to the quixotic notion all the pets I had loved and cared for – all of whom had long gone to dog heaven – were looking after me. They saved me that day. How I owe them dearly – every one of my beloved pets that came and went.
All of whom will remain as among the greatest loves of my life.