Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Dog Day Afternoon...
I always kid that the instances where I've been chased by dogs served as my speed workout. The close calls have been funny or humorous stories, but not the real thing. It's actually kinda scary - before, during and after.
The plan was to spend Saturday with my son, niece and parents about 20 miles away. I'm always trying to squeeze in a run, so I took my running stuff with me. I figured I'd sneak away for a couple of hours and do a longish run.
After having gone shopping (I needed my mom's good taste in chosing linens) and out for a bite (pun intended), I decided to run at a local park with a 1 mile dirt loop. Immediately upon starting, I thought: "10 loops? This'll get boring fast." So I decided to go off road and follow some canals that we often run on.
This particular canal runs along some fields on 1 side and fenced houses on the other - the backyards, to be more specific. I've gotten used to hearing the dogs barking as I run by, but they're always in the fenced in backyard.
After about 1.5 miles, I suddenly saw 4 dogs about 10 feet in front of me run onto the dirt road. I froze in my tracks as 1 of them growled at me. They started running towards me, and I did the only thing I could think of at the time: started backpedalling slowly. As they got around me, I stopped, turned around and (for some odd reason) raised my arms. I guess it was my way of saying "I give up!!!"
As the dogs were around me, I felt what I can only describe as a pinch in the ass. Yes, my ass!!! I'd like to say that I let out a manly yell, but in reality, I think I screamed as I felt the bite. I think I screamed because the dogs (luckily) ran off immediately.
What was the 1st thing I did? Well, I pulled my shorts down to check my ass. My left butt cheek was red and slightly bleeding. I had 3 small teeth punctures. In my ass!!! I pulled my shorts back up and ran back to my car. This was the longest 1.5 miles. I kept thinking: "What if I get rabies?" "What if I die?"
I texted a friend of mine who is a nurse, and she asked me questions about the dog (which I couldn't remember). She gave me some quick instructions on what to put on it, how to clean it, etc.
My mind was racing because I couldn't think of what to do, so I did the only logical thing: I finished my run. I ran 8 more miles - the whole time my butt cheek throbbing. It probably was not the 1st thing I should've done, but it's all I could do to calm down.
2 days later (Monday morning), I drove by the canal to see if I could see those dogs in somebody's back yard and guess what??? I did. I managed to get their owner to come out, and I told him what had happened. Considering that he had his dogs unleased or loose, he seemed like a nice guy. He assured me that they were vaccinated, gave me his name and phone number. I wanted to see the vaccine record, but at the same time, the thought of going into his backyard or waiting there while the dogs were barking was too much.
I drove to the local police department and filed a report which according to the officer, would be forwarded to health services.
A doc's visit was next which alleviated my fears. I'm lucky that all that's required is some anti-biotic cream.
I really don't blame the dogs. I blame the owner. Just because you live out in the country, shouldn't mean your dogs can roam freely - in my opinion. Because of your carelessness, my butt cheek is bruised, purple and sore.
One of my friends runs with mace all the time, and another runs with a pocket knife. Yes, I am serious. I'm not much of a fan of running with anything on my hand (I can barely hold a handheld during long races), but I may have to reconsider this.
It would be so much easier if (so called) animal lovers kept their pets leashed or made sure they wouldn't get out of their backyards.