Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dog Days of Running

May 19-25 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. (I know...that's actually a thing.) I'm pretty sure there's a week to commemorate everything, but that's a topic for another blog. I was bitten by a dog when I was 8. I was playing with my uncle's German Shepherd mix and things went poorly. I don't remember it extremely well, but I do remember trying to get a frisbee from the dog when she bit me. I remember the blood pouring from my face and an ambulance ride (which in other circumstances could have been exciting). I remember having to eat only liquids with a straw because of all the stitches in my lip. So I get it - I'm familiar with dog bites.

I spent several years quite afraid of dogs, and then I dated a guy in high school who had a black Lab. I learned to get over my dog fear, and now I don't even remember it. I love dogs. I have two - they are our babies, and they are giant love bugs. Every now and then once of them will do what dogs do and get territorial over some toy or treat, but I've never experienced real fear with either of my pups.

Look at these faces - ferocious.
I do not, however, love a dog when I'm in a race unless it's a specific race whose goal is to raise money for animals or some sort of canine cause.  There is nothing more annoying to me than running a race and dodging a dog or leash or human with said dog and leash. A few years ago during the Detroit Turkey Trot a girl with a retractable leash didn't see her dog stopping and the leash almost tripped me. I was so irritated. (I also HATE retractable leashes and think they are for irresponsible dog owners...but I digress).

I think it's awesome to run with a dog. For me, though, running is MY time. Our dogs get plenty of exercise, and they're not missing out by not running with me. I've thought about taking our dogs to a race, but during a race I think it's poor race etiquette to have a dog unless it's expressly encouraged by the race. 

I'll give my dogs some extra treats and snuggles to show my gratitude for their being good dogs during this commemorative week. If running with your dog is your thing, run it out. But I'll be lacing up my shoes and leaving the pups behind. They're spoiled enough as it is.

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