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I finally went for a run this morning! Since I haven't had much of a chance to explore my neighborhood, I decided to just run around the (kinda hilly) neighborhood. It was nice to see all the different houses, the other morning people running or walking their dogs, and just enjoying a nice moment to myself.
Until I came across some dogs.
Let me state up front that I love dogs.....I should be clearer. I love well-behaved dogs. The dogs that I came across this morning, through no fault of their own because their people allow them to run around lawlessly, were unleashed, unsupervised, and generally running amok. I had to stop my running completely because one of the dogs stopped in my path and began barking while coming closer to me. Since I don't know these dogs, I yelled at him to go away. Luckily he did, but another runner was next to me and asked if I was okay. My comment - "Next time I'll remember to bring my pepper spray".
I attended an HOA meeting after my run and let the board know that there were some stray dogs running around and that next time I will not hesitate to carry my pepper spray and use it if threatened by those dogs again. Some neighbors recognized the description of the dogs and said they are harmless, however a board member did concede that since I don't know the dogs that I am well within my rights to defend myself. My point? Nice dogs or not, they should not be out and they can turn at any time if they feel threatened. Who's to say they won't turn on me?
Unfortunately this is a common occurance for many runners, so be careful. I've seen many walkers carry walking sticks just for this purpose, and many dogs have been sprayed with pepper spray due to negligent owners. Just don't let some bad pet owners ruin your running experience.