I was running, like I usually do on one of the many trails around our home. On these trails are often dogs and their owners. 99% of these dogs are not on a leash and despite the signs at every trail entrance that says ‘dogs must be on a leash’ this doesn’t apply to people who believe their dogs are well behaved (like kids, only a small few –dogs and/or kids -, including mine are well behaved but I still don’t let my kids off the leash).
I ran into one of them (this was another dog vs lorpeedo crash a few weeks ago) – like really running into one – because he turned in front of me and the owner said I scared him but it had nothing to do with me running one way and the dog not being on a leash going the other way. I should have learned that all dogs walk straight until someone is running the opposite way which means the dog will turn sideways and look back as if to say ‘you know I should be on a leash and this guy running is probably going to run right into me’. But I didn’t learn.
So again – I was running, up a hill and not going that fast when I saw 2 dogs (brown labs) coming down the trail – not on leashes but their ‘owner’ was right behind them with 2 leashes in her hand (the leashes were connected to her hand but not the dogs, sort of like the motorcycle rider with the helmet on the back of the motorcycle).
As we got closer and I went to jog by the dogs when the one dog suddenly turns and stops in front of me – followed by his partner. I tried to sort of leap next to/over the dogs when they moved and took my legs out from under me (they were a solid 80lbs each).
Then I landed on the dogs and then rolled off of them and down the trail and off into a nettles patch – which if you don’t know what nettles are, they are a sort of plant that stings you like a jr varsity bee except the stings are anywhere the leaves touch your skin, then it burns then your skin goes numb for hours. There was some squealing and howling and I’m not sure how much of it was me.
I stood up, brushed off the dirt and immediately looked for the owner who says without hesitation ‘you know the dogs don’t HAVE to be on leashes’.
I asked her if it was ok if they knocked people down since she was clearly in-the-know-about-dog-rules.
She told me ‘the dogs aren’t mine, I’m just watching them for a neighbor’. Not a sorry or a ‘oh my gosh’ or anything that a normal person would say, but in Seattle this is an entirely appropriate response. They’re not mine and even though I’m watching them and they hurt you and I was careless, I am not responsible.
At this point I look at my hand which has a thumbnail bent backwards and it’s bleeding and I’ve got cuts on the other hand and scrapes on my amazingly awesome calves.
I knew I could make a good decision and keep my cool and run along (aka the ‘what would Jesus do’ approach) or I could stare at her for a full 10 seconds and respond with ‘you are a absolute idiot’ (aka the person who was mad, and bleeding and hurt and just got their new Under Armour Prohpet sneakers all dirty approach).
So I went with the 2nd one.
Then I yelled at her a 2nd time in case she didn’t hear me the first time. But I was proud of myself for having stopped the timer on my heart rate monitor so I wouldn’t be recording all of this downtime.
Then I ran off and twisted my ankle which I suspect was a result of my actions with the 2nd option and karma getting together. Basically, God probably tripped me for not being nice and I got more nettle stings on my arms (which were still numb 2 days later).
And my hand hurt and it was bleeding but mostly hurt. And my pride got her because I was injured by two brown labs. While running uphill.
BY the time I got home, my thumb was all swollen and hurt and I couldn’t text with my thumb and that was it. I wish I had gotten her information just so I could go to the doctors office and inconvenience her with bills but I didn’t. So I iced my hand and watched the Tour day France. I also taught Piper how to make a face like Andy Schleck does when he’s climbing.
I tried this face when riding the next day with Rhae but it didn’t work and I just complained the entire ride and assumed that my sort thumb (which actually does NOT stick out at all so don’t use that expression again because it’s not very good) was the reason I couldn’t hold 400 watts all morning.
I recreated this whole incident with my awesome drawing skills just so you’d feel like you were there. You can see the vicious dogs and the blood everywhere.
From now on I’ll walk past all dogs not on leashes and yell at their owners.
And my hand was still bleeding this morning, 3 days later. So there.