Hook686, kumbaya is farmerboy's thing, not mine.
Meanwhile, there are lots of elderly people who deal with strange dogs every day, yet don't shoot them.
My grandmother was terrified of dogs, yet she never shot one, nor threw a rock at one. She might yell if one approached, but she would do so while stepping toward it, not showing a "prey" reaction, and that always did the trick.
My point is not that an attacking dog should be coddled. My point is that the vast majority of dogs that approach are not actually attacking, and that a distinction should be made between an approaching dog vs an attacking one.
Like I have said, I don't have issue with people who react from reasonable fear; but I have a big issue with people who react from irrational fear, or who simply kill something because they figure they can.
From your prior posts, I don't think you are irrational, or a blow-hard. So, I would think you'd understand my position.
Now, does one's physical condition or skill-set affect one's options, in whatever case one perceives? Yes, of course.
But you are the same, somewhat disabled 60-something gentleman whether the creature approaching you is an unknown dog or a panhandler. Are you going to tell me you'd shoot the panhandler without an articulable reason why you felt he was threatening you, aside from the fact that he was approaching and you are older and less physically capable? Of course not. The same rationale should apply with the dog, at least to an extent.
And if the dog really was attacking, then I have no issue with use of a firearm - aside from potential threat to the neighborhood from stray bullets. (I generally do not think a gun is an optimal anti-dog weapon in a wide variety of circumstances; they move fast and are hard to hit, which also means they are easy to miss.)