Usually when I go for my runs, I’m alone; no packs of runners or strollers or cyclists blasting by on the sidewalk. I don’t even have a sidewalk. Most of the time I run quiet dirt roads with the occasional car that will creep past. Recently that was a different story.
I was running along one section of road when I noticed a dog sitting on his house in his front yard. I didn’t think much of it as it appeared that he was on a long tie-out rope. I was almost past the house when I saw him stand and RUN at me. Not the playful romp or the “hey this is my turf so stay out there” stance at the property line. It was full on, teeth bared, growling from the bottom of Hell run at me. I turned and yelled in my deepest and most menacing voice “Get outta here!” Of course it probably didn’t sound too scary as I was gasping for air (I was running after all). The charge didn’t stop so as he got closer I pitched my handheld water bottle at him as hard as I could and I was shocked when I actually hit him. I don’t play sports that involve throwing anything for a reason after all. That halted the attack and he backed off still growling and snarling at me. We stood on the road in a bit of a stalemate until one of the neighbours came out after hearing the commotion. I guess the dog saw that he was outnumbered and retreated back to the property. I stood and talked with the neighbour for a while. It seems that Rocky has been an issue for a little while which made me angry and sad since it seems the owners aren’t doing much about it and someone is likely going to get hurt which will result in Rocky being put down.
Then I got mad again when I picked up my bottle only to have sticky sports drink dribble out of the crack in the bottom. These things aren’t cheap so as I started my run again I was reminded with each drip that I would have to get a new one. Not only that but I had bought another drink mix to try out (Hammer Heed) that I had taken maybe one sip of before I was watering my side with it. FYI it doesn’t work topically. I even tried turning it upside down so the crack was at the top but then the drips just hit me in the face.
I was remapping my route in my head seeing as how I would not be able to loop down that street again when I happened across a flock of Canada geese grazing on the side of the road. I was a little confused as they were quite some distance from the river and this was not their usual spot but I kept on running towards them. As I was getting closer, I could hear some of them actually hissing at me. Fortunately no one was around to hear me talking to the geese: “Come on! Seriously?! First a dog and now you’re giving me grief?”
I had to run by that spot a few times and each time it was the same thing. They didn’t charge at me as they have with some people but they did let me know how unhappy they were. You want to know unhappy? Run with sticky shorts and then talk to me about unhappy.
I ended up staying out later than I had planned to since I warned everyone that I saw about the aggressive dog. I was getting close to the end of my run when I saw something moving under a tree but it was hard to see what it was in the shadows. Cat? Dog? Ummmm cat? No I said that already… Chicken. It was a chicken. I literally almost missed a step. After the run I had had, nothing should have surprised me.
Now here’s the strange thing: I have not seen the geese at that spot since. I wanted to get a picture to prove they were there but nothing. I was able to get their footprints in the dried mud.
The chicken? Haven’t seen it since that night. Pretty sure that it was real as I find it hard to believe that of all the things my brain could invent, it would choose to make up a chicken.
Oh and I did stop by to talk to one of Rocky’s owners. I thought about calling the police and animal services that night but I believe that adults should be able to have adult conversations to take care of things themselves. Have you ever had a conversation when you’re trying really hard to make a point and it seems that they just don’t get it? I told him about Rocky charging and all I got was “sorry about that”. I told him about how I broke my water bottle when I threw it to avoid getting bitten. “Yeah he slipped his collar. We thought we had fixed it but I guess not”. No offer to replace or to re-imburse the cost of a new one. So finally I just told him that if anything like that happens again, the police and animal services get called. I’m not sure if he was unhappy with the ultimatum or the fact that I just wasn’t leaving. And I don’t care. Haven’t seen Rocky since so I’m not sure what happened.
I’m still just trying to figure out what happened to the chicken…