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Saturday, August 1, 2015

an open letter to dog owners everywhere

Dear Dog Owners,


Remember me? I'm that girl who ran by your house/passed you on the sidewalk/or trail/or any other public space ever conceived by a city planner.

I'm that girl who was sniffed/barked at/chased by or whose run was basically interrupted by your well meaning/protective dog.

We're on the same side. No seriously we are. I want to be safe. I want your dog to be safe. Let me tell you a story so maybe you can understand where I'm coming from. One day, I was running down a sidewalk by a busy two lane road. Across the road, a little boy opened his side door and his two dogs came running out. They saw me and ran across the road to investigate. Only one made it across. I didn't actually see the dog get hit but I did see the other dog whimper and try to get his partner to get up. I did see the owner come and pick up his dog with tears in his eyes. I cut my run short that day.

Ever since then, I have ZERO trust in a dog's behavior. When your dog barks and comes running towards me how am I supposed to know he's "friendly"? How do I know that he's not going to run out in traffic to reach me?

Throwing up in your hands in frustration or letting me know "he NEVER does this" is not helpful. I need to know that its safe to keep running. I need to know that your dog is not going to chase me for miles while you halfheartedly yell for him to stop.

Please leash your dog while walking in public areas. I know you know that you have a lovely, nice, kind dog but unless he's wearing a sign, I don't know that. I am going to assume the worst because I would like to finish my run in one piece.

Please don't get frustrated with me for running by your house (on the public sidewalk) when your HUGE dogs are roaming loose. I run long distances. There is only so much road for me to run on - it is inevitable I will pass by your house. I try to take note of areas that have aggressive/loose dogs but sometimes my system fails me.

Please don't allow your dog to sniff me or lick me. Seriously. Its just awkward.

Thank you to those dog owners who make their dogs sit quietly when I run by. To those dog owners who make an effort to share the public space we are both enjoying. To those dog owners who make eye contact and let me know that its safe to pass. To those dog owners who let their dog know that I am coming so that neither of us are caught off guard. I thank you for caring enough about me and your dog to make an effort.

Thanks so much! Until we meet again....




that super sweaty runner girl who is slightly afraid of dogs while she's running

previous post: Profiles of Inspirational Women: Michelle Wolfer

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