I am mad at you. Very mad at you. After all, it is your fault that I did not log the miles I had so hoped on Sunday morning.
I was running on a glorious fake winter day, courtesy of a gracious husband who took my toddler shopping for the holidays. I had set out with a loose plan of 5 miles but I felt good, and it turned into 6 miles then a 10K. I was on track to hit the 6.2-mark at my driveway when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw your stupid tan and white dog.
Your dog might be a nice dog. He might not be the pit bulls you hear about on the news, the ones who attack small children. But that's not a reason to leave him untethered and otherwise uncontained in the front yard. He barks - loudly - and runs the length of your property, obviously indicating his territory and, more than likely, his intention to protect it.
And it scares me. A lot. So much so that I fear running past your house will only further excite the dog and incite a fight. When I see your dog in this state - we both know this isn't the first time - I stop my MOTOACTV, slow to a walk and chalk up the run as done.
Even if I don't want it to be. Like Sunday, when I ran an asinine 6.14 miles.
So please, please, please stop being a crap and put your dog in the fenced back yard. The one I know you have.
I like to believe I'm a good dog owner - I exercise Denali, give him good food and make sure he doesn't stink. I am forgiving, though, as I know things happen. You know, like a bored dog sneaks out the front door and explores the neighborhood for two hours. My runs lately, including Sunday's almost 10K, though, have left me with a few pet peeves.
1. No matter how well behaved/trained, a dog can and will leave a yard if given the right motivation. Shock collars and invisible fences are not fail-safes either. It is not wise to just leave your dog running around with the expectation that a) he will stay there; and b) no one will get hurt. Also, any passersby will not be hip to your dog's awesome abilities to stay in a yard and might be frightened by an exhibit of territorial rights. Example: A fancy house in a nearby fancy neighborhood has a Labradoodle with an invisible fence. The dog is nutso and runs the length of the entirely too big yard yard at Usain Bolt pace and I nearly crap my pants every time.
2. If you can't control your dogs around other people/animals/fire hydrants, find a place to exercise them that doesn't involve those things. On Sunday's run, again, Denali and I encountered a man riding his bike with three dogs. THREE. He was on the sidewalk, coming toward us, but went to the street to give us room. The three dogs were in the park strip, going absolutely insane as we passed. Again, near crapping of the pants. I was worried not only for my safety and Denali's well-being but that of the cyclist. They surely could have pulled him over and thrown him in traffic. Some might call it Darwinism but I try to be protective of my fellow man.
3. Retractable leashes are the dumbest things ever. Don't use them. Seriously. They don't offer any control over your dog, and your dog doesn't need to walk 20 feet in front of you. Unless you are having a quarrel but that's another story. If your dog needs that much room, go to the dog park or buddy up with someone who has a fenced yard.
4. I might get flak for this but oh well. I can't let my dog be an "outside" dog so you shouldn't get to make your cat be an "outside" cat. If you do, and my dog lunges for it, knocking me to the ground, and eats it ... well, not my fault.
Have you had any frightening animal encounters? What are your pet peeves?