This is a featured article by an empowered woman sharing her story as part of our Women on Wednesday series. Women on Wednesday is all about empowering ourselves and others.
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Even after serving nine years in the United States Army I was never comfortable with owning a personal firearm. Then on May 25, 2018 this opinion was changed. It was 6:30 a.m., the sun was just coming up to what was going to be a bright, beautiful Kentucky day. What better way to start the day than with an early morning run. I put on my running shoes, watch and earbuds and away I went on a fairly routine route. I got about 2 miles when I spotted a couple of strange dogs. I tried to ignore them; however, they got closer, so I slowed my run down to a walk and avoided eye contact like I had been taught. They circled me like sharks with every step I took, for close to 2 blocks. My heart was beating faster with every step. Then it appeared they lost interest and went to the side of a house sniffing the grass. I felt it was my opportunity to get some distance between them and myself, so I started to jog away. Then out like a bolt of lightning they were on me; snarling, barking, chomping my legs.
It was at that point that I realized that I was defenseless. I kicked (only made them bite harder) and screamed for help that did not come. During this attack, 3 cars drove by and not one stopped; one did slow down, however, just kept driving. Finally, I stopped fighting, tucked in my arms and stood my ground in order for them not to knock me down and just waited for them to get bored of me. Just as quick as it started, they did in fact stop. So here I am 2 miles away from home, blood streaming down my legs with no phone, no defense, simply helpless. The next car that came down the road I practically jumped in front of it to ask him to call the police. The man huffed, but did make the call. Then was so gracious to leave and let me walk the 2 miles back home with blood streaming from my stems. Luckily, my spouse was home, due to having a broken leg. As I entered the door, I yelled that I was hurt and needed her take me to the hospital, to which she fell out of bed trying to get to me. After 3 hours in the ER (mostly waiting) the wounds were flushed with about 10 bottles of saline, 15-20 shots of rabies immunoglobulin around the wounds, rabies shots, etc.
After the incident we went driving through the neighborhood talking to people to see if they had seen the loose dogs. We approached one lady and she stated she heard me screaming and thought about coming out, but didn’t. My faith in humanity was officially shaken and it was then and there that I had an epiphany that we need to protect ourselves from that day forward. This time it was a dog, but it could just as easily been a person, especially in these turbulent times.
So I contacted my cousin Christy Painchaud, with E3 Firearms Association. Her and the E3 Firearms website and team helped us look at the pros and cons of the diverse protection items available, so we could decide which item(s) fit us and our lifestyle. We visited our local gun store and tested a vast array of firearms in order to decide which one was right for each of us; I chose a Kimber Micro 9 and she chose a Glock 19 Gen 5. Every person we talked to has been encouraging and unbelievably helpful to understand and be informed. We obtained our CCW licenses and both have been regularly hitting the range to improve.
The silver lining is not only are we learning, but we are having fun. This experience has brought us closer from recovering from our respective injuries, learning new skills and enjoying some friendly competition from quick draw and accuracy drills to even playing battleship with ship targets.
We have yet to run with our pistols, but no longer walk out the door without either pistol, knife or pepper spray gel. I also added cellular service to my running watch so next time I can call for help, as well as protect myself. The dog was never caught. Luckily, the injuries healed with no permanent damage, minus an array of colorful scars. However, these scars will serve as a permanent reminder that a situation can occur in a split second and while you can’t prepare for every scenario, being aware of your surroundings and having some sort of protection increases your odds of survival.
About the Author: Kay Faesel resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky with her wife and daughter. Kay is GM of Manufacturing at Submar, Inc. She’s definitely one outgoing woman who enjoys hiking, running, obstacle races and is also a skydive instructor. She’s a proud military veteran and dedicated to protecting herself and her family by empowering herself on firearms training and education.