When dogs and joggers collide

‘I’ve turned into one of those people who go jogging in parks that I used to hate’ – Sam Taylor-Wood

If I’m going to go for a jog, which i’m trying to do more often these days; I heavily prefer to do it outside rather than on a treadmill in a gym. The fresh air does you the world of good and I find it much more motivating to have a visual end point to run out and back to rather than staring at my sweaty pink pig face in the mirror for an hour.

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Running outside of course isn’t without it’s hazards though; adverse weather conditions, waiting for traffic to pass before you can cross the road, and, as I found out recently, being bitten by dogs.

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I’ve never been afraid of dogs in the slightest, in fact, I have two close friends whose dogs I’ve made wee on the carpet because I’ve gotten them so over excited playing with them. So they’ve certainly never bothered me too much when I’ve been out running.

I did however get a little fright whilst out the other weekend with Dave where a woman with her little westie was walking towards us, she pulled him over to the grassy verge to let us past, however the retractable lead clearly wasn’t locked, the dog became taken with the toggles at the bottom of my leggings and went for me. And when I say he went for me, there was absolute teeth to bare skin contact.

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Now, I appreciate i’m not a dog owner, however, I don’t have to be a singer to know when someone’s out of tune, and I don’t have to own a dog to know that they shouldn’t go round biting strangers. Thankfully no skin was broken so other than a bit of a shocked/heated exchange and some profuse apologies on her part along with the insistence that he’s never done that before, we were all on our way with no real harm done.

It did leave me very, very annoyed though. I’ve been jogging outside for about 3 years now and 99% of the time dog owners are brilliant; they pull their dogs right over to the side, on a teeny, tiny lead and make them sit down as I run past, and I’m super appreciative of those people. However, sadly it’s the small minority that ruin it for everyone else.

It’s incidents like this that make people frightened of dogs, and dog owners wonder why people get frightened by their dogs running up to them despite them swearing blind ‘he’s just a softy really’. Problem is dog owner, I don’t know your dog’s ‘just a softy really’ I don’t even know you, so how can I be expected to take your word for it? All I can see is this salivating, snarling wolf beast with teeth bigger than a great white shark bounding towards me.

I also appreciate that dogs have an animal instinct and if they see something they don’t like (like the tassels on the bottom of my leggings for example) they will go for you. However what about my animal instinct that kicks in when something attaches it’s jaw round my calf to boot it into the middle of the road? I kid of course because I accept that I do have the developed sense of consequence that dogs don’t, so I would never actually do that, but you see my point?

We love hanging out with Dyna…

If you are a dog owner, please, please be like that 99% that are courteous and keep you little drooling bite monsters on a short lead when someone’s jogging past trying to run off the bottle of wine they polished off the night before. It would make us all much happier!

*Thanks to Caroline and Janine for letting me use pictures of Nanny and Dyna to illustrate my point, who are the lushest dogs in the whole wide world!

2 Comments

  1. newgirlintoon March 22, 2018 / 6:02 am

    I love dogs but I have to say I hate them when I’m out running, a lot of the dogs round here are walked off their leads and when I run past them I get convinced they’ll chase after me so I always make Simon run behind me so the dog gets him first – HA! This has never actually happened and it’s all in my head, but I do wish that people would take more care of their dogs when there’s runners about!

    • honestlyhelen March 22, 2018 / 10:41 am

      All joking aside it has really spooked me and I give dogs a much wider berth now than I ever used to, which is sad

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