Let me start out by saying that if something as simple as this got my heart racing the way it did, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be dealing with a human instead of a dog...
Anywho, I was out on the trail to Thompson Peak today. Great hike (holy s&&& it was steep towards the end!) and all went well. Until about a mile from the end on my way back out.
I was coming up a hill and looked up to see a pretty good sized dog at the top. I had enough time to notice that it had tags hanging from a collar, so was able to immediately rule out stray and wild animal, which almost set me at ease. Unfortunately, the dog (looked to be a doberman mix of some type) noticed me and began growling/barking. No owner in sight. A few seconds later the dog made some false charges in my direction at which point my hand went to my H&K. JUST as it was about to come out of the holster, the owner appeared at the top of the hill on a mountain bike and managed to get the dog back under voice control and to back off.
Owner apologized immediately and all was well, but that's probably because he never noticed I was carrying.
In that short time, I was amazed at how something so minor could pump that much adrenaline into the bloodstream. I've never even been charged at by a dog before in my life, but even while armed it was an experience to remember.
Just another reason why I carry EVERYWHERE I can.
On a related note, why the hell do some dog owners think it's okay for them to let their dogs off leash in public places? I mean, it's not like every hiking trail, preserve, forest, etc. doesn't have signs up reminding people that dogs must always be on a leash. That's as much for the protection of other people as the dog/owner. That poor dog, really through no fault of its own, was only about 1-2 seconds away from being introduced to a .40 (or 14). All because some owner can't follow simple, basic rules.