30 November 2010

Puppy Love or Puppy Hate?

I know a lot of runners adore their dogs as their running partners. There are even races for dogs with their owners. I admit that one of my favourite things to do after I left CO when visiting V in Nederland was to go running with her fiercely loyal, super cute and sweet pit mix, Jasmine. (I knew I would NOT get eaten by a mountain lion when running with Jasmine, and the mountain lion thing was a serious worry.) In college we ran with Zion, my coach's roommate's poorly behaved dog. So running with dogs can be fun.

But I hate running when people have their dogs loose to chase me. I think it's incredibly irresponsible to let your dog run all over your property and chase people and potentially get hit by a car.

This morning, I had five different dogs chase me. It was frightening. The best thing Forrest ever taught me was when a dog comes towards you, run towards it because then it gets the predator-prey roles confused. I also screamed a lot.

The first dog today was out of control chasing me and barking and refusing to retreat. It was fairly frightening. I was lucky enough that a car came down the road and separated the dog and I. The car stopped so I could cross and waited. I waved. Freaked out. The next time, I was running up this steep hill (Seriously, great hills over here. Maybe it's that everywhere but NYC has great hills, but I'm loving the training out here in PA!) and these three dogs came barking like crazy. I screamed a lot and ran down the hill with my head looking back up at them. And then some other stupid dog went nuts and I quickly ran a different way. Misery.

My little sister runs in NC where apparently many people don't see the importance of leashing your dogs. She was once chased by a dog where she had to use her dog mace - and it didn't work. Some "good old Southern boys" rescued her by almost hitting the dog with the truck, and then offering to shoot the dog for her. (She declined their offer.) 

It's frightening. Running in Costa Rica and Argentina, I got chased by dogs all the time (some of which were wild dogs, but that's a whole other story). But here...why are people so moronic that they don't keep their dog on a leash, or if they want their dogs to run, build a fence? Their dogs could easily hurt someone or get hurt.

My dad got bitten by a dog while cycling. A woman yelled at my dad, "He doesn't bite, don't worry," when my dad asked the woman to pull back her dog (and my dad LOVES dogs).

When you try to talk to people, they get offended and nasty. My sister once told a woman whose dog always chased her when she ran down her block about what was happening.

"Maybe you should find a different running route," the woman snippily said.

My sister, so sassy, immediately replied to the heavy woman, "Maybe you should start running. Period."

And then my sister ran away.

1 comment:

V said...

ARGH, I also can't stand it when people have loose dogs. We have a fence that Jacobi probably cannot get around, and we still don't leave him in the yard unsupervised! (Our main worry is dognapping, since he's pedigreed, unusual, and loves people. And since that one freak tried crawling under the fence to pet him, it's been of even more concern!) Anyway, people are pretty good about not doing this in Buffalo, but we had one eccentric woman always walking with her Irish Wolfhound and Jacobi, on a leash, barked at him. Jacobi doesn't generally like other dogs, so, he barks. Her dog started coming over. She obviously thought she had voice control over him, and when he wasn't listening to her, she acted as if we were the ones in the wrong. In a public park. Sorry, lady, dogs bark, and when they're protective like Jacobi (who also leans hard against me sometimes when he's barking, like, "hey mom, it's OK, I got your back") they sometimes bark a lot.

And yes, another problem is the whole possibility of getting hit by a car, deliberatly too, apparently.

And don't even get me started on invisible fences which DON'T WORK. And may be the reason you were chased five times today....