Monday, August 3, 2009

Unfriendly Dogs

As promised in the midst of the heatwave, I have started the week off modestly with a walk of 10 kms. I decided that yesterday but, as it happens, this morning was nice and cool and I could much more comfortably (than last week) have walked home from Mirepoix.

I don't think I mentioned that last Monday, as I started on the Voie Verte, I met a lad with a dog. The dog, to show it was entirely under the boy's control, sneaked round behind me and bit me on the bum. No harm done, but the previous week, one of the few people I saw on the track had a rottweiler with him. What if that had thought of trying out its industrial-standard teeth on me?

I have never had much of a problem with dogs, but the more I read about people doing long distance walks in France, the more I read about vicious dogs. Maybe I should take some precautions. I am not very keen on carrying a stick with me (as if that would be much defence against a rottie!) because I like to have my hands free and swinging.

What about pepper spray? The aerosols are a very handy size. Even with one permanently in the hands in areas of danger, it would hardly be an impediment.

They are clearly obtainable. For instance on this website:

but I am not sure of the legality. I get conflicting messages. So far the consensus is that in France it is legal to buy pepper spray, legal to own it, but illegal to carry it! And the police will turn a blind eye to women having one in their handbags. What about old men having one in their rucksacks?

If anybody knows the answer, or has advice, I would be keen to hear via e-mail (details under "my complete profile", or by a comment on this blog.


Kristelfr said...

I have no clue about the pepper spray, but I've heard people using the Dazer.
Might be handy and easier to carry around, clip it on your belt or backpack?

Kelly said...

Here is what I know about pepper spray in France. They sell it in those vans that come around once a month to sell all that stuff you don't need. That's where I bought mine. And I don't think its illegal to carry it because I had mine in Paris, and when I went into Saint Chappelle we went through security and I had to check it in and then get it back when I exited. I don't think they would have given it back if its illegal. And if you do get some, wash your hands after using, I tested mine out, then hours later rubbed my eye and got a wonderful burning sensation. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Don't know anything about pepper spray in France, but given our news here in NZ this morning about a jogger from my home town in the North Island being mauled by 8 pig dogs for >15mins, (, I'd feel much happier knowing you were carrying something, Vic! Jan