Friday, April 8

Canine Fuelled Rage

For the first 18-years of my life, I lived in a house with at least one dog. That experience began in Australia with a gentle giant, a Great Dane named Duncan. Fast forward a few years and the contrast couldn’t have been more exaggerated as I found myself in a completely different world, enjoying dogsled racing in Canada’s barren north.

Since those early years I’ve slowly came to the conclusion that I’m not a dog person. It’s not that I don’t like them, but the urge to have a canine in the house has constantly been outweighed by the necessary upkeep.

Last Sunday, 2k kilometres into a planned 10k tempo session at Elk Lake, I was shocked to find a German Sheppard/Golden Lab gnashing at my right leg. Okay, he was barking loudly but the teeth were mere inches away. While this was going on, the owner was shouting at ‘me’, trying to reassure me that the damn dog wouldn’t bite. Not the comfort I was looking for.

What came next was far from thoughtful, as all I could muster were two loud, often linked words, “f’k you”. Again I was told that the dog wouldn’t bite, and again my vocabulary was left wanting. In the end the dog didn’t bite, the owner got an earful, and I ran the following kilometre at 5k pace rather that a controlled 10k tempo.

The (interrupted) session was to build on the previous weeks 5k where I ran a controlled 18:35. My goal was to hit around 37:50 (approx. 3:47s). As the markers around the lake are a tad off, I wasn’t too worried about the splits but instead concentrated on a smooth steady effort (37:22), splits as follows: 3:37, 3:23, 3:54, 3:34, 4:00 (18:31) 3:46, 3:50, 3:56, 3:55, 3:22 (18:51)

Yesterday, under some much welcomed but rare sunshine I returned to the Lochside Trail to run another timed 1,500m (duplicating a session I did two weeks ago). This time around I split the 1,000m in 3:22 and finished 4:59, 10” faster than before. All signs pointing in the right direction.

Enjoy the weekend, and watch out for those dastardly dogs!


Andre LeFort said...

It's such a flawed perception that dog owners have. Just because they've never bitten anyone in the past doesn't mean they won't ever do it. We're all creatures of habit, but sometimes, just sometimes, we snap and things change.

Glad to hear you were no worse for the wear. I had the same thing happen to me on an easy 10km last week. I haven't returned to that route since and I'm not sure I will.

Chris said...

Dude. Dawgs. Love 'em. Hate 'em. And hate loser owners more. When I was 14, a giant of a man about 6'7" and 300 pounds had a wolf (small town Alberta)....bloody thing tackled me and growled. He laughed. I rode by on my bike later and threw one of his empty beer bottles through his front window, while he sat there watching tv. I laughed. I am on alert when a dog comes at me while running...hey Kevin Searle chased a Rottweiller down a drive way screaming at it...ha ha ha...ask him about it. On a long run with me he did the same thing, but to a cockapoo. ha ha.

Sub40 said...

Good for you for giving that owner what for. I used to live next to Elk Lake but wouldn't train there because of the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Read this one and chuckled ... It's sad, but I think twice about running E/B at certain times (evenings and weekends) now because I fear the aggro that lurks behind every potential confrontation with a dog walker.

Touch wood, I've never had an aggressive animal, but I've had tons of animals cutting me off as they tear in and out of the side trails, or because as their owners stand and chat in the middle of the trail or generally walk 4 abreast down the centre of their universe.

After much reflection (and knowing the feeling of canine skull on human skin) I started a new approach ... The dog doesn't really know any better. Charming, cuddly, loyal, furry friends indeed, but they are still less intelligent, lower forms of life (that's why YOU feed THEM). It's up to the owner to keep them out of the way. So now, if I have to make a choice between a quick ankle-twisting diversion, a knee-knackering canine hurdle, or throwing a 15 kph cross-check at Doug from Glanford, you know where I'm aiming.

Word up!

Anonymous said...

... And I agree with ALF. "He won't bite" ... To which why retort is usually "Do I look like the f'ing dog whisperer" or "Sorry, my dog telepathy is off today".

Then the leash argument ensues ... "I don't need a leash, it's an off leash area" ... "No, it's a shared use area in which you can have your dog off-leash if it's under control" ... "I know my dog, it's under control" ... "Then why did it run into me?" ... This is where it falls apart ... Most will go straight to ~F you~, ~AH~, some will attempt the ~Faggoty shorts~ approach ... Then simply grin and smugly suggest scrapping the leash and going for a muzzle ... End this with the words "Fat bitch" (any gender, any age) and you've crushed their will to live.