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What would you do if you were attacked by a rabid animal? Think about it, as apparently the United States has one of the highest rates of rabid animal attacks on humans.
National Public Television had a feature recently on the problem, and spoke with a number of individuals who had to go through the painful but lifesaving rabies treatment immediately after being bitten.
A couple of these folks knew that they had to bring the rabid animal into the hospital with them to be tested. They told of using all sorts of ingenious methods for dispatching the various varmints and hauling the carcass away to be checked for rabies, or in one woman’s case, holding on to an animal with one good hand and driving to the hospital with the other. Bitten first on the foot and then on the arm, another runner found herself wrestling the fox into the trunk, and driving like a madwoman to the closest hospital. She didn’t mention if an officer stopped her, but can you imagine the excuse she could blurt out! Her interview ended with what sounded like a bad joke, “This bobcat went into a bar … ” as she continued to regale her listeners with the rest of the tale describing a ferocious (definitely rabid) wild cat that subsequently attacked unsuspecting patrons in a bar.
As a regular walker, I pondered the answer to the show’s primary question and decided on a few things I would not do (could not do) if I was attacked by one of our local bobcats, skunks, raccoons, fox or any other vicious varmit. While the advice given to prepare oneself for sudden attack included carrying a bowie knife or some such weapon on all forays away from home, I know that I could not kill the animal and stick the carcass in the canvas bag I usually carry with me on my walks around town. No weapon handy, I would have to resort to clunking the creature with my cell phone or lambasting it with a legal pad or two. Talking an animal to death (my cell phone prowess is so limited that it seems to go off and unleash countless messages simply by knocking it into something) or slicing and dicing the unsuspecting animal with a few lethal paper cuts to the jugular, are far-fetched solutions.
If I do get bitten, I can’t dangle a distressed, dangerous animal from one of my limbs as I limp back to the car. I don’t drive to my walking locations. Somehow I can’t picture myself efficiently carving up the creature, before packing it all snug and cozy into the plastic dog doo-doo bags that I keep handy. Better just to be prepared for the worst — no more daily walks for me!