I love animals – dogs, cats, hedgehogs (I desperately wanted a hedgehog for years). I used to volunteer with a dog rescue and I watch ridiculous amounts of The Dog Whisperer and It’s Me or the Dog.

One thing about our apartment was that the hallways were very narrow, two people passing by each other had to walk carefully to make sure they didn’t bump each other. My apartment was at the end and overlooked a small garden area. Although our lease didn’t allow dogs, some of the people who had lived there for years had animals. Not allowing pets was a new policy.

One day, I was walking back from putting a load of laundry into the washer which was located directly in the middle of the complex. I walked by one of our neighbors who had two dogs – Big Orange and the Puppy. Big Orange was an older dog of a very unique orange shade. I had only seen her from a distance but she seemed friendly toward people. She was trailing a few yards behind her owner just coming back from the garden. I walked past her distractedly, not paying attention because I was too busy trying to figure out where I’d left my stash of quarters.

I was aware enough to hear the sound of her growls though. I spun around in time to see her ears were back and her teeth were bared. She was low to the ground and growling heavily. I froze and shouted “HEY!” in a loud voice when she lunged toward me. Her owner had already walked into his apartment, convinced his dog was at his heels. When he heard my shout he came running out and grabbed her collar.

“Hmm, she’s never done that before. Man, look at how scared she is!” He murmured distractedly as he tugged his dog into the house. She was still growling at me. I was literally scared silent, frozen in place in the hallway. I guess he didn’t notice how scared I was, even though he commented on how scared his dog was. He never apologized or said anything further about the dog.

I have no idea why she lunged, maybe my perfume or the way I walked reminded her of a former abusive owner or maybe she just didn’t like me or perceived me as a threat due to the limited space of the hallway. Either way, I kept my eye out for her and avoided her like the plague. Which isn’t easy when dog owners allow their dogs to run around off leash. I hoped to never run into her again, but I wasn’t that lucky