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Running with Stray Dogs

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stray dog
Are you bothered by stray dogs while walking or running in your neighborhood? Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dogs VS Runners – Dog Wins!

Interesting blog title; Running with stray dogs in the Acreage. Is that like the Kevin Costner movie Dancing with Wolves? Unfortunately it’s not quite as glamorous as a Hollywood movie.

My boyfriend lives out in Loxahatchee Florida, which is near the area locals refer to as The Acreage. Everyone has a bit of land out here, my friend’s house sits on an acre and a quarter. While most homeowners with dogs have a fence surrounding the perimeter of their property, the gates to said fences are not always closed.

So, I end up encountering quite a few stray or lose dogs during my workout sessions in the acreage. Fun times – NOT! I never seem to get Fifi Muffintop chasing me during my runs, I always manage to attract Cujo the pit bull. I can outrun Fifi Muffintop, with his little bitty legs, but Cujo the pit bull sees me as LIVE PREY – get her!!!!!

Dogs That Escape Their Yard

I’ve had dogs that were behind fences during the first part of my workout, get out and be there to “greet” me on the second half of my workout. First time that happened to me was when a pit bull jumped out of its yard after I ran by its house. I was running in a remote area and there wasn’t any other way for me to get back home except to pass by that house again. When I got within one block of the house, I saw the dog laying down across the street from its house and thought – I’m screwed! No sidewalk on the other side of the street – lots of pickup trucks and landscape trucks wizzing up and down the street so I tried to get by the dog by walking in the grass. It started coming straight for me, I found a stick and started waving it above my head, it grazed my calve but luckily didn’t get through the skin. Pretty scary situation.

The second time I had a dog jump the fence was while I was riding my bicycle. This was a HUGE dog, three times bigger than the pit bull. I was going around 15 MPH on the bike, it slammed into my bike and pushed me all the way across the street. Luckily I am a pretty good bike rider and managed to remain upright. The mini van behind me saw what was happening and slowed down so I didn’t get run over as I was skidding across the street after the dog hit my bike. Another scary situation. I just pedaled as fast as I could and got away from that dog ASAP.

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Dogs Like to Chase Joggers

I’m just trying to get some exercise, pain in the ass to keep coming across stray dogs. Most strays just ignore me or growl as I go by. I just try to go to the opposite side of the street and ignore them. I stop running when I see a stray, I think if I continued to run it would just set off the dogs instinct to HUNT.

I don’t want to have to carry a large stick or baseball bat or pepper spray with me every time I go to workout in this area. I’m trying to go for a run/walk and carrying extra gear with me just isn’t feasible. Have you ever tried running 5-10 miles while carrying a baseball bat!?! And I still can’t believe that dog that attacked me while I was on my bike – guess he has no fear of ANYTHING?

How Do You Handle Stray Dogs?

I’d be interested to hear about your experience with stray dogs. Have you been bothered by wandering dogs, or other critters, while out for your daily run, walk or bike ride? I’d like to know how you handle that potentially dangerous situation. I’ve also encountered peacocks, wild turkey, snakes and other critters out in Loxahatchee, but they always leave me alone. I’ve had a bit of luck just yelling at the dog “bad dog, go home!” That will usually work if the dog is not too far from its home.

Take care,
Lynn Smythe of The Creative Cottage

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