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August 21, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

The German Shepherd Incident

Something Carli commented on recently reminded me about a time, long, long ago, when there was a German Shepherd Incident. 

Carli and I often took long walks in the neighborhood.  This day was no different.  We would walk to the donut shop on the corner, we would walk to Taco Johns, we would walk to Downey Drugs to buy some penny candy (before those bastards jacked the price up to a nickel).  I can’t remember where we were coming from on this particular day, but we passed a barking dog.

It was a German Shepherd on the opposite side of the street.  It was pissed.  And it was loud.  And lucky for us, it was entrapped safely behind a chain link fence.  The house that the German Shepherd belonged to had seen better days.  Like a lot of houses in that town, it was pretty much falling apart. 

I think we were about ten years old, give or take a year.  Our brains had not fully developed.  This will become pretty obvious in the rest of the story.  The dog was barking at us like crazy.  So we decided to bark back from across the street.  We made obnoxious ten-year old faces and barked back in a very antagonizing manner.  And the German Shepherd barked louder, and got angrier.

This is pretty much exactly what it looked like, with a crappier yard.

This is pretty much exactly what it looked like, with a crappier yard.

And then it leapt over the fence.  Just like that.  

A furry ballerina with saliva-dripping fangs of doom.

Time slowed down for us.  I think we heard someone say Ooooohhhhhh Shhiiiiiiit in slow motion, but maybe that was the Voice of the Universe lamenting on the fact that two ten year old girls were about to become kibble.  We both started running, Forrest Gump style, as fast as we could toward home, which was still two blocks away. 

The German Shepherd was chasing us.  It was barking and hungry for kids and chasing us!  We were sprinting like holy hell.  And a thought popped into my mind as we were running.  I thought that if I stopped running, it would chase the thing that was still moving. 

That thing happened to be Carli. 

But I didn’t let her in on my plan.  There was no time!  I had to make the hard decision…do we go down together, or do I let my friend get eaten so that I can survive? 

Of course I let my friend get eaten so I can survive!  I’ll spend the rest of my life speaking at schools around the country about how brave she was, and we can make her an example of selflessness, and we can put a bronze statue of her in the bay outside of Copenhagen next to the Little Mermaid, but this statue will have no legs and only one arm because the German Shepherd will have ripped them all off…okay stop thinking and just STOP!

I stopped running.  I froze in the middle of a churchyard. 

I was somewhat relieved when the German Shepherd streaked past me, a mere five inches to my right, still chasing Carli.  I say somewhat relieved, because I think my first real feelings of guilt showed up that day. 

I looked up in time to see Carli make tracks down the alley, flying past Leroy’s pink trailer house and past Casey’s parking lot and the Bugni’s garage…a trail of dust rose up behind her.  The dog loped after her.  I quietly made a beeline for my house.

Later that day I found out that Carli had made it all the way to her yard and shut the gate.  She outran an angry German Shepherd at ten years old.  It’s a good thing too, because life wouldn’t be the same without her. 

But rest assured she has NEVER let me forget this Incident. 




Leave a Comment
  1. Michelle / Dec 5 2010 12:02 am

    I was looking for a picture of a mean looking German Shepherd. This came up, i loved the pic, reminds me of my yard. I own a soon to be two year old female purebred german shepherd. The best breed as far as i am concerned, never understood why some people are so scared of the breed. Just like they are with Rotti’s etc etc. My girl is a true sweetie, would harm a fly..yes she has done so many times before. Roxy is very friendly, loving and gentle, i am sure it would change fast if you tried to hurt me. Your story is funny, i can picture the two of you on a mad dash home. See had it been me i would not be alive as i would have stopped dead in my tracks to talk to the dog. Yes, strange i know but i have been an animal lover since i was four years old. I have been scared by many different types of animals when i was younger as i figured they all were my friends. Until i got closer and realized that was not the case. At the time they were all protecting their young or food. 1000% my fault, i still love all animals. They make the world a better place and so do great best friends like you two. The statue had me laughing and picturing just what it would look like. Too funny, great story and picture. Thanks for the much needed laugh :)-

  2. Emily / Nov 27 2010 9:39 pm

    Owners name was Aaron.
    Getting names mixed up.

  3. Emily / Nov 27 2010 9:35 pm

    This story had me honestly laughing out loud.
    I’ve been chased by dogs before, and even if you aren’t a runner, you will suddenly find yourself able to run at insane track-star like speeds.
    I agree with Talea wholeheartedly.
    German Shepherds are beautiful, but they have made me incredibly fearful of dogs in general.
    When I was five, my Dads friend Aaron brought his German Shepherd Bandit to our house.
    We were all in the kitchen, and I was holding my Moms hand.
    Brian was holding onto Bandi’s collar; when, out of nowhere, Bandi lunged at me, and bit me in the face, then let go, like nothing happened.
    I nearly lost my left eye, my right cheek was punctured, and the inside of my nose was ripped out (not sure how that happened, but whatever).
    Both you and Carli are incredibly lucky you weren’t seriously injured.
    I also think that saving your own ass in that situation is totally legit.

  4. Elliott Quinley / Aug 7 2010 5:46 pm

    So how much did you antagonize it?

    Non-dog people have a habit of causing problems like yourself and always use the wife as an excuse. “Oh my poor wife!” Wah wah wah!

  5. Aaron / Apr 14 2010 10:50 am

    I came across this post quite randomly off google but I have to say that story was royal, it had me in stitches! An almost identical incident happened to me when I was about 10 as well, only my friend out ran me, and I didn’t outrun the dog — turned out he was just wanting to play! That was literally the scariest day of my life, I thought I was going to be eaten! I sure was the man when I brought the dog back under my control to my friends who fled, though!

    (Record usage of exclamation marks for me, this story has me wound up!)

  6. cantueso / Dec 19 2009 2:24 am

    And how did you take that photo?

    Or, rather, how was it taken and what happened to the photographer?

  7. phrannie / Nov 14 2008 8:45 pm

    I happened upon your forum?…by accident (I’m a German Shepherd owner,in Montana, and was doing some research)…your site came up in the search. Of course I started to read your story, and could not stop….I’m still giggling at your dilemma, and your quick wits to evade the “attack”….great story….and your readers comments gave me a chuckle, too…

    Damn….I’m STILL laughing… 🙂


  8. wpm1955 / Aug 27 2008 9:37 am

    That’s very interesting, Maleesha! I always enjoy hearing about your time spent in the Marines.

    Madame Monet

  9. wpm1955 / Aug 26 2008 4:28 pm

    My Dad told me he was taught in the military (this would have been in the early 1950’s) how to handle an attacking dog.

    He said they were told to take off their jacket, and wrap it around your left forearm (assuming you are right-handed. The dog will jump for your throat. Hold your forearm (wrapped in the jacket) out horizontally in front of you. The dog will bite on to your forearm instead of your throat. That leaves your right hand free to attack the dog (jabbing a car key in the it’s eye, for example?–tip from an FBI fried for women walking alone in the street–carry keys in hand ready to to that to an attacker).

    Did you ever learn anything like this in the military?

    Madame Monet, in Marrakesh
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine

    Hello there! I don’t remember learning about an attacking dog but we had lots of hand-to-hand combat training in the Marines. The Marines started a Martial Arts Training program one year while I was in (it’s still going) which is sort of a combination of traditional martial arts and street fighting. So we got to practice on each other. I lived in DC for a while so I also know about the key stab approach. I did this every time I was on the Metro at night.

  10. romi41 / Aug 24 2008 7:32 pm

    Hahahaha….omg, the amputated statue of Carli! So wrong, but it definitely would’ve stood out as a tribute 😉

    PS: I would have done the same, and will do the same, should a friend, lover-boy, or future offspring’s demise aid in my survival…lol

    Loved that story 🙂

  11. Miss Virtual Reality / Aug 24 2008 1:50 pm

    Wow, what a story. Good thing that you both were okay in the end. Though I don’t think I would of been as brave as you, by letting my friend be in risk of getting attacked.

  12. talea / Aug 24 2008 12:03 pm

    German Shepherds are beautiful dogs, but they scare the shit out of me. I never make eye contact with them, they’re like crazy homeless people, you don’t know what’ll set them off, so just try to not be the one they’re looking at when they snap.
    And by the way, you’re a better person than I. I would have tripped my friend, to ensure a greater likelihood of my escape.

    See? SEE YOU GUYS? I could have been worse.

    I should have thought of that.

  13. Stacey / Aug 23 2008 9:02 am

    On one hand, your plan was positively brilliant. Especially for a child of only ten years old. On the other, well, I’m surprised Carli still speaks to you.

    Me too. I’m kind of sure she’s biding her time until she can finish me off for good.

  14. teeni / Aug 22 2008 8:50 pm

    Okay, Maleesha – this is my first visit here and I’m getting a very bad impression of you – first taking pics of old ladies without their permission and posting on the internet and now I find that you once left your childhood friend to be eaten alive by a vicious beast! 😉 LOL

    Oh no!! Maybe I should direct you to the posts where I save all the orphans from the burning orphanage…

    oh wait, that wasn’t me. 😦

    🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!

  15. Dead Charming / Aug 22 2008 1:00 pm

    This flies in the face of a lesson we were taught as kids growing up in Idaho.

    Whenever we were in the woods, we were taught about momma bears, cubs, getting between them, running, and the likelihood that we’d be devoured and ultimately answer the question “do bears poop in the woods?”…

    …and pretty early on someone gave me the best advice I’ve ever been given about bears, co-workers, or just surviving in the rat-race of life:

    “You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the slowest person in the group…”

    Clearly, Carli and the German Shepard didn’t get the memo.

    That IS really good advice. I am glad that someone was slacking on their TPS reports that day, otherwise I might not be here to post about it!

  16. morethananelectrician / Aug 22 2008 10:33 am

    This is the true measure of speed. Not in the Olympics on a track. I would bet you that even Michael Phelps would swim faster if he was being chased by a Great White Shark.

    Fear is the greatest motivator. You weren’t letting her get eaten…you WERE allowing her to show her potential as a runner.

    You should actually be proud.

    I am really glad SOMEONE around here is on my side…

  17. Carli / Aug 22 2008 7:32 am

    Ah yes, the infamous German Shepherd incident. I could have sworn I read somewhere that friends don’t let friends get eaten by German Shepherds? Of course, for most people, when encouhtered by danger they instinctively enter the “fight or flight” mode. Obviously Maleesha must have some very devious super powers to be able to so quickly develop a plan that would allow her to both avoid the flight AND the fight portion of this little incident. As for me…I “flighted” as nature intended.
    And yes, i’m with all limbs…but still bitter.

  18. crisitunity / Aug 22 2008 4:37 am

    There’s a difference between LOLing at something and actually laughing aloud at something…and I actually laughed aloud at the statue paragraph. Great story.

    Carli, good for you! I never could have outrun a German shepherd at 10.

    You should have seen her. It was incredible. And she was a tall, skinny kid, all legs, and they were hitting the back of her head during this run. It was awesome.

That's what she said!

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