Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moronic Dog Owners Hopefully Learn a Lesson

Cross country practice ended early so I changed plans and decided to do a run from my house and hit the woods out back, as it's been a while since I've run back there. The plan was just to go at an easy pace (as most of my runs will be during the taper) and just take in the scenery. I was rather enjoying myself, that is until about six miles into my run, when a curious set of events occurred. At least for me, it fortunately had a happy ending.

I rounded a turn on the fire road and saw a guy and two women, all looked to be in their mid to late twenties, up ahead and walking in the opposite direction. With them were two small dogs and one medium dog... all off leash. The dogs ran at me and were yapping and barking like mad, but stopped short about fifteen feet away. I waited for the owners to call the dogs back, but nope. They were doing nothing.

I was really annoyed and trying to keep my cool, and after several moments I asked if the dogs were friendly. One of them said yes, so I squatted down and held out my hand. I do love dogs after all, just sometimes not their owners.

Dog #1 came up and sniffed my hand and let me pet it. Its tail was wagging. Good doggie. Dog #2, the medium sized dog, then came up and sniffed my hand. I moved my arm ever so slightly and the dog jumped and snapped, but fortunately all it caught was air.

I stood up and the dogs jumped away. "You know, your dog just snapped at me," I said to the group. I'm sure my annoyance (turning to anger) was obvious. One of the girls answered, "Oh did he? I'm so embarrassed." That's fine you're embarrassed, but how about an apology? Saying your sorry and meaning it really does go a long way. But no. Just embarrassed. And I was amazed that the group was making no attempt whatsoever to corral their dogs and put them back on their leashes (which they were carrying).

By this point the group of walkers and Dog #1 and Dog #2 had now walked past me, but Dog #3 (the other small dog) stood there staring at me, looking very jumpy. I took a step forward and the dog ran in the opposite direction the owners were walking (and in my intended direction) about 50 feet and stopped and looked again.

"What is Lana doing?" asked one of the girls. Ah, okay. Dog #3 = Lana. Well, it was pretty obvious to me that precious little Lana thought I was chasing her and intended to high tail it if I continued on my run.

A sadistic plan quickly ensued in my evil little brain...

"Sorry, I can't wait around anymore, I have to run," I told them. And run I did. And so did Lana. And fast. That dog full on bolted it up the trail and had no plans of stopping. Neither did I.

"LANA!!! LANA!!! COME BACK!!!", one of the women screamed. The dog was soon out of sight as it rounded a turn in the fire road. "LANA!!! LANA!!!"

I looked over my shoulder and yelled, "This is why you should always keep your dogs on a leash!" I then started to laugh quietly to myself. Yeah, I probably could have been a better person here, but I guess the little devil hanging out on my right shoulder seemed a lot cooler than the angel on my left.

"Lana! Come back, Lana!!!" The intensity in her voice was still there but it was now pretty distant as I continued my run (and so did Lana). About two thirds of a mile later, I saw Lana up ahead, finally not running but instead she was walking around and sniffing some bushes. I'm not a complete bastard, I was hoping the dog would be safe and I figured it would be okay. The odds of a coyote jumping out of the bushes for a quick snack were pretty slim, after all. I was glad to see she was fine.

The turn I needed to take to get back home was far enough away from the dog so I wouldn't scare it again, and I made the turn and listened to the woman continuing to call for her dog, now growing pretty faint, but she would soon be reunited with little light-footed Lana. And hopefully she learned a lesson at the same time, but one can only hope.

Ran 7.8 miles @ 9:13/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirts.


vja said...

Unfortunately, those people very rarely learn lessons. I'm with you; it's the dog owners that are bad, not the dogs. Grrrrrr!

Jeremy Bonnett said...

"I'll get you my pretty, and you're little dog too!"

vinp said...

I'm currently reading your book "Maine to Boston" on my kindle. A very enjoyable read. I ran MDI last year and loved it. Unfortunately not running it this year but maybe try again in 2012. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best of luck in Bar Harbor!

Blaine Moore said...

You don't have very good luck with dogs while you're running, do you? Could have been worse, though, could have been the guy we met on the beach a year or two ago.

Love2Run said...

Learn anything? Not a chance! I'm sure they reported that evil runner who scared their little poochie ;-)