Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Running with Wolves (or At Least with Large, Slobbery Dogs)

Below you will find a running/writing piece contributed by my friend, Ericka Birch.  She is an avid runner (with a few races under her belt), an unbelievably talented writer, a mother of 3 (2 of which are twin girls), and a rock climber.  In other words, she's a flippin' rockstar.  She probably does more with her time than I know about, but I think I got the highlights.  Anyway, enjoy her musings on running with dogs.

    If you have been running for very long, you have probably experienced what happened to me recently. I made a friend. It was a huge brown Labrador retriever. I had so been looking forward to getting some fresh air, but instead found myself stuck in a cloud of dog B.O. For three miles. That’s three miles of him jumping up on me and delivering affectionate nose nudges to my rear end. He wasn’t aggressive. He was totally friendly—just a big dumb ball of excitement. I could practically hear him thinking, “I’m a dog! ImadogImadogImadog!”
    I was running on a 50 MPH country road, and my buddy was really ticking off passing drivers by running into the road. Needless to say, I was getting the occasional…gesture. Or wild arm motion, which I’m sure meant, “Jeez, lady, put your dog on a leash!” I responded with my own elaborate shrug and arm wave in an attempt to convey the thought, “He’s not MY dog! I would never own such a stupid dog! PLEASE hit him!” There were no takers, so he just stayed with me the whole time, finishing his jaunt by taking a giant leak in my garage.
    Since runner-chasing dogs are a common occurrence, here are a few tips to help you deal with similar situations:
1. DO NOT yell, wave your arms, make small, fake-aggressive hops, or otherwise try to scare the dog away. The dog’s whole point in chasing you is to try to elicit this type of idiotic behavior in public where passersby can see. Many of you have probably tried this tactic on a dog whose only reaction was to stare and pant at you with a silly grin on his face. Trust me, the dog was enjoying himself at your expense.

2. DO NOT play dead. Your mom probably always told you that if you ignore a pest, he will go away. This is not true of dogs. If you lie down and pretend to be dead, the dog will probably drag you off and bury you in his special hidey-hole. Also, for futher reasons to avoid playing dead, please see tip #1.
3. DO NOT throw rocks at the dog. It will think you want to play fetch. It will catch a rock in its teeth with a bone-shivering, grinding squeal. Then it will bring the rock back to you and drop it on your feet.
4. DO give me a call if you figure out how to make a furry friend just freakin’ go away.
Ericka, you're hilarious!!  Thanks again for contributing.  Look forward to some more stuff by Ericka as she will be sharing (hopefully) some running tips of her own soon. 


cleggclan said...

Ericka is awesome! I miss her! Thanks for sharing her story. FYI. My mom used to ride her bike on country roads and would have little yappy dogs chase her all the time. She was always worried that one would get caught in her pedals or she would crash into the stupid things. Then she started having more aggressive scary dogs chase her. She started carrying a small water bottle filled with ammonia and water. She says it only took a few sprays to the face and the dogs would steer clear of her. lol

Jani said...

Being a dog owner (both kind of mentally challneged in their own special way) I SOOOOO appreciated Ericka's addition to the blog. Chuckled the whole way through. One quick tip, to increase your workout, tie a couple of good and bloody steaks around your waist. Then run in the neighborhood where your furry brown friend live. His happy-go-lucky prancing will become a full-out-run-down and you'll find you will run faster than you ever thought possible. Thanks for the smile!