Release the Hounds

Story Submitted by Lisa:

As Josh and I traded emails online, I let slip that I was afraid of dogs.  A silly fear, I guess, to carry into my twenties, but there it was.  He didn't tease me about it, seemed to understand, and that was that.

For our first date, he asked if I could meet him at his house, as he had a "surprise" in store for me.  "Then," he said, "We can go out to dinner."

The night of our date, I went to his house and rang the doorbell.  His door swung open, a golden retriever bounded out towards me, and Josh's voice yelled, "Get 'er!"

I screamed and ran for my car, the dog hot on my heels.  I made it inside and slammed the door shut.  My heart slammed in my chest and I shook uncontrollably.  I looked out the window.  The dog's tail wagged, and in retrospect, I'm sure all it wanted to do was play.  Still, it was a horrible thing for Josh to do, made even worse by him hopping out of his house, petting the dog, and laughing at me.

I waited for him to bring the dog back inside.  I strode over to him as he closed and locked his front door.  He turned around, and I punched him, right in the face.

He fell back against his front door and he came at me.  "You fucking, piece of shit bitch!  What the fuck?  What's your fucking problem?"

I yelled, "What were you thinking, setting your dog on me?  I told you I was afraid of them!"

He said, "It was just a fucking joke, you bitch!  You have to learn to get over it!"

He stepped a bit too close and I shoved him back.  "I'm not afraid of you," I told him, and readied another punch.

He came at me again, then turned back to his house, likely to open the door and release his dog.  I hurried back to my car, turned it on, and sure enough, the dog ran out once more.  I lowered the window and yelled, "Your dog has to fight your battles?  Coward!" and drove away.

I didn't learn to move past my fear of dogs that night, but I hope that Josh sure as hell learned something.


  1. OP, you don't just PUNCH someone who does that kind of thing. And in the FACE no less, on his own property? Are you a complete moron? He made no physical threat to you himself. You should have just called him an idiot and driven away, since you were already in your car. Yes, Josh was an inconsiderate prick for setting his dog on you like that in the hopes of "curing" you, but YOU made that situation worse because you overreacted. I have my own phobias that I have a similar reaction to if they're aggravated, but I would never use that as an excuse to fly off the handle like you did. That's just appalling, and you should be ashamed of yourself. I hope you get charged for assault the next time you lose it like that.

  2. ^ This.

    Josh set a dog on OP and still ended up being the wronged party in this one. Way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, OP!

  3. You know what, I'm all for the OP here, you don't play jokes on people's phobias; especially for a first meeting, that is asking to get punched in the face.
    Thanks for standing up for yourself OP, some people deserve to have some sense knocked into them.

  4. Actually, when someone unleashes a dog on you that for all you know could be vicious and/or rabid with the intent on scaring/harming you, they committed a bigger crime than punching them in the face. He deserved it.

  5. Team OP all the way. You know what's psychotic? Siccing your dog on someone who tells you they're afraid of dogs! Let's look at the bigger picture here: OP tells Josh she's afraid of dogs, Josh pretends to understand and makes no mention that he owns a dog, he invites her to his house with the intent of freaking her out. This isn't his buddy whom he knows has merely a minor fear of dogs, it's someone who is essentially a stranger and he has no idea how she'll react. Punch in the face well deserved.

  6. Team OP. Love the parting shot, by the way.

  7. I'll have to say, I'm all the way with the OP on this one.
    You don't play with people's phobias.

  8. Ari you are mistaken. When Josh sent the dog after OP he committed a felony. His knowledge about what the dog was capable of is irrelevant. His knowledge that OP is phobia means he is at least ignorant and possibly a sadist.

    Should OP have punched Josh? From a legal perspective, no. But Josh deserved an ass whooping.

  9. Team OP. When Josh sicced his dog on her (his exact words "Get 'er" certainly indicate malicious intent) he was committing a felony and she would have been within her rights to shoot or mace the dog, if she was armed.

  10. While I'm not a fan of physical violence, OP's reaction was completely understandable and Josh was a complete jerk. There is nothing nice I have to say about someone who thinks it's just fine to put someone with a phobia in a situation in which they will have to encounter whatever they're afraid of. Unless you're a therapist who is being paid to help, don't be an ass and leave it alone. Seeing as Josh thinks OP should just "get over" being scared to death, I don't see why he didn't take his own advice and "get over" being punched in the face, as well as himself.

  11. While I think the OP's reaction was a little much, I'm still on the OP's side.

    Regardless of what Josh thought the dog may or may not do, what he did was stupid to say the least.

    IMO he's a total dick for doing what he did.

  12. I feel like these dumbasses were meant for each other

  13. I once worked at a drive-thru restaurant and we would give dogs in vehicles dog biscuits.

    Once, two men in a truck came through with a couple of large dogs in the back. I asked if I could give them some biscuits and they said, "sure" and pulled forward to make it easier.

    As I reached out the window to give the dogs their treats, the dogs both lunged at me snapping and snarling while the two men laughed and laughed.

    I'm still not terribly scared of dogs but to this day I would love to punch those two a**holes in their faces.

  14. I'm with Matthew. To be fair, that is assault by him and his little dog too.

  15. Team OP! I have a severe phobia of spiders. If I told somebody that and they put a tarantula on me, (if I didn't die on the spot of heart failure first) I would go apeshit on their ass. That is, of course, once the spider is safely smashed and the guts unrecognizable.

    I also can't see anybody being that vile of a human being as to actually do this to me.

  16. Team OP. While she didn't react perfectly, there's a reason it's called a PHOBIA. I have a close friend who has a phobia of dolls, while I own several old porcelain dolls and a BJD. When she comes over, I hide them in the attic so she won't freak out.

    Also, he sicced a dog on someone with a known phobia, and implied that he meant to harm her. Assault.

  17. Definitely team OP here, a punch in the face was was the least he deserved.

  18. Lisa may have a fear of dogs but it's not a phobia, otherwise her reaction to the dog would've been more severe.

    Obviously what Josh did was a dick/idiotic move but anyone who knows anything about dogs knows that golden retrievers are not aggresive in the least, it's not in their DNA, Lisa even states "in retrospect, I'm sure all it wanted to do was play".

    If OP's phobia was real & not just a self-diagnosed fear to make herself seem more interesting I might be inclined to be a little on her side, but I'm on neither's side.. because they're both idiots.

  19. Sawyer, she doesn't need to be medically diagnosed with having a phobia. How do you know that she doesn't really have one? She knows her level of fear better than anyone else. Once the dog was in the house she came back out of her car. But when she first saw the dog she booked it for safety.

    You think she claims to have a phobia to 'make herself seem more interesting'? That's just stupid. You think I claim to be an arachnophobe because I think it sounds cool? No, I had to have therapy just to be around small spiders. It stems from having a brother 10 years older than me... use your imagination.

    And ANY DOG can be dangerous, yes even a retriever. Depends on how it was raised and what you train it to do. I used to have a black lab, and he was great with us, friendliest dog ever, but if he got the idea you were on his property uninvited, then God help ya.

  20. @Sawyer,

    As someone who spent 2 years working at a vets, 'all retrievers are nice' is total bullshit. A year long survey done of UK vets on which breeds of dogs were more likely to bite came in with labradors, a breed which is famous for being 'good with children'. I've seen every breed of dog possible come through that door, and all of them had at least one that was a nasty piece of work. I've met a nasty retriever; it took two vets and four nurses to hold it down just to sedate it enough to take rads.

    There is no guarantee on *any* dog that they aren't aggressive unless you personally know them. If you ever hear someone send a dog after you with the words 'get 'er', the most sensible thing to do is get out of the way - into a car like the OP did, or behind a door, or even up a tree, anywhere that is out of the way. Anything else is too risky.

  21. Part of me is glad she punched him. But, why not just drive away once she got into the car? In the very best case, Josh is an immature jerk (who apparently thought that his "surprise" was a great way to start a date)- and, in the worst case, he's deranged (did he actually have any intention of going on a date, or did he just invite her over to terrify her?). DON'T STICK AROUND TO FIND OUT!

  22. @Sawyer - I volunteered in animal shelters for two years. In that time, I worked with all kinds of dogs, from Chow Chows to Rottweilers, and, in a shelter full of pit bulls and pit bull mixes, the only dog I ever saw get put down for aggressiveness, attacking people, and just plain going berserk when someone tried to feed it, was a golden retriever.

    Also, I'm glad the OP punched the guy in the face. If she had just driven away, he would have just had a huge laugh and wouldn't have the chance to realize that what he did was unacceptable.

  23. The guy in this story is a disgusting human being - not only for freaking out the OP, but also for potentially endangering his animal's life.

    I am also afraid of/dislike dogs and while I can tolerate their presence if they're well-behaved, the day a dog comes at me and tries to attack me is the day I'll beat it to death to save my own life.

    The OP is terrified of dogs and could very well see an overly excited dog as one that was going to attack her and could have done something violent towards the dog.

    People like the guy in this story shouldn't be allowed to own pets.

  24. "but anyone who knows anything about dogs knows that golden retrievers are not aggresive in the least, it's not in their DNA"

    Oh god, the stitch in my side, it hurts! About 20 years ago (I believe, I'd have to check with my animal behavior prof from undergrad), a top show golden retriever from Canada's sire was studded out to many reputable breeders. What the owners of the sire chose not to tell anyone was that the dog was highly aggressive. Flash forward a couple of years and you've got retriever bite cases cropping up all over the place as the genes from the show dog pool trickled down into the general pet population. So yeah, it literally was "in their DNA."

  25. The only crime here was Lisa's lack of knowledge of a one-two punch combo.

  26. Sawyer, if you pretend to be a scientist or a psychologist on the internet, someone's gonna call you on your bullshit. Try to be less of a knowitall.

  27. Why would you even walk back towards the house if you are so terrified of dogs? I mean I know he locked the door but if you are that scared I doubt you'd be able to get out of your car. I think maybe your pride got hurt more than your actual "fear" of dogs. I also don't see why its okay for a woman to punch a man in the face, she knows he won't hit her back, that's a little cowardly in my opinion. I mean yeah I'd yell at him if he did that to me, but I wouldn't resort to hitting him.

  28. Way to make it about you Babyforrest, was referring specifically to the OP and not undermining you or your arachnophobia or anyone with a type of phobia. OP never refers to it as a phobia in the story, only the comments do so my mistake there. "When she first saw the dog she booked it for safety" anyone would, common sense would dictate that and not necessarily a phobia. Aggression in a golden retriever (and any dog) may be due to it's owner and the way it's brought up & treated, but in general the breed is known for its friendly disposition..

  29. @Julie - Aggression in a dog may be due to learned behaviour not genetic make up. Unless you have managed to isolate the genes that cause aggression and can prove it then your story is just speculative and may or may not be true, probably not. I have spent several holidays working at veterinary clinics in most of the countries I've lived in and in my experiences and the vets there will tell you golden retrievers are friendly and playful by nature, nurture may cause them to be otherwise.

    OP's date was an asshole but given that she assualted him on his property after the threat was gone he could've pressed charges and sued for assulat.

  30. Hey Sawyer, can't help but notice with the amount of people who called you out on your bs post earlier, actual professional dog handlers among them, you personally attacked me. Can't help but wonder why that is, especially when my post was 10 back. You had plenty of others to argue with who also had stronger arguments than mine.

    In my last post, I wrote 3 paragraphs. The middle one was about my personal experience with a phobia. Apparently relating a small amount of my post to myself is making it all about me. Maybe you are the one who needs therapy.

  31. I just realized that my computer switched me log in names. I'm babyforrest.

  32. Bee: I also don't see why its okay for a woman to punch a man in the face, she knows he won't hit her back, that's a little cowardly in my opinion.

    Thanks for setting the women's right movement back several years. Stories on this site have proven countless times that men will hit a woman back when punched in the face. And as someone who spent three years in hell getting beaten the fuck up by large groups of boys after school, I can tell you for a FACT that not all guys abide by the "don't hit girls" rule.

  33. You don't punch people. Even a six-year-old kid knows that. BUT . . .
    Even though Lisa could have handled it differently, I'm in her corner in that Josh behaved like a major @$$hat. She told him distinctly she had a fear of dogs (doesn't matter if it was officially a phobia or not. Labels don't matter) and Josh DID NOT RESPECT THAT.
    That's what it all boils down to. Respect (or lack thereof)

  34. Sawyer *echoes* huh guess he's not coming back. Pity, I wanted closure.


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