I’ve got a problem developing… You see, I’ve always been fine with dogs and I’m kind of morphing into not trusting any of them anymore. When you realize even a dog named “Pretzel” could put a real hurt on you, you tend to get wary of all of them.
I’ve discovered my number one hazard in running all the roads of Darke County is all the country dogs that think I’m infringing on their domain when I run past their houses. Well, the amazingly high number of drivers I see staring at their dumb phones is probably even worse, but at least they are predictable! The dogs always get more “protective” at night too…
I generally see about one dog a week that I feel I need to be on guard for and have the pepper spray ready, but last night there were three!
Seriously, I like to run faster when I can, but I don’t care much for the adrenaline spike that comes from a set of fangs closing in on me!
The first was the worst… He just LOOKED mean in addition to the snarl-growl-slobber thing he had going. I’ve found the best thing to do is stop running (there goes my stats for the night!) and talk gently… not making too much eye contact… but for some reason, this dog was acting all the world like he was going to take his pound of flesh if he could. So, I’ve got my pepper spray aimed at his eyeballs, and I’ve pulled off my water bottle pack to give him something to bite instead of me, when his owner comes out hollering mighty obscenities at the dog.
“Pretzel! Get back here! Blankety-Blank-Blank Dumb dog!”
I was dumbfounded. A killer dog named Pretzel? Pretzel!? I’m actually not sure, but it might have been Twizzler, I was kind of worked up.
Then the man has the nerve to shout, “He won’t hurt you, he’s a good dog!” – Riiiiiighhhhht…
And yes, I continued on past a frantically barking “chaser” about a half mile down the road and finished up the evening with another psycho pooch’s owner shouting worthless assurances of my well-being from under the hood of a car in his garage.
You know what? The owner of EVERY single dog that has acted super aggressive toward me has said their dog won’t bite me (when said owner bothers to be around to call of his doggie.) I’m not buying it, not for a second. I’m very patient and I am bold enough to wait until an attack is imminent, but I’ll warn all you dog owners out there… if your dog is loose and it lunges at me, it’s getting sprayed. Period. It’s the bad behavior of all the dogs just like yours that have made me even THINK of defending myself against dogs. I’ve had one get a tooth into my calf and I’m not doing that again.
It’s a shame really, I used to try to make friends with every dog I saw, and it generally worked, but now I’m suspicious of every last one unless they are grinning ear-to-ear and wagging happily.