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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dog Attack: Update

This Sunday morning about 4:30 am, I decided I wanted to have a little $1 pizza since I went to bed at 7:30 and had not dinner before retiring for the night. Since I knew I had not put water in the ice tray and pizza calls for cold Coke, I preheated the oven and left to get a 50 cent coke at a nearby machine.

As I came to the house from the car, I heard a jingling, snuffling and scratching of the gravel. I stopped short and all sounds continued. I whirled around as a dog jumped at me. My best weapon is a blood-curdling scream that I could not stifle if I wanted to. Two dogs were too much. I screamed, shrieked, yelled for help as I swung my purse wildly.

During the three minutes or so that I kept advancing on them and screaming, I finally worked my way back to the car and managed to open the car door which I had locked, turn and chase them away and leapt into the car. They remained barking and snarling. I was so frightened it took me about six attempts to dial the police. My voice was shaking so when I talked. I was shaking uncontrollably even after I hung up the phone.

After a few minutes, I opened the car door to be met by snarling dogs running back to me from the rear of the car. I had a plan and had my camera ready to shoot. I got three pictures of them, I think, one for sure. The trouble is, I shot in the dark and cannot get the dogs picture with my little Kodak program.

The pants I had on are a raggedy mess, unfit to wear only in the back yard. I knew I would see no one and would not be stopped by the police and forced to walk a line, so I just left in what I had on. And, then someone is going to see me. Thankfully, I did not have on the raggedy blouse that would have made me look homeless and demented.

Animal Control arrived and got out cautiously, asking me, "Okay, where are the dogs?" Of course, I did not know, but told him where they were last. He headed for the back yard, a very narrow passage that I could see because it is well-lighted. However, there is the big, vast other side of the yard where I would not have seen them go, right back where the hens are. So, I suggested he go that way where I had three hens in a pen, an area that might attract them. He did.

Nothing. As we walked to the back to the side door, he shone the light all around. I was even afraid to go on the porch. I have found dogs on my porch in the past.

I could not identify the dog breed. He wanted to know if it was large or small. Are pitbulls large? He said they weren't. I do remember they were big-jawed dogs. So, I measured from the ground and with my hands for the length. Oh, one appeared to be the mother dog and the other was a large puppy. The mother seemed concerned with the puppy and the puppy kept getting in the way, looking to mother for what to do next. The puppy kept tripping the big dog. I think maybe the puppy's distracting the mother is the only thing that saved me from being bitten. Well, my swinging the purse kept them moving back so I could get back in the car.

I cannot walk backward and knew I could not move backward to the backyard and side door without falling down in the dark, navigating a step down and a turn and then the steps up to the door. Besides, every time I looked away, they took that as their chance and charged me again. I was looking for a big stick, rocks, or maybe to try and get onto the hood of the car. The dogs knew when I was not looking at them.

After the Animal Control officer had looked for the dogs, I commented they did not tear my pants. He said, "I sure am glad." I guess he had seen my bare legs and raggedy pants and wondered.

Then, it hit me. I knew those dogs. They live on the street behind me, in the house behind my neighbor's house.

Through all this, not one neighbor came out to see what was going on, if I needed help--nothing. And, some of you suggest asking a neighbor for whatever. But, I probably disturbed their sleep they need to go to church and be good Christians. Oh, forgot that only happens in the pews. You certainly don't want to see about an elderly neighbor who is alone and can barely walk and screaming her head off, even if she is 12 feet from your bedroom window.

And, the pizza was horrid. I usually get cheese, but they were all gone. Instead, I purchased a bbq chicken pizza. It was way too hot. BBQ is not supposed to be hot!

Mostly, I am totally fearless about going out at night to take a walk when I could take a walk. The best time for a walk is about 2 am. For about a year or so, I took a walk at 9:30 pm and 5:30 am, all without a bit of fear. Now, I am afraid in my own yard after these dogs! While I am fearless, I am also easily terrorized.

I will never go out after dark without a weapon--wasp spray? I don't have a gun or I would have blasted them to the doggy heaven in the sky.

When it is daylight, I will see if their are traces of yellow feathers to their yard catty-cornered from me. The feather trails did come from the pen across the back yard. I just never followed them any farther, not to the edge/corner of the yard. Now, I think that they went into the pen and got the little chickens after they were down from their sleeping box.

Usually, I can get a picture from totally black photos taken in the dark. Now, I cannot. Does anyone have a program to get these pictures out of the black?

And, I have a splitting headache.

UPDATE:
The woman next door had her bf spending the night as he often does. I saw him in a store this noon and he just spoke casually as an employee would, "How are you today?" There was not a real question that might be about last night, just a casual convention, a pleasantry

Your turn
I am sorry, but I don't need to hear about how well you can walk, walk backwards, have friends and family to assist you, are not terrified by lunging dogs, have neighbors that are good as gold, or like hot hot bbq, or you have  a gun.

Other than that...lol...have you faced dogs who were up to no good? What did you do.

Okay, I don't mind your having a gun and stuff, but you know how people are with their 20/20 hindsight and "oughta, coulda, shoulda" stories to make you feel guilty and worse.

46 comments:

  1. This Hitchockian tale is what nightmares are made of. Very scary stuff.

    Some 30 years ago my wife and I were looking at a property in Melton Mowbray and we pulled up in the backyard of a farmer's house; he was the owner of the place we were considering.

    Our car was greeted by three barking and growling dogs: two German Shepherds (Alsations) and a cross-breed of something or other.

    We sat tight in the car. The farmer's wife came out and shood the dogs away, scolding them loudly. We got out of the car and went into the farmer's house, where we stayed overnight.

    Next morning after a light breakfast I decided to take a walk across the fields on my own. As I was striding out I sensed something behind me: one of the Alsations. It was stalking me, head slightly lowered and snarling - not loudly but menacingly.

    I carried on walking. The dog followed, still snarling. I was a good bit scared.

    I turned to face the dog. Stood quite still, as did the dog. I then gave a very noisy growling yell: GRRHHHHHHHH.

    The dog turned tail and raced away as though the hounds of hell were chasing it.

    On my return to the farmer's house I was told that this was a female dog (bitch) who was rescued by the farmer from a dog sanctuary, having been cruelly treated by its former owner.

    My raucous snarling shout must have scared this bitch badly and probably reminded her of her previous cruel owner.

    Normally I am not scared of any dog, but I NEVER take silly chances with strange dogs, such as trying to stroke them. This will usually scare a strange dog into defending itself. I just generally let them sniff around for a while then offer my hand casually so that it can go on having a good sniff ... Then I will stroke its head gently.

    But being followed by a dog with lowered head and hatred in its eyes is quite another thing. I was probably lucky that my shouting did the trick that day and would not offer this as good advice if there is any alternative way of defending yourself.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Philip h,
      What a tale. I did do a bit of snarling when I could remember it between screaming. Having been bit by our own dog when I was two, I am afraid of dogs. However, I rarely scream so. I'm glad you got out of that okay.

      I usually go into full psycho mode (movie not me a psycho) and scream blood curdling screams. I frightened a dog so badly that it hid and refused to come out while I was present. The owners said no one had ever scared that do but me....lol.

      I also will never turn and run, just advance.

      Thanks for that story!

      Delete
  2. I gotta be honest, I wouldn't have gone outside in the middle of the night to help either, but I would have phoned the police and watched from the windows! That must have been terrifying!

    Mace or bear spray might work as a weapon.

    Did you tell animal control that you remembered the dogs after? Did he go to talk to them?

    Are the girls ok?

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    Replies
    1. Wendy,
      They have a fenced in yard, so coming out to help yell or throw things would have helped. Her bf was there, raised in country and resourceful type. He was not afraid, but probably could not help me as she would not like that.

      They did nothing.

      Yes, I told him, and he said he would go check and see what he could see. He did not fill our a report, so I need to do that today and will talk to him again. I don't know what he did so far.

      Which is the worst for the animal--mace or bear spray?

      Yes, I told him and he said he would go check. I suppose the girls are okay. The gate was closed. I have not fed them yet.

      Delete
  3. We have a neighbor who used to have a Rottweiler. For whatever tea s on it hated my oldest son, (no he never did anything to the dog, we have three) this dog would stalk my son. One night it was after eleven when he came home. He always watched for Bailey, he thought he was safe, he got out of the car, and was cornered and attacked. My son is over six foot two hundred pounds, they had to get rid of the dog after that, he would have killed my son one day.

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    1. Longtime wife,
      That is horrible! I often wonder why a dog picks out one person and what the person did (in the dog's eyes) that makes that one person the one to attack. I'm sorry for the attack, but at least the problem was ended. That must have terrified you.

      Delete
  4. I am so glad you are alright. I think a can of wasp spray sounds like the way to go!

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    Replies
    1. I will be in Lowe's first thing when they open for a can of whatever is best in a spray can.

      Delete
  5. Wasp or pepper spray. I can't believe that no one came out! I'm sorry you had to start your Sunday morning out like that. I would call animal control and let them know.
    We had a dog that this nasty old neighbor tried to pepper spray. Too bad for him I was across the street ( we have a 6 foot cedar fence around our yard) . To make a long story short, he called the police. My husband went out there, he told the cop what happened. He claimed that he was protecting himself from my neighbors dog. The cop told him to stay off our street, that if he needed to walk, to go to the park! That's been 9 years ago and he has yet to come this way.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Michelle,
      I don't really understand what happened? The dog was not trying to bite the guy? He just wanted to spray the dog?

      If he was trouble, I am glad he took it to heart and stayed away.

      Delete
  6. Linda for high stress situations like this ...eat a piece of chocolate if you can it helps settle the endorphins. Hubby used to work in a prison this was a remedy that works for headache after high stress. Will say prayer for ya hugs. You handled that very well for the situation you were in... get can mace keep it on ya when outdoors or small pistol!

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    1. Chocolate? Can do! Thanks.

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    2. I bought semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Now that I have had a nap, I will have a chunk or two...lol. I know that having it immediately afterwards was the idea...but now I have chocolate I can eat in small amounts. Thanks.

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  7. Hubby says dont get mace cuz bowback in your face.....find out what postman carries for dogs !!! Ask postmaster if no postman around

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    Replies
    1. ME,
      Thanks to hubby. I really don't need to mace myself and make the dog's job easy. Of course, I might not feel the pain if I mace myself.

      Delete
  8. That is so awful. So glad you weren't hurt physically.

    My pointer and I are often rushed by loose dogs. So far, this has worked......big arms, bend a little at the knee, stomp as I walk toward the dogs and yell in my deepest voice, "NOOOOO" as many times as required to make them stop. So far they have all stopped.

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    1. Patti,
      I was a big arm swinging the purse and bent to try to stay upright...lol. I made several clumsy lunges that almost made me fall. I am sure I was comical. My deep voice was only a GRRRR. I was mostly screaming and then turned to "Help!" Next time it will be "Fire!" No one minds a person getting killed, but my house might burn her house down.

      Stomping is a good idea. My stomp was more of a stagger...lol. I always walk toward dogs because they don't expect that. I am always noisy...out of terror. It sounds like you don't make a good victim. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  9. Sccary! Hope animal control confronts the dog owners. I am appalled your neighbors didn't help. I have been charged by dogs before, while walking my dog on a leash. Usually the owners are nearby...is a case of dog getting loose. We live in an area of houses about 1/4 mile apart, so it can happen...dogs slip through cow fencing. We dud have one neighbor, however, for whom this wax a habit, and the dog was mean. The third time, I came home with a bloody scratch,( whether from mine or theirs, I have no idea) my husband said nary a word, marched to our car and left.. He went to the neighbor and said he was only refraining from phoning the sherrif because they were neighbors, but if I ever even saw the dog again, the whereof would be notified. (We are rural /farm area...the leash law is serious business.) To

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    1. Meg B,
      I should have blamed the torn pants on the dog to get the attention of people who should care. I remember this woman saying that their dog had been taken to the pound twice after getting out. There were no dogs there an hour ago.

      Even if your injury was from falling while running away, their dog was to blame!

      Their house is four feet from the property line. Lucky me bought the house with about a 25 foot frontage. And, my house is about ten feet from the fence. As I got out of the car today, I looked, and the place I started screaming was less than 12 feet from their bedroom window. We have leash laws, too. Two different dogs have tried to eat me and my chickens. I called the police and have never seen those dogs again. Oh, am going to put update in post.

      Delete
  10. Terrifying - and I am glad it was no worse. And yes, next time (and I hope there isn't one) yell FIRE.

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    Replies
    1. EC,
      I have heard that people will come out to see where the fire is because it might kill them or burn down their home or apartment. But, yelling "help" often does nothing toward people coming to your rescue. I told my son and two girls this. I also told them I would get them out of trouble if they ever pulled a fire alarm at school if someone, adult, was trying to hurt them or make them go with them and they knew they were in danger after school. (The janitor was a pedophile, convicted and somehow got a school job!) Next time---FIRE!

      Delete
  11. Oh, how awful for you, Linda. One time my Harper got out of the yard at about 3 a.m. I wandered the entire neighborhood, calling his name. I saw him in some bushes near someone's house and called to him. I heard someone inside say, What the hell? I also walked past houses where I could see people inside with their lights on, looking at me. I was not screaming for help, but no one offered to help me, though I was wandering around in my pajamas and robe, obviously in need of help. Our neighborhood had a problem recently with some new neighbors who moved in with two very large dogs. The dogs got out of their yard and attacked a dog down the street and killed a pet cat and left it in my neighbor's driveway. My neighbor called animal control and I have not seen the dogs since then. Once I was out for a walk in Maryland and a neighbor's dog attacked me and bit my leg. I was screaming for help. A group of people stood in their yard, right across the street from me, chatting. They glanced my way. When the owners got the dog, one of the chatters said something about me being frightened. He bit me, I said. Then I walked in my house, cleaned the wound, and went to the doctor the next day. The doctor's office reported my wound to animal control. The dog stayed at home after that. Sometimes dogs manage to get out, though, and they have a pack mentality, sometimes even when they're alone. It's so frightening. I wonder if it would help for you to carry one of those small alarms that makes a really loud noise. It might distract the dogs and bring the neighbors out, though I doubt it about the neighbors. I am so sorry for you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Bad dogs and uncaring neighbors--good combination. And, no one asked if you were okay or did you get bitten? Exbf just mention a noise to frighten the dog or a whistle. I doubt I can scream bloody murder and blow a whistle. Another dog, big white dog, tried to bite me in my own back yard. I called the police and have not seen the dog since. They patrolled the neighborhood several days, looking for the dog. So, the neighbors, whoever they were, kept the dog up as they should. The police never found the dog.

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    2. No one asked if I was okay. They just looked at me although I was shouting. At least one of those people should have had enough smarts to come running with a shovel or something and give the dog a smack.

      Delete
    3. Janie,
      That is pretty insulting to have people ignore your plight. You would think they would at least care enough to help since maybe that dog might bite one of them or their children some day.

      Delete
  12. My husband has always been afraid of most dogs. He claimed they didn't like his uniform. Our neighbors normally kept their dog chained up, but sometimes let him out without the chain. The dog would always seem to find Bob when he came home and come over to our yard and start growling like he was going to attack.

    I chalked it up to the dig sensing someone who was afraid.

    Then one day I was out planting something in our yard and facing the other direction. I heard a horrible growl behind me about three feet away. I turned around and the stupid dog was in our yard and ready to attack me.

    I grabbed the shovel I had and yelled. The neighbors finally called him over.

    It was really irritating. Especially since they knew the dog was agressive and we had our grandson on Fridays. That didn't stop then from occasionally letting him outside without a chain.

    Bob yelled at the woman one day when after the dog nearly attacked him and the stupid neighbor woman called the dog and casually asked the beast, "are you being bad?"

    No lady, he's going to be DEAD if you don't stop letting him out unchained.

    Of course we didn't say that, but sure felt like it. It got to the point that I carried around a baseball bat in the yard.

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    1. In the news lately, there was a child mauled by a dog as the child visited grandparents. I like the way people minimize the threat their dog/s pose. What kind of uniform does your husband wear?

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    2. Appliance repair uniform, not soldier kind. Hasn't worn the soldier kind for 40 years.

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    3. Our dog wanted to eat the mailwoman and terrified her. It must have been the uniform. She allowed anyone else to come on the porch with just a warning to us. But, she was teeth-fully-bared-lunging mode. It would have terrified me, too. I always ran out and got the mail. I told her if he scared her when I was not there, to just take the mail to the PO, that I would understand.

      Delete
  13. Even if you don't need one you might consider carrying a cane. They can be used as a weapon if needed. We keep wasp spray at the back door of the camper. We don't carry a gun but at times might feel better with a weapon of some sort. The advantage to wasp spray as opposed to other sprays is that they shoot a stream for a long distance.

    When my son was 2 he was also bitten by a dog. It was a pretty serious facial wound. I just don't trust dogs and I shudder when I see some of those videos where babies are on the floor with dogs. I know everyone thinks that their dog "isn't like that" and that their child is safe. To my mind you can't trust an animal to be anything but an animal. Animals act like animals. Don't get me wrong I don't hate dogs....I just don't want one.

    Thanks for the heads up that you had a new post. I hadn't checked your blog yet today. I'm glad you are safe.

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    Replies
    1. I cringe when I see dogs with tiny babies on videos. I don't trust dogs around infants because dogs have a wild bit in them and who knows what sets them off. I find that dogs mostly behave when the owner is in the room but will revert to being a formerly wild animal when the owner leaves the room, just like they will steal a steak when the owner turns his back or leaves the room.

      I was bitten because I did not leave the dog alone and thought I could push him on the behind and make him get up and play. I had a big nap because I was exhausted from the fright. If I had not set the alarm, I would still be asleep...lol. You're welcome.

      Delete
  14. I like Janet's idea about carrying a cane/weapon.

    My son was bitten by a neighbor's dog when he was about six. After the incident (did ya catch that? AFTER) she told me that they had the Chow because it had bitten children before. Would have liked to have known that in advance.

    I'd carry some kind of spray, too. But, if you had the cane, maybe you could defend yourself with the cane and spray the dog with bright red or glow-in-the-dark paint and then you'd definitely know whose dog it was in the morning!

    You be careful!

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    Replies
    1. Cherdo,
      So, the dog had been moved from one place to another. Chows are dangerous anyway, without knowing one had bitten other children.

      I love the spray paint idea, yes, glow-in the dark paint. Perfect!

      I have a bbq fork that could be sharpened nicely.

      Delete
  15. Dog attack and bad pizza-I would be in a bad mood for a few days.
    Be careful!

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    Replies
    1. Sonya Ann,
      I sat here thinking that at least the pizza could have been some consolation instead of being another irritant! If it does not rain, I am going around the block and into their yard, well-armed, of course, and take a picture of the dogs if they are present.

      I remembered after the update, that these dogs have escaped before and have been taken to the pound twice.

      Delete
  16. Wow, that is SO scary. Our neighborhood in town is an old neighborhood full of neat old homes with porches and such. It has that homey feel. That being said, there have been a large number of dog attacks, and several traveling in packs. Numerous cats and small dogs killed. Very scary indeed. It makes me scared to go walking as well. I hope you get some wasp spray or pepper spray. Maybe also something that makes a really loud noise...like those personal alarms that emit a really loud ear piecing sound. Be safe!!

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    Replies
    1. 1st Man,
      This is an old neighborhood with century old homes and an Historic District. These dogs come from a rent house on the street behind, homes not in the Historic District. When I took my middle of the night walks, I feared dogs in the neighborhood, so I left my home, walked around the corner to go into the Historic District of businesses--much safer in my opinion. Noise is a good idea, but an air horn was all I could think of. I will not be leaving the house unarmed any time soon. Thanks.

      Delete
  17. I suggest you carry an emergency air horn -- I think you can find them on-line for ten bucks. Also, an umbrella. If a dog is charging you, sound the horn and they should back off. You can either poke them with the umbrella or open it and use it as a shield. There are also small personal alarms you can strap to your belt and pull a pin to set of a high piercing alarm that most dogs will not like.

    Pepper spray can and up being blown back in your direction so I don't recommend that. Your story scared me too!

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  18. Alex,
    I have never heard of these personal alarms. I bet the neighbors won't like the noise, either. So, I will just have to take my time turning it off. Me, mean? Not really...lol. An umbrella shield would make them back off. You know how those folded ones pop out suddenly? Now, that would probably make a dog startle until I could do something else. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. yes i agree with the umbrella - meter readers have dog umbrellas and seems that they work very well....open it and it shields you but also focuses the dogs attention on the umbrella while you are trying to back away - although i understand it is difficult about the walking backwards but you could kinda have it out towards them and then turn if possible and move away.....
      scary....glad you weren't hurt badly.
      i stock up on those totinos party pizzas when they are on super sale....they are soooo bad for me i know but they are my splurge once in a while!

      Delete
    2. Luv,
      A guy told me years ago that just holding a full sheet of newspaper in front of me would keep a dog from biting. I want to see that first before I try it. I have an umbrella that pops out so violently that it could be a momentary distraction.

      Those Totinos party pizzas are on sale at WM for $1 right now. I will see how much money I have left to see if I can stock up on a few. The kitchen freezer won't hold but two or three right now.

      Delete
  19. I'm so sorry for your frightening experience. Maybe pepper spray, the kind that shoots a fog rather than a stream. Of course, if the wind is blowing toward you, you might get more of the spray than the dogs. I think Alex had a good idea about the alarm, but as to whether an umbrella would discourage a large and vicious dog, I have my doubts.

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    1. Snow,
      The wasp/hornet spray can drift, too. The personal alarm sound like a good choice. Maybe I could poke at the dog if it got around the umbrella. If meter guys use them, there must be something to them.

      Delete
    2. The personal alarms may be a good idea as long as the noise is unpleasant to DOGS but as you said previously You were outside screaming bloody murder (my words, not yours) only 12 feet from their window and they never came to your rescue. That is a big bunch of BULL S**T That is in no way neighborly behavior!

      I'm leaning towards the umbrella idea.....Think about it. You could invent an umbrella that pops out, has a horrendously annoying alarm, shoots pepper spray and .... gets this.... dials 911! Perfect for Shark tank and then QVC or HSN. Seriously I know people who would buy that item. ! You should put o your inventors cap and go for it!

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  20. That must be scary! I am glad you weren't hurt Linda. Is there something called a dog whistle to keep them away?

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  21. T'Pol,
    I thought a dog whistle was for calling a dog. But, I will see. Other people suggested a whistle, too. Thanks. I carried a hammer last night.

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