Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dog Days

Dear dog owners,

I know you think your pooch is the cutest, best doggy in the world.  I get this, because my cats definitely are the cutest, best kitties in the world.  I don't dislike dogs, even though I was traumatized when I was little by a huge bloodhound running off with my Barbie.  Sometimes I wish I could have one (but can't, with my job).  This isn't really about your dog.  It's about YOU.

I'm a runner.  I've been a runner for 40 years.  I've run all over the world, on trails, roads, in bear and mountain lion country, in places where I've had to turn around and retreat because of sketchy people, and in all kinds of weather.  Despite all that, dogs have been the worst of all these obstacles.  Yes, DOGS.

When running, I've learned to be very cautious when approaching dogs.  I usually slow down and sometimes even stop, depending on the pup's behavior.  I've taken other routes when I know a mean dog is there, and even cut my run short to avoid one.  I talk to the dog and the owner in a friendly way.  I step aside on trails for them.

Despite this, I've been bitten, barked at aggressively, chased, jumped up on and scratched, bumped into so hard it caused a bruise, and had my hand grabbed in dog's mouths with their teeth clamped down on it.  Meanwhile the owner usually says the dog's name ineffectively, claims "she's friendly" as it snarls at me, and refuses to accept any responsibility.

Your happy pup running up to me to say hi is fine.  I don't expect all dogs everywhere to be on leashes, or to be perfectly behaved all the time.  But let's share the trails and be courteous.  Please train/control your pooch so we can all have fun out there.

Sincerely,

A runner
I have a "niece," Ruby.  She is very well behaved!

16 comments:

  1. Ruby loves runners. But she's trained to stay behind me if I see people. If I can train a husky to do that, any dog can be trained.

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  2. See, I don't get people letting their dogs approach strangers. I don't let my dog do that, even though I am 99% confident that he wouldn't snap at anybody...that said, years ago he did snap at a little kid in our neighborhood, and ever since then? NO KIDS. If someone is coming over with a kid, he's in his crate, period. You get one chance with me, no redemption chances. So I'm sorry that you've had such horrible experiences with dogs - that isn't right, and you have every reason to be upset.

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    1. Several people I know have had the same experiences. Even being bitten! I don't get it either.

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  3. I don't mind well-behaved dogs, but you are right, there are plenty of bad owners who don't control their dogs. Cute "dog-niece!"

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  4. Great post..I’ve had them come up to attack me on a bike also!!!

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    1. It's really disconcerting because you don't know if they are just friendly or if they're mean. The one that bit me was just walking along next to its owner.

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  5. Ouch....such bad experiences (except with Ruby! And Cale! While running in S. Hills, L. once drop-kicked a small dog which came after him with the owner watching. Sailed clear back into his yard...the owner did corral it after that!

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    1. I don't think you could get away with that anymore, with how people are these days. They don't seem to think their dogs are doing anything wrong.

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  6. All.the.time.

    I just don't get those dog owners who let their dogs run off leash. It's so irresponsible. Yet they always act as if I'm the bad guy!

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  7. This post speaks to my heart. ;-) I have had more bad experiences with dogs than anything else while running.
    I also have never understood why owners allow their dogs off leash, or to just go up to other dogs. I have a small dog, but he does not like other dogs. I have other, bigger dogs, come up to him and start sniffing, my leashed dog growls and backs away and the other owner always says, don't worry, he's friendly. Maybe your dog is friendly, but how do you know my dog is?

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    1. I know! Exactly. And even friendly dogs can be unfriendly in certain situations.

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  8. *Applause* I totally agree. I was bitten by a dog during a run through a neighborhood one morning. I would add to it, not to let a young, small child hold the leash if you have a dog at a busy public park! Kids + untrained dogs = unpredictable. I was running at a park recently, and a small child holding a leash had no control of the dog, who darted in front of me and damn near tripped me with the leash, which would have sent me sprawling into the little kid if I hadn't caught myself. A little common sense would go a long way to avoiding potential accidents like that in the first place.

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    1. Yes! I don't know why some dog owners don't get it.

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