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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Walkies!

Why can't people just contain their dogs?

I have started walking outside instead of on the treadmill. Our treadmill has to be at least fifteen years old. It was a really good treadmill with lots of settings and a great incline. It is showing its age. The belt has become all wrinkly which poses all kinds of hazards. It is also making ominous squeaking noises. No doubt a new belt could be ordered and husband could disassemble it and figure out which parts need dealing with, but I don't want to bug him with it because he has been closing the pool and dealing with outdoor stuff, as well as the bathroom reno.

And so I walk outside. Here is something you may not know about me. I am VERY fearful of dogs. This stems from being eight years old and having my uncle's border collie "attack" me. I wasn't bitten but it was terrifying all the same. The only dogs I am not afraid of are those which belong to friends and are known to be gentle. Even then I think, "Don't look at it in a funny way. They smell fear!"

 My walking route is determined by dogs. I don't walk the way I would like to go to the east because the people at the farm to the left do not keep their dog on a leash and it is known to be "snappy".  I only go so far to the west or I would have to walk by a house that has a collie mix who is never leashed. It is a great life for that dog, not being on some sort of chain. I think she is a gentle dog, I just don't want to be that one exception where she decides she doesn't like someone walking past her lane.

I don't walk around a certain block because the weird guy who just drives around the village in his van (again and again and again) lets his German Shepherd sit outside his little house untied. This is what it looks like:



But in my mind, this is what I see:


I don't know if it is a territorial biter, but I'm not taking any chances.

Today I was walking to the north. I thought I would go to a certain point, then turn around and come back in order to achieve a decent distance. As I was getting closer to my destination, I saw wild running and heard barking. This is probably what it looks like normally:



This is close to what I saw as well as what it was trying to achieve:


The difference between this picture and reality is there was no leash. I quickly turned on my heel and went the opposite direction, not looking back, and expecting this little monster to close the gap and latch onto my ankle. It didn't, thank goodness.

I don't walk north because there is no sidewalk and I would just be walking along a fairly busy road. And who knows, there is probably a crazy ass poodle that waits in someone's back yard until someone walks past in that direction, too.

Not only am I afraid of dogs, but I am also pretty much a non-confrontationalist. (is that a word?) I will not be approaching the owners asking them to contain their dogs. (That would mean I would have to go on their property and in my mind be ripped to shreds). I also can't talk. I have two cats who enjoy the opportunity to go wherever they want. I don't think they strike fear in anyone's heart, but you never know.

I don't have a walking partner, nor do I want one. I like being lost in my thoughts and not having to make small talk conversation. I don't really enjoy small talk.

Anyway, I will continue on my quest to find a long enough route that weaves its way through our tiny village where people either do not own dogs or keep them fenced in. There is a place where three rottweilers live, but they have a big fenced side yard (tall fence!) and although they bark their fool heads off, they can't escape. (Yet!?)

13 comments:

  1. Sorry about your fear of dogs. Perhaps 'mall walking' would suit you better? Sure, the views aren't attractive, one isn't in the outdoors, but it's not dependent upon good weather, and no dogs to worry about. :)

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  2. I live in a very rural part of Ontario. I would have to drive three 2 or 3 hours to get to a mall that might offer mall walking, so even though that sounds like a viable alternative, it isn't for me. As soon as winter hits, I won't be walking outside anyway. -Jenn

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  3. I am totally with you. For 30+ years I've lived at the end of this gravel road. I know the dogs at my end and have no fear of them (they sometimes walk with us). In the last year we have had 4 new families move along the road, all with dogs. Walking the road is no longer a pleasure....

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  4. I hear you about dogs and walking. I've turned back from a walk more than once because of dogs.
    Which, I suppose, makes me hypocritical...since my own dogs bark scare most people who come up our lane.

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  5. It would be tough to avoid dogs where I live. I think just about everyone in my neighborhood has one. Cats are abundant too. Actually so are foxes. There are about as many of those as dogs. However, most of the dogs around here are in fenced in yards or the yards have those electric dog fence thingys. There aren't too many that break out. All of the wanderers are cats and foxes.

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  6. My Grandmother lived in town and loved to walk. She had the same problem and always carried pepper spray just in case. I am thankful to live in the country and only have one neighbor whose dog has attacked people. I've put my walking stick to it's head twice. It gives me a wide berth.

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  7. What a scary thing to encounter! It is a very rare thing to find a dog not on a leash here. Do you not have leash laws? I too, would not venture around dogs roaming. Anymore, I don't walk alone.....it's just the world we live in! What in the world happenned? However...I do with you a good week ahead Jenn!

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  8. Our neighbours are pretty good about leashed/contained dogs which is good because it seems every other house on my route has one. On the rare times that one is loose, they're very apologetic and we've never been attacked. I worry more about encountering a coyote which is becoming more common than it should be.

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  9. I am so sorry about your fear - however irrational it may seem to others these fears are deeply set in our minds.

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  10. A lot of people are afraid of dogs and because of this, owners should contain their animals. We have leash laws in this city and many OH SO MANY people ignore them. One women down the street from us freezes up if a dog goes anywhere near her and becomes extremely anxiety-ridden and stressed. You'd think the other neighbours would leash their dogs like they're supposed to...but nope...they are above the law.

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  11. Jenn, I love all animals, but do not care for walking where dogs may run loose. In our neighborhood there usually aren't loose dogs, but there have been on occasion. I once had 2 large labs run up to me growling and barking. It did scare me, but the owner came running from his yard and apologized. However, I do think about the incident when walking. And we do walk the mall... especially in July and August in Texas when it's definitely too hot to be outside. If I were you, I would carry pepper spray or one of those really loud air horns. We use the air horn to scare off coyotes when they come onto our property.

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  12. Stop reading my mind! No really the loose dogs in our village is a real problem. The parks all have clear signs, dogs must be leashed, pick up after your dog ... yet I take sudden side steps to avoid dog poop, some large enough it could be a pony in diguise & now I carry a walking stick to create a barrier between me & the roaming dog. "oh he's friendly" - maybe, maybe not, but I can show you the 8 stitch scar I have from the friendly dog bite!

    Sorry for the rant ...

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  13. You reminded me of a funny experience I had as a child, of about 8 yrs. I was walking the neighborhood when I caught the eye of a wee chihuahua who started to yap yap yap at me. Being a bit of a coward, and thinking the dog was going to go after me, I began to run and sure enough, the dog took the bait...me. He chased me round and round in circles as I was SCREAMING... I really was. All the neighbors thought this was a game and stood there laughing at me and the dog. But I really was scared and finally the owner of the dog retrieved the little devil and I walked off in utter shame and embarrassment. My friends got a good laugh over it and proceeded to tell anyone who wasn't present, about my cowardice... some friends! Oh well, that was then, now I love all dogs and have known so many. You would be nervous of my two Great Pyrennes as their size and seeming ferociousness could strike terror in any heart.... but it's all an act. They are complete teddy bears.

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