by Jorn Lier Horst, Norway
I've been away from the blog for a few weeks and have not had the opportunity to write my Wednesday posts. There are two things that have prevented me from writing. Firstly, I have published a new novel. A book launch always means busy days. Interviews and appearances. The second thing that happened was that I was attacked by a dog. A large black Rottweiler.
It happened one morning when I was out walking with my own dog, Teodor. On a forest trail, we met a woman who was out with her two huge rottweilers. Even from a distance I signed that one of them was very aggressive, and I chose to turn. The excitable dog managed to tear himself away from the owner and came after us. It attacked my dog that I had to lift up and to safety. Then I was next. The big black dog tried to tear me down and bit me badly in the arm and back, and was not satisfied until the owner got him torn away from me. The incident sent me to hospital, but also on the cover of the newspapers. For you who read Norwegian you can get you the details here. The rest of you'll have to manage with the pictures of me and Teodor.
I've always been afraid of big dogs, and I know why. When I was 13 I was scared by a book. It all started when I was visiting a neighbor kid, playing in his room. He told me that his mother was reading an exciting book about a boy and his mother who had gone to a farm, but that their car had broken down in front of the barn. On the farm there was a mad dog that had killed the farmer and eaten up his wife. Now the dog walked around the two in the car and drooled and wanted more blood. Then I could not help myself. I tiptoed out to his mother who sat on the sofa and read. I hid behind the sofa back and began to snarl, softly. From where I sat I could see that her hackles rose. So I yelled and barked loudly. She was so frightened that she jumped high above the couch and put her legs well under her before she landed again.
Some might have guessed it. She read Cujo by Stephen King. I borrowed the book from her afterwards. One thing was that it made me afraid of dogs (such as Jaws made me afraid to swim in the ocean), but the reading experience also told me about how books can take us to a completely different place. How it is possible to immerse ourselves in a story. The book came in 1981. Have not you read it? Do it, or watch the movie! (Cujo was a St. Bernhard dog, by the way - not a Rottweiler)
|From the movie "Cujo"|
I'm probably not the only one who is scared of big, black dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is a disputed theory that black dogs are the last to get adopted at shelters because of superstition or a perception that they are aggressive. But my fear is irrational. When I met my wife, her parents had a Rottweiler as a family dog. It was probably one of the nicest dogs I've ever met. All dogs are special, with individual differences. Rottweiler has nevertheless gained a reputation, partly because it had military tasks for the German Army during both the first and second world war. Rottweiler is normally a balanced, peaceful and persevering dog, which often form strong ties to the family. A typical Rottweiler is fearless, stubborn, courageous, faithful and very patient. Usually an's best friend.
Jorn Lier Horst