Folk Narrative – Dog Chase Story

The informant remembers a story saying there was a young woman in her twenties that took a bad road in her life (she started doing drugs, drinking excessively, and hanging around with bad people). She was very well known in town as she had grown up there and it was not the biggest town. One night after being out and partying heavily, she was walking home and noticed a big dark colored doberman type dog following her, which she assumed to just be someone’s pet or a stray. After the dog kept following her and getting closer, the girl started getting nervous as it was an intimidating dog, so she began to try and get away from it. As she began to run, the dog started to chase her and she was really scared, she did not know where else to go except possibly the church, as the dog began to nip at her heels, the young woman got to the church grounds and barely made it to their lawn before falling. When she looked back, the large dog had stopped at the border of the church grounds, and according to the young woman, it stood up on its hind legs and spoke in a very deep voice, telling her she had gotten lucky this time, and if she did not fix her ways, she would not be as lucky the next time.

Context – This tale was said to have occurred somewhere in a more rural, small area of New Mexico, not far from Albuquerque, and the informant had heard this from friends and from their mother. The informant had passed the story on to their kids as well. Those who had heard the story were often creeped out, and many times also decently religious as in the smaller community, many people went to church. The story was also said to have been passed around by older figures in the church, especially to younger members. Many people, including the informant, often question whether the young woman in the story was so intoxicated that she hallucinated the whole interaction, whether it was actually a demon warning her, or if the whole thing was fake. Either way, people were nervous to find out.

Analysis – As this often was told by older figures, especially around the church, it is possible this tale was told as a way to convince younger individuals to behave and stick to good religious tendencies rather than the hardcore partying described in the young woman’s attributes. This is not an uncommon form of getting younger individuals to behave, and follows the outline of other stories following individuals cleaning up their act. Usually tales such as these persuade and scare those being told the story into behaving and keeping on a straight path. This story seems and ultimately fits to the area it was being told due to the religious background of the smaller, rural area.