Does anyone remember this song? It begins with a surprising “who let the dogs out” before the verse degenerates into some really aggressive “woofing.” Like many others, that’s all I’ve ever known of the lyrics, even back when the song was still popular.
“Who let the dogs out” had a lot of power in elementary school. A teacher would announce his intention to play it and immediately he would have our full attention, at least until the parts we actually cared about came on. Then, pandemonium (otherwise known as children screaming “WOOF” at the top of their lungs, screaming in laughter as they anticipated the next one, and then screaming again, this time in a no-holds-barred contest of reciting all animal onomatopoeia).
Now, approximately one decade later, I can still regale you with an equally as horrifying rendition of that one line plus all of the accompanying “woofs.” I just probably won’t be able to look you in the eye for maybe a year or two.
Anyway, I think my affinity to this lyric was prophetic. Each time it got stuck in my head was no coincidence; it was foreshadowing. My subconscious was, rather obviously, warning me against future dog dangers. Only it didn’t take into account how profoundly unobservant I am, because I didn’t realize my life was in canine-induced peril until the moment I found myself under attack by three snarling guard dogs.
No, that’s not a metaphor. If it was, it would’ve been a bad one, although that really doesn’t disprove anything because my metaphors usually suck.
A little background: my extended family and I were on a camping trip atop a mountain, the name of which I’ve already forgotten. It was Day 2, and so far I’d woken up at 4:30, nursed an aching butt, accidentally squashed a couple generations of ants, bathed in my sweat, nourished some starving mosquitoes, roasted in the unforgiving heat, and complained about everything: the essentials for the truly authentic camping experience.
But it was when we headed down for a hike in the forest that things hit the fan. (The nonexistent fan, I mean—if it was real, it could’ve at least helped with the heat.)
To put it simply, the route’s crossroads-to-maps ratio was approximately 7:1, so we got lost and ended up so off track that we unknowingly landed ourselves on private property.
While my uncle was ascertaining the dead end up ahead, my cousin and aunt were scratching “bear” claw marks on mossy trees, Mom was jokingly reprimanding the vandalism, and we were having a good time.
“DOG!” My other cousin suddenly shouted from the back of our group, barreling past the rest of us in two seconds flat.
Someone—probably Mom—screamed, and I looked back. A mottled brown dog had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, baring rows of shark-like teeth and barking up at my grandfather, who stood stock still. More barking sounded in the distance.
My Thought Process
I kid you not. My cousins were halfway down the trail, my aunts were backing away, and I just stood there like “oh,” feeling nothing except maybe acceptance of my imminent demise.
- Where did it come—whose dog—why di—hahaha who let the dogs out??
The perfect opportunity? Yes. The perfect time? Noooo.
- Music break.
I put all other mental facilities on pause, jammed out to the song in my head, and reminisced, which really shows how much I value my own life.
- Dogs chase if you run.
This seems like a reasonable thought to have when you’re facing down a furious dog or three. What’s not reasonable is how it came as more of an afterthought, like a justification for me not wanting to expend the energy to flee.
And I suppose we all would have been ripped to shreds had the owner not shown up and called his dogs off. Although I’m pretty sure he sicced them on us in the first place just to make a point—I mean, he must’ve seen us through the security camera, and my aunt was sporting a magenta floppy hat. Hardly threatening material.
I’m not sure what you’re going to take from this story, but because “don’t trespass” is common sense and it was an accident anyway, what I’m getting from this is that for all intents and purposes, I fearlessly stood my ground in face of certain death.
Or at least, that’s what I’m telling people.