A Beastly Encounter


Look from darkness

Looking up the path, I could see the beast staring down at me, saliva dripping from his mouth.

Just moments earlier I had left my house to begin my weekly long run. The plan was to head out Dutch Ridge Road into Brighton Township. I didn’t want to risk the busy main hill, however, so I decided to take the safer route up Galey Boulevard, the winding path that leads up into Windy Ghoul.

As I reached the bottom of the twisty, wooded path, I realized I’d forgotten my pepper spray at home. In the past I’ve had a few close calls with dogs while running, so I always like to bring along the small spray bottle, just in case. 

Oh, well, I thought as I began my ascent. I’ve never seen a dog along here before. I’m sure I’ll be fine.

That’s when I heard it—the sound that all runners fear: the metallic jingle of a dog collar. I looked up and there, at the top of the path, stood the biggest Doberman I’d ever seen. Not the usual lean, streamlined version, mind you. I’m talkin’ Dogzilla. A Doberman on steroids. And it was looking right at me.


I was wearing my tight black running pants at the time, which, although great for when the temperature drops, quite honestly, make me feel a little self-conscious. I’m always worried that people think I’m running in yoga pants. Now, seeing that Barry Bonds of a dog staring down at me, I felt completely naked standing there in my thin, polyester/spandex attire. Instinctively, I brought my hands down to protect my…well, you know.

What the hell am I going to do now?

Just then a petite woman turned the corner from behind the dog and looked down to see me standing there frozen in fear and shielding the family jewels. 

“Don’t worry!” she shouted. “He’s real nice. His name’s Rambo!”

Oh, sure. Rambo the friendly Doberman.

And with that Rambo came bounding down the path at me, the earth quaking beneath the weight of his monstrous paws. He stopped right in front of me, his heavy doggy breath fogging up the air like a locomotive. Keeping one hand in front of my groin area, I slowly reached out to let him smell me as I awaited the inevitable attack. After a few tense moments, very carefully, I began to pet him. 

“Good boy, Rambo. You’re a good boy, yes…” my voice cracking like a pubescent schoolboy.

“Sorry about that,” said the woman, finally catching up to her dog. “I usually have him on a leash.” 

I managed a half smile. Considering he probably outweighed her by 50 lbs., I doubt a leash would’ve done any good had Rambo decided to have me for lunch. 

He didn’t, though—thank goodness— and moments later I was back to my run, my heart pounding a little harder than usual. 

Meanwhile, the woman continued on her walk as Rambo the Doberman went off to maul a deer.

Or a Chevy. ~


Copyright © 2015 Valentine J. Brkich

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