Thankful for the Near Misses

Sunday the pastor shared a brief story about how his son had a near miss tragic incident.  The story led into the sermon but I got stuck on the near miss part of the story because it reminded me about the near miss we had only six days prior. 

As usual, D and I went to the park where there are ducks and geese.  Usually the geese stay closer to the water but I noticed a flock of them land nearby in a field of grass.  Not soon after I saw an unleashed dog running at full speed towards the geese.  They flew away, one just escaping the dog's grip.    I've seen dogs chase birds before but I could tell this dog wanted to devour one of those geese.  

I'm always a little leary about dogs being unleashed at a park with kids and I saw this woman from a distance when she got the dogs out of the car with no leash in hand.   And I know pitbulls get a bad rap, but yes the one chasing the geese was a pitbull and I made a mental note that we should keep our distance from that dog.  After the geese flew away, the dog vanished and I didn't think about him anymore. 

There was a three year old boy at the park who wanted D to play with him.  D obliged for a while, but at some point D went over to play in the sand alone.  So the boy came over to show me his toy trains. 

D wasn't far and usually I follow him around like he's four but this time didn't because I'm trying to lighten up (just a little) with my helicopter parenting style. 

About four minutes later, out of nowhere just like he ran towards the geese I saw the pitbull running at full speed towards D who had just stood up from playing in the sand. 

I ran in D's direction calling his name... and yelled Get Away to the dog. Until I called out D had no idea the dog was coming because his back was facing the dog (which in hindsight was a good thing).  By that time I was about two feet from D, the dog was inches away from D, and I could tell that D was about to run towards me, but instinctively I said "Don't Run" holding my hand up in the stop position.  I was now moving slowly towards D because I didn't want to cause the dog to attack. I could see that the look on D's face was unsure if me telling him not to run was the right thing to do.  But I knew that if D started running the dog would lunge forward and grab onto him for sure.    

Before my eyes I could see the dog lunging towards D's neck, D falling and me trying to kick the dog off.  Thankfully that was only a thought.

Right then I heard the owner scream for the dog and as the dog's front feet landed right at D's heels he made a sudden sharp u-turn and ran back to his owner. 

I grabbed D and he started crying hysterically because he as well as I knew that dog wasn't there to play and what a close call that was.

I heard the owner yelling at the dog as she took him to her car, leaving the poodle behind until she returned. 

It took a while to console D who no doubt was experiencing fear and relief at the same time.

The three year old stood next to us, and I'm afraid to think what would've happened if the dog had come after him.

The entire incident lasted only seconds, but it seemed longer and as though it was in slow motion.  

The story could've ended so much differently.  I'm so grateful to God for not allowing anything to happen. 

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the instinct to say "don't run."

Thank you for helping D not to run when I told him not to.  (Since when does he listen to me right away when I tell him not to do something?!  Thank you so much, Lord, that he did...and thank you D for listening!)

Thank you for the dog's owner calling out just as the dog was on D's heels.

Thank you that the dog obeyed and went back.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for intervening in that split second.

Thank you so much for letting it be a near miss incident.

Lisa Butwell