Over the last two months a new running group has been established at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, WA. On any given day there is the potential of 4 or more runners heading out for a nice lunch run around the roads of the beautiful Yakima Valley.
Yesterday was not one of those days as everyone’s schedules have been a little different making running alone necessary. The thing about our running routes is the amount of dogs who like to come and greet us alone the way. Depending on the day we each take turns yelling at or rushing the dogs giving them the scare of their lives…or at least reminding them they make us nervous.
Yesterday however, there was no one to help deflect the dog attacks, it was just me. The beginning of the run was relatively calm with less then normal dog action but all of a sudden one of the usual suspects started running from the front porch to make my leg into his lunch snack. On the normal day the 4 foot fence keeps him at bay but today (of course when I was alone) he jumped the fence without hesitation coming to hunt me down. In that moment of panic I saw my new Brooks GTS 10’s being ripped in two and my new Brooks ID Elite shorts pulled to my ankles tripping me into ball of shame in the middle of the road. Somewhere out of my inner most soul it came, the loudest, most gnarly exclamation I have ever made “Go Lay Down”. The dog’s hair rose throughout its back and stopped dead in his tracks retreating to behind the protection of this fence.
In was in that moment of pride and relief I noticed that in the adjacent field the 15 plus goats were eyeing me down and in peeing in unison. (As a former goat owner I have seen this response before) The urination in fear response is a classic.
With my Brooks gear unharmed and firmly around my waist I finished my run and returned to the world of graduate school with the ever present reminder that my voice and face are capable of making goats pee. May my anger never reach that point with my kids because that is not how a Dad should ever be remembered.