You probably get the hint that I had a run-in with a dog on one of my last few runs just by the title of this post. I’m very descriptive 🙂 I do show a picture of a very minor dog bite, so if that sounds too gruesome you may want to pop back here another time. I promise, it’s not bloody and there is only one.
You’ve probably figured out by now that I am one of the world’s biggest dog lovers. We have two fur-babies of our own that you see frequently pop up in photos on Instagram (@tnewlove) and on here. I grew up exposed all different kinds of animals (dogs, cats, farm animals, etc) and understand that while pets are usually friendly and lovable, you have to respect that they are still animals who cannot voice what they are thinking and that they can’t always be trusted.
Case in point – my leg, circa 6/16/2014. You’ve got to expect the unexpected 🙂
I was on my way home from a short run when I decided to loop around a nearby cul-de-sac to add some mileage to my run. I’ve ran around this street at least 50 times since I started running and have never had any problems. I didn’t have music, but was lost in my own thoughts (which is one of the reasons I love to run!). A little shih tzu started barking at me from his front porch where he was laying. I didn’t think anything of it and just kept running on the sidewalk. I was past his ‘territory’ and well into the next neighbor’s portion of the sidewalk when I heard the barking continue, followed by the sounds of claws on the sidewalk. By the time I stopped to turn around and tell the dog “no”, he lunged at my leg.
Yay, right? I ended up shaking my leg around enough to get him away and was able to be stern enough to get him to leave me alone and go back to his yard.
Lesson Learned: Don’t be afraid to [gently] kick the darn thing if it’s going to bite you first.
After cleaning the wound and taking stock of what just happened/what to do from here, I decided to do what anyone else would do in my situation and browse the internet. Please, don’t do this. You get nasty looking images and really scary stories and won’t want to look at a dog ever again.
I was very lucky that the bite is NOT deep at all and that the dog was very small. Regardless, it was a good reminder that we are not invincible and need to be prepared to deal with any dog ‘attack’. I wanted to share them with you, because I want all of you to be safe!
3 Dog-Encounter Safety Tips for Runners
1. Don’t Run Away! Dogs are more likely to chase you, so stop running.
2. Be Still and Boring. Being motionless and not engaging the dog in the behaviors makes him/her more likely to leave you alone or stop.
3. Take Precautions. Prevent any unfortunate situation before it has opportunity to happen. Know your route and avoid any areas where dogs are free to roam. You can also carry pepper spray/mace with you.
Another one of my own, is to keep things in perspective. I’ll be honest, I was definitely much more alert and nervous to go on my run yesterday. However, when you stop to think about it, how many times have I ran without any issues? Exactly. One encounter over the last 6 years of running isn’t exactly a lot. I learned how to handle it the hard way and have the marks to prove it. I just hope that none of you ever have to encounter the situation, but if you do, please remember the tips above!
Also, please keep your pets vaccinated and safely leashed/tethered/fenced in. The dog who got me wasn’t controlled by anything. If you won’t do it for my safety, do it for the safety of your pet! I’ve had a dog run after me (thankfully he just wanted some love!), and crossed a street to do so. That could have ended badly.
Just a cute reminder that you can’t judge all dogs by the actions of one 😉
Have you ever encountered an animal on your run?
Think about the best run you ever had and tell me about it.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I love both, but definitely would rather have a dog! My fiance is the opposite, so I’m sure our house is going to be a zoo!