Beware of the dog

I love dogs. Our family dog Tommy was the kindest, stupidest and most excited being imaginable. (I also enjoyed being greeted by him like the greatest person alive, every time I would visit my childhood home.) Running with Tommy was fun for a about 20 minutes, after which he would get bored and choose to sit and scratch behind his ear at the side of the road.

No cause for concern here

No cause for concern here

As a runner I do not love dogs. I have been bitten, barked at, chased. I can’t count the times an owner – if one was near – would assure me the dog is “really friendly” or “never does that”.

Right.

In Los Angeles I have not yet gotten involved in any particularly ferocious battles with dogs. But I read (courtesy of speedy Cécile) that dog attacks are a major problem there. In fact, no other city has a worse dog problem for postal workers, meaning for runners, too. (Although per capita dog attacks were not measured in this study.) I recall a haunting, powerful story in Runner’s World about a group of young siblings being attacked by a pack of wild dogs. That was in the West, too.

A good reminder that not all dogs are Tommy, R.I.P.

Tommy the Great

Tommy the Great

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