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.
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”.
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.