After the pitbull attack I was kind of PTSD'd. Every noise sounded like a bark and every movement looked like a dog running out toward me. I had trouble falling asleep the night after.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the only dog that attacked me in Kentucky. I was attacked again later that day, and many times in the following two days.
Most of the dogs were bluffing and would chase me, snarling and baring their teeth, but not really wanting to catch me. Others were more serious. They all frightened me.
The Appalachia mountains are spooky, with deep misty valleys and thick wet woods. Being alone, with creatures constantly charging out of the murk, made them terrifying. Like a nightmare.
There's a scene in Private Ryan where Tom Hanks character explains that he's able to keep fighting despite being scared, because each mission he completes brings him closer to home.
That became my new credo.
After the first attack, I bought a can of wasp spray, which the Internet claimed works like mace. When I spray dogs with it, they don't yelp in pain, but they do stop chasing.
For 3 long days, I fought a Dog War in the hillbilly hollows of Appalachia. I sprayed countless dogs, Dobermans and Dachshunds and Dalmatians, every furry fuckhead that came after me, attempting to block my way home.