Fight or Flight or ???

"I love the snow"
“I love the snow”

The fight or flight response is ingrained in our DNA. Spinal cord, sympathetic nervous systems, adrenal medulla, the general adaptation syndrome, blah, blah, blah and a whole bunch of sciency stuff that I’m not sure we need to go into. At least not here, today. I like to leave myself room to return to the sciency stuff in the future. If you can’t wait, you can read more on Wikipedia. I want to share three stories I’ve collected that suggest that we need a third option, because some people are governed by a pathetic nervous system, or maybe a malevolent nervous system or a nervous system that is impaired.

For various reasons, mainly that I think these people have suffered enough at the hands of their own adrenal medulla, I’m not going to use real names or include links to the articles I’m quoting.

One story is about a woman who was trying to cut in front of a long line of people who were waiting to enter a popular bar. She ran into John Howell’s frequent character, Tiny the bouncer. Literally, she ran into him. Tiny said: “she took a three-point-stance like a football lineman, charged at me, and struck me with her shoulder.” Tiny, again literally, was unmoved. He pushed her away, causing her to fall – at the feet of two police officers. She got up and, according to the news report:

“…she began walking away despite officers ordering her to stop…when one officer placed his left arm inside her right arm to stop her, she punched him in the face with her left hand.”

The story ends with this woman in handcuffs, in a police wagon, kicking and screaming on her way to jail.

The second story begins when officers responded to a report of a domestic dispute involving a drunk man who was demanding to drive.

Officers in two police cruisers, responded to the incident, and when the second officer arrived, a pickup truck sped out of the driveway, drove toward the officer, crashed into his cruiser head-on, rendering it inoperative.

The suspect then drove over a neighbor’s lawn, nearly hitting a tree and the other cruiser before speeding away, engaging officers in pursuit.”

The chase continued until officers used “stop sticks” to disable the vehicle on a highway on-ramp

The suspect fled on foot and was captured by a police dog without further incident.”

See, this is where I think our nervous system needs to show some genuine sympathy and ask to see what’s behind door number three. Fight? Flight? Or, do I have another option?

Consider our second suspect, the police knew who he was, they knew where he lived and they witnessed him commit a far worse crime than driving under the influence. The woman trying to barge into the bar, probably would have been given a ride home, or spent a few hours in jail, throwing sobering-up. Tiny does this for a living, he wouldn’t have pressed charges. This would have just been one more story that he loves to tell.

The third story is one that I love to tell. It happened many years ago, and it starts with ignoring an axiom that has been passed down from father to son, for decades:

You can’t outrun a radio.”

We join our third suspect while he was driving – erratically – impaired – speeding. When he noticed a police car in pursuit, he increased his speed. Traveling on a main road, he sped into the neighboring town. The pursuing officer had radioed ahead, and it became clear that he wasn’t going any farther. Undeterred, he made a U-turn and sped back toward the first town.

Once again, radio communication was in play and this man entered the original town with two police cars following him and two more waiting for him. The suspect tried to drive past the two waiting police cars, but ran into a ditch and flipped his car on its side. Time to pack it in?

You would think.

As the suspect crawled up out of his car, he was facing three police officers from the first town and one from the neighboring town. One of the police officers was the K-9 officer and he had his dog with him. Guess which officer the suspect decided to punch in the face. Go ahead, guess.

Yep, the officer with the dog.

If the first fact fathers pass onto children is “you can’t outrun a radio (in a car)” the second fact should be “you can’t outrun a dog, on foot.”

That man has one seriously messed up adrenal medulla:

The suspect was apprehended and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.”

I’m guessing the dog was treated to a steak dinner.

It snowed this weekend. Since I don’t have photos of our suspects, I’ve given you some or our usual suspects.

And, if you want to watch the little redhead in action, here you go:


  1. What a great way to start the week with a video of Maddie in the snow and stories of stupid humans. :-) I think we all get the ‘flight or fight’ and have probably all experienced the adrenaline rush from it but usually reality sets in and we adjust behavior and response. It seems like there is a lot more behavior today that leaves us shaking our heads. Matt Dillion had to work pretty hard to find a felon because all he had to go on was a single description of man and horse. Today, there is a trail a mile wide, but they still keep trying to dodge the experts. :-) Safe travels to work and hope it is a good Monday for you, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Judy. It was 2°f when I left for work, but they say it will be near 50° by Friday. Crazy New England weather, just like you know so well. Maybe people are influenced by movies and video games, and they think escaping the authorities is easy or dramatic. I still can’t figure out why you would hit a cop, let alone the one holding the dog.


  2. I’ve heard that Labs are easier to train than a lot of the other breeds of dogs. I used to have a neighbor who trained his lab to stay in the yard without any fence around it. Maybe Maddie just needs a shot of lab in her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll have to see if I can get some Lab in pill form :)

      Actually, the first time we got an Irish Setter from a breeder, “a fenced yard” was listed as a requirement in the contract we signed. IT works out well for us, as all the neighbors have dogs too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It just occurred to me that you’re speaking of the “fence” around the garden. Yeah, once she knows that we don’t want her in there, it becomes a game. She will actually take her ball in and drop it, and then go back in as if to say “but my ball’s in there.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the ping back, dan. I loved the stories and am reminded about stupid criminals. Maddie looks like she is having a ball (so to speak) I noticed on your gages in the care that warm up at 1000 RPM put the temp gauge in the middle. How long did that take at 6 degrees?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This car actually warms up really fast, John. I’m guessing that might be related to the fact that it’s a 4-cyl. I normally just get in an go, and I have heat flowing at about the 1/2 mile mark. Not that I’ve measured. I remember my Dodge Durrango taking about 5-10 miles to really have heat.

      Maddie does enjoy chasing the ball, and then tugging to keep the ball. I’ve almost given up explaining that “in order for me to throw the ball, you have to let go of it.” That ball, with its open lattice structure is hard to get out of her mouth. When I do get it, she bounces around like “throw it! throw it! When are you going to throw it?”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have an idea for your fence: hang that tape with sponges and empty doggie shampoo bottles.

    Thanks for the happy doggie and kitty pictures. :) And, yeah, you gotta wonder what kind of survival benefit that kind of human behavior imparts. I’m of the opinion it’s to skim the detritus out of the gene pool.


  5. I think this shows how too much alcohol can really mess with our rational thought processes. And nice snow photos. :) I just noticed my pingback is on your post so I need to figure out what happened and believe me I am not drinking this early in the day. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heh. I can say when my adrenaline is in control, I am not, but maybe it helps to have a better brain to begin with? Like the kind that knows dogs are faster than humans?
    Maddie is the cutest ball-hog ever! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These people should instantly be slapped with what my husband calls the Stupid Tax. I guess it’s good that these things still leave us shaking our heads because if they grew to be too routine, we’d be in even worse shape. My favorite story from some years ago is that of the burglars who ran away from the police at night…while wearing those athletic shoes that light up. Stupid tax alert!!

    Of course the classic about fight or flight is that you don’t have to outrun the bear chasing you, just the person in front of you.


    Liked by 1 person

    • 6 degrees is what we do, but only a few times a year. We usually have a nasty cold week in January and again in February. Then we get weird thaws. It’s supposed to be almost 50 on Friday. MiMi will bake by the fire all day. But, she’ll also go sit in one of the basement windows where it’s almost as cold as it is outside. Maddie doesn’t seem to mind, either way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I want MiMi’s job … although I might have a bit of a problem balancing on top of the cat condo ;)

    I already have a 3rd option that goes into play on a regular basis – it’s called “freeze like a deer caught in the headlights” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s a good plan, Joanne. I t wold have worked well for all three of today’s stars. It’s funny you should mention balancing up there. the first scratching post I made had a flat shelf. Our cat use to fall asleep and then fall off the shelf. Sometimes, he woke up and grabbed onto something. Every now and then, he went “wunk.” Ever since then, I’ve built a cradle at the top. She can’t fall out unless she really works at it (which MiMi does on occasion).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some cats like to be up high while others, like Theo, prefer to be down on the ground – especially under something. Theo has a tall scratching post with a 2 level cradle, but rarely ever goes up. He mostly uses it to stretch out the full length of his (very long) body when he’s scratching the post.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Having worked in the field of corrections for so many years, none of those stories surprise me. Not even the guy who punched the officer with a dog. I remember reading a story of a woman who, after stealing some jewelry, went to the police station to answer questions…wearing the stolen jewelry. So, the third option might be “let’s put it right there in front of your face and see if you notice.” In the case of the jewelry thief, the officer did.

    Thanks for the video of the red head and the photo of MiMi doing what all cats do best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shows up wearing the stolen jewelry? I guess it’s good she didn’t punch him in the face. I wish I knew what that dog was thinking when the guy punched his human partner. I’ve always thought is was something like: “Oh my God, this is the best day ever – I get to eat this guy!”

      I think more people want to be MiMi than Maddie. I can’t say that I blame them, she has a way of looking comfy.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Maddie is beautiful! If we ever get snow here, I will be sure to gather it all up and send it her way. 😉
    The one rule my parents taught me was, “never do anything that gets you involved with the law.” That pretty much defines how I roll…..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. :-) my fight or flight instunct is gone bonkers lately and I blame ptsd but your stories got me a little more back down to earth. Never done any iof that sort of thing :-). Thanks and greetungs to Maddie (so from redhead to redhead ;-) )

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your pets are adorable, Dan. I really like how Maddie plays! One thing I have meant to share with you regarding your garden area with the yellow plastic to keep Maddie out, ( ;) )
    In the distant past, my Mom and Dad raised our mutts to not go in the formal living room. They would scold and use a quick smack on the puppy’s rump with rolled newspaper. The second dog we had did this funny trick! I wish I had a funniest home video of this “bad boy.” He would get along the edge of the pink rose colored carpet, putting his paws on the slate tiles, only to literally plop (fall!) sideways with complete body ON the soft carpet. Same thing happened with Nicky as your Maddie and how she places the object inside to yellow tape. His eyes would open and his mouth looked like a smile, when my Dad would yell at him. He would look beseechingly at his toes which were NOT touching the carpet, as if to say, “Feet off the carpet was the rule, right?” :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny. We had one Setter that we tried to keep out of the kitchen while we were eating. She would leave her feet on the carpet but she could stretch practically to the table. I think they understand.


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