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Posts Tagged ‘personal safety’

My newest, don’t-leave-home-without-it, dog-walking equipment consists of a small, pocket-sized weapon of great strength – a little canister of pepper spray.

I acquired it after a stray pit bull attacked my own dog while we walked through a nearby neighborhood (“Neighborhood heroes save the day,” Sept. 2011). It was purchased at a flea market in a booth that also stocked more exotic wares like throwing stars, daggers and swords.

This little gizmo has a safety catch that can be unlatched in a nanosecond, and it fits into any pocket. Fortunately, I haven’t had to use it, so can’t testify to its effectiveness. Some of them come disguised as lipsticks, some come on keychains and some come with pouches to carry them in.

It certainly has a positive impact on my confidence. I carry it whenever I take a walk through the national park and when I enter a client’s house. It’s reassuring to feel my hand gripped around that tiny but mighty weapon, waiting in a pocket, when I return to an empty house with a dog that might be too shy or too small to fend off an intruder.

The clerk who sold it to me offered one piece of good advice, although it might be hard to follow in a moment of panic: Make sure you aren’t downwind when you spray.

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