I recently started a new job in West Oakland. The office is located in the Embarcadero West complex, and there is no bus service there. It’s right along the railroad tracks, adjacent to the Port of Oakland. Nothing like the Dimond District, where I live, tstl! Since I don’t have a car (haven’t in a while) I take the AC Transit bus most days, and walk from 7th & Market Street. Because of the nature of my business – selling information to PR professionals – I need to start very early (90% of those folks are on the East Coast). People look at me with wide eyes when I tell them I walk through West Oakland in the pre-dawn hours. But, I don’t feel afraid. At least most days. Last week, I was walking along a fenced yard where there are various rigs (trucks) parked. It’s underneath the Freeway, so it definitely has that gritty under-the-over-pass vibe. The dog appeared to be some sort of bully breed, and since I’m not afraid of people OR animals I didn’t think much of it when he started barking along the fence. He was protecting his masters’ property no doubt! However, I was not prepared for the fence to end and the gate to be wide open. I actually wondered if I was actually in trouble for a moment, but the dog stopped at the end of fence and didn’t go through the gate, thank God. Not sure what stopped him but I had to laugh and wonder if the dog thought it was funny too. Punked by a pit bull? Lucky? Who knows, but I’m still comfortable in just about any environment. That is one cool thing that has resulted from my practice of unconditional love for my fellow man. And beast!