Let’s talk about dogs. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dogs. Growing up all we had were dogs and a couple birds. Lion is the first cat I’ve ever had and we only got him a couple of months ago from the shelter. So the point is I know dogs and I love them… but, when I am running I hate them. It’s not the dogs fault; it is their owners. About three weeks ago I was running in Orlando, almost home and minding my own business when I spot a dog and it’s owner a little ways in front of me. The owner sees me coming down the sidewalk towards him and does nothing. As I approach I go as far to the left as I can to go around them, but then the dog lunges at me and claws my leg! I yell at him to watch his dog and he just laughs! I couldn’t believe it! How hard is it to keep your animal’s leash tight when you see someone passing by? It’s ridiculous! Other times I have had dogs bark at me, which raises my heart rate in fright because I had been concentrating on my pace and breathing at the time.
It’s not just the dogs wanting to eat me, but it is also the dog poop. It hasn’t happened yet, but I will be very upset if I am running along and I step in dog poop that a careless owner was too lazy to pick up. I’ve had to jump over and avoid the dog poop on the sidewalks near where I live. Now I make sure to keep an eye on the sidewalk as I run.
The dogs seem different in Boston, although the poop problem still exists. I do see a lot of dog owners carrying bags to pick up the poop, but I had to dodge a lot of dog poop on my run this morning which shouldn’t happen. The reason Boston dogs seem different is the way they act. I saw multiple dogs on my run without a leash on and they did not come running and barking after me! They actually listened to their owners! This may be due to the animal’s exposure to people living in a big pedestrian ridden city. I have to say, it is nice not having to worry about being attacked by a dog while I run.
So my message with this post is for dog owners everywhere: Please restrain and train your dogs! It is not hard to do. I used to run with my dog and she never tried to attack anyone. So now I will leave you with this photo of my beautiful dog Holly who is currently in Florida and I miss very much: