It is incredible what we do just to get a story. I thought I was going along to film an interview about parcels that had been sent from kind people in the UK to the military working dogs that do an incredible job out here in hot and horrible conditions.
How I landed up in a ‘fat suit’ running for my life is still a mystery.
Our lovely radio presenter out here Rachel and my compadre Cath decided to have a go and came out laughing and smiling. Peer pressure soon had me angling my squat and boney frame into the suit – which is not unlike those sumo suits you get at parties only without an outline of bottom and rolls of fat drawn on the outside. This suit means business.
While I was being fitted (distracted) with the helmet and face guard, I overheard a faint shall we get the second one out; that would be fun…
…..the second what??
I turned round in the middle of the dusty square to find not only Zeus (very aptly named) straining on his handler’s lead and growling provocatively at me, but also Devil (even more aptly named) straining on his lead.
Hang on. Rachel and Cath got ONE dog. A conspiracy against the smallest person in the gang.
But it was too late, I was being instructed to taunt the dogs (they didn’t look like they needed it to be fair), then run away (about 20 feet away there was a 6-foot-high fence so I was onto a loser there from the start but didn’t want to state the blindingly obvious).
So in a blur (and because my pride would not allow me to chicken-out), I waved like a lunatic, gave the monsters my best growl and ran for my life.
Well, I say ran. In that suit, it’s more of a giant-penguin-waddle. No chance.
One pair of fangs brought me down with a thump and got well stuck-into my wrist and forearm. I followed the instructions of the handler – “keep trying to get away!” – and then felt a second almighty gnash in my upper arm. The next yelp was mine.
I’m now nursing a large purple bruise and neat jaw outline around my bicep. I’d like to say that the other guy came off worse but I’d be lying. Suffice to say, I’m glad Zeus and Devil are on our side.
And in response to Cath’s quip about the reasons behind the two-dog-conspiracy: I’ve got your number dog-loving-Brazier, I know you had a quiet word to take out the cat-loving-Ward.
Am off to plot my revenge….