If you keep track of my mileage you can see it has been an Ok, yet not stellar year for running. The other night I was running just before sunset as the wind was blowing the leaves to and fro when out of the shadows came a group of nasty looking dogs hot on my tail.
The number one question I get ask by non-runners is “what do you do when a dog chases you?” I learned a lesson a long time ago while running in high school with my Coach Jim Freeman. (former world class runner and holder of the US marathon record in the 60’s) Mr. Freeman is the softest spoken humble guy you will ever have the privilege of meeting. We were running in the city of Snohomish around his old training grounds when out of no where this huge dog starts to run down the 4 of us. Mr. Freeman turns around kicks the life out of the dog and then starts running again as if nothing ever happened. The youngsters, all sophomores, pale face and stunned heard the gentle voice we have all known say – I have no time for dogs, you show them who is boss.
So what do I do when a dog chases me? I take the advice from Freeman – I generally turn towards the dog – yell in the biggest voice I can find “go lay down” – which usually works but on the occasion it doesn’t I prepare to defend myself. I have been heard telling the dogs: “you bite me – I will shoot you and leave you for dead for the other dogs to feed on your remains” or “go home I have killed for less”
When running at twilight in rural Whatcom County where cougars are known in the area I have been known to carry a .357 Mag…you don’t yell at a cougar you just shoot it.
I have no time for dogs – I handle them aggressively – now if only I could tackle my homework with the same aggression.
If you are a runner – what do you do to handle dogs?