I guess this is one of those soapbox kind of days. Before I begin I would like to say that I am a dog owner. I would also like to say that I view most bad behavior by dogs as being the result of their owners not controlling their pets.Over the years I've always ignored the articles that's appeared,usually in RW,regarding runner's encounters with dogs.Perhaps I should have read them. I say this because for the third time in three months I've been attacked by the same dogs.The first time was nasty.The dogs came charging around the corner and hit me just below the knee,upending me,resulting in an injured elbow and hip.Thankfully,the owner was close by to call them off.They looked to be pitbulls or a mix of that breed.The owner was somewhat apologetic and explained that her dogs were actually going after the dogs behind a fence I was running by.Let me say this about her comment,why is it that dog owners seem to make comments like that after their dogs behave badly or they say other ones like,"he's never done that before." Maybe they should try this one,"You know,I really need to keep them on a leash." Well,a month later,they came charging at me again.Fortunately,I yelled and the owner called them off.Finally,the other day one of them came charging out again and it was scary.The owner appeared but it got a little tense as they say.It was at that moment I said to myself,"enough is enough." When I got home I called the police with the intention of filing a complaint.Now, some of you may be wondering why I just didn't find another place to run but you see this route is a perfect one,a little bit of country in the middle of the city.It's about a mile long dirt service road that runs behind my house with tons of foliage on either side.
Well,the policeman arrived and was sympathetic but said it was more a matter for animal control and he would call them and have them talk with me.All I could think was, can't he just go over there and tell them they need to obey the city's leash law? He said they'd be over in about two hours.A day later and still no animal control.It was at that point I called them myself and it wasn't just about me and my running that I called.In the past I've seen children walking and on bikes in the area where these dogs ran loose.
I knew things weren't going well with the call when the lady from animal control who was taking the report seemed to have alot of trouble distinguishing between my address and the address where the incident occurred.I had to repeatedly say,"no,I live at that address,the address of the dogs is....." She assured me that someone from animal control would stop out there to "educate" them. Oh yeah,I'm sure that was effective.A little education,yeah,that's all that's needed.How 'bout a ticket? How 'bout the owner being told to obey the leash law or else?
In closing,I finally decided to find another route to run.It's not quite as nice as the other one but at least I know I can run safely......for now!
Next soapbox topic--How can you call yourself a serious or hardcore runner when you do your long runs with your cellphone hung on your shorts?