Dog Days of Summer

Good Morning,

It’s no secret that I am afraid of dogs that I do not know very well, especially dogs that I encounter while running or walking.   I continue to work on disguising this fear to unknown canines because it’s well known fact that dogs have the ability to sense human fear and will often respond back with a vicious bark, growl and/or bite.   I’m not the type of person who will walk up to a strange dog (even to the cutest cuddly labrador puppy) and welcome their furry paws and slithery tongue with open arms.   I have also been known to get startled and even jump to the side of the road if a dog contained in a car barks at me as I run by.

Case and point – There is this crazy dog on one of my regular running routes that barks incessantly as soon as I turn the corner to round a grassed median that is separating the road.  Luckily, this dog is contained to the front yard via invisible fencing. However, I’m not sure what the owner of this dog is thinking because this dog is yapping his jaw nonstop sometimes as early at 6:00am and doesn’t shut up until I am about half mile away. I’m sure their neighbors really enjoy this kind of wakeup call.  I’m always afraid that some day this dog will ignore the warning beeps of his collar and take the electrical shock to bypass the invisible line for some human flesh for breakfast.

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I bet you are wondering why I continue to run this route if this dog bothers me so much.  Luckily, this dog is not outside running around and barking everyday; but, I’m waiting for the day that I see the owner outside so I can offer some friendly dog etiquette advice or give the owner the evil eye.  I’m not sure how well my friendly advice  will go over or if I will have the courage to speak my mind, but I guess it will be worth or try.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute pooch just as much as the next person, but, c’mon have some common sense.

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Now that my training has been rerouted to the trails for the time being, there is another problem to bitch about.  There are signs clearly marked all over the place of this park stating “Dogs must be kept on leash”.  There is  even another reminder sign stating this rule just as you enter the first trail.  But I continue to see many dog owners unleashing their doggies all over the place.  And I just love it as I come to a dead halt and move to the side of the trail, while in the meantime the owner is trying to regain control of their mutt and states “oh, he won’t hurt you.”  Yeah right, you never know when a dog is going to turn Cujo on you so I’m not buying those remarks.

Maybe it’s just Syracuse, NY where people ignore leash law rules and disrespect others by letting their animal run wild.  When Tim and I were in Baltimore last summer, the sidewalks and outdoor patios of restaurants were filed with people walking and sitting with their dogs.  We never heard a peep out of any of the various breeds represented on the streets or laying down innocently next to their master while they were eating.  I do remember that all the dogs we saw in Baltimore were on leashes and many of these dogs were wearing those roped harnesses to keep their jaws in tact.

I do think dogs are awesome pets and give kudos (not Cujos) to the pet owners who take their animals outside for exercise.  But, please, please, have common sense and keep your dog on a leash and make sure the retractable lever is working properly before entering a public area.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I’m curious, what do you do when you an encounter an unknown pup that is barking nonstop?  I would welcome any feedback you have to offer on overcoming my fear of being attacked by a dog.