June 12, 2023

Like Nothing I'd Ever Seen

I (like usual) was procrastinating my run today. When I was in bed, I told myself that I was going to get right out of bed and into my running clothes. And then Jerry told me that he'd made coffee for me, so I decided to do the Wordle and Duolingo while drinking my coffee, then I'd head out.

I still had coffee left after Wordle and Duolingo, so I decided to look at my craft board on Pinterest and see if there was something that I'd want to work on this week. I had so much inspiration--but not the right fabrics/clothes. So, continuing my procrastination I decided to head to Goodwill and see if I could find any good deals for project clothes.

I didn't end up getting what I needed for the project I had in mind, but I think I really need to make a list--it was hard to remember things when I was there. I did come up with a cool idea to do as an experiment, and I was planning to write about that today. But then.


Once I got home and talked myself into running, I had quite the eventful run that I thought was worth writing about. First, remember when I said IT ALL COUNTS, no matter whether you stop and chat with a neighbor or tie your shoe, or get, say, mauled by dogs.

I was running--or walking--I'm doing run/walk (90 seconds running, 30 seconds walking), so I'm not sure. Anyway, I heard a noise behind me (I wear ear buds, but I have them on an "aware" setting, so I can still hear everything around me). I turned to look and couldn't believe just how close a dog was to me--a VERY aggressive dog. (I'm not sure what kind of dog it was--maybe a boxer or boxer mix? I don't know dog breeds very well. There is a picture later in the post.)

I've seen umpteen dogs since I started running 13 years ago. I know the body language of friendly, scared, playful, protective, warnings to stay away, and--aggression. If you've ever been confronted by an aggressive dog, it's scary as shit! When we first got Joey and I brought him for a temperament test at a doggy daycare, he failed immediately because the hair on his back stood up and he bared his teeth. (Later, the owner called and asked if he'd like to come back to try again--she had a good feeling about him--and he passed.) Whenever Joey is confronted by a bunch of dogs, that's how he reacts. He's not being mean or aggressive, however--it's just his way of introducing himself to the pack. He's cool after 30 seconds or so.

The owner of the doggy daycare had explained to me the major signs of aggression, and one of them is baring teeth on both sides of the mouth. I've only ever seen a dog do it a few times, usually right before biting.

Anyway, I was running, heard a noise, and then stopped in my tracks and turned to face a very aggressive dog. I started firmly and loudly telling it to go home. (Usually, that works like a charm for unleashed dogs; they aren't aggressive, however.) I was starting to panic, though, because this dog kept coming closer as I was slowly backing up. My voice got louder until I was yelling at the top of my lungs, "GO HOME!"

Then, out of nowhere, I see two more dogs--they are running full speed toward us. They were about the same size--one of them looked like the aggressive one, and the other looked like an Australian shepherd(?). I had basically resolved that I was going to be mauled, and I was desperately trying to think of a way out.

Suddenly, something happened that I'd never seen before. It was amazing and SO cool to see and I wish I had it on video.

The two dogs coming up behind the aggressive one (all three coming toward me now), simultaneously flanked the aggressive dog. The other boxer (I'm going to say boxer, even if I'm wrong, just for clarity) rammed into the side of the aggressive dog while the Aussie bit the neck of the aggressive dog and PINNED HIM TO THE GROUND. The other boxer grabbed the other side and they held him there for a moment. I took the opportunity to get away (backwards, because I was afraid to turn my back).

On my left, I could see an elderly couple come out of their house. The man yelled something to the woman and then he started walking toward the street. All three dogs noticed and got up. (I was far enough away that I stopped and took a couple of pictures because I wanted to call animal control when I got home.) Right as I was taking the pictures, the dogs noticed me again and the aggressive one started coming toward me. The Aussie and other boxer sort of forced the aggressive dog back (the other boxer actually jumped onto his back). 

This picture is right after the aggressive dog noticed me for the second time, and the other two stopped him from going farther. The aggressive dog (the center one in the photo) looks SO innocent here, I know--but I can't even describe how terrifying it was when it was just six feet or so away, hair on end, teeth bared, deeply growling, barking, and looking like it was about to lunge at me and tear my face off.

The man yelled to the woman as the aggressive dog started running toward their driveway. Once they were back in the house, the aggressive dog ran right up to the door (so I assumed that's where he lived). The other boxer and the Aussie crossed the street to another house.

I went on my way, shaking horribly with adrenaline. I'd never stopped my Garmin, so my intervals were messed up. I ran during the walking by accident, walked during the running, etc, several times. The whole incident was on my mind and I wasn't worried about the run/walk intervals getting screwed up. I did 30 minutes or run/walking, so it counts! ;)

I circled the whole neighborhood (about a mile) and when I got back to the front, I saw a police car go by, heading the direction I'd been when the dogs came out (the far back of the neighborhood). I was very curious if he was there because of the dog incident, and I debated whether to run all the way down there. Since I'd been planning to call animal control anyway, I decided to go check it out.

As I was getting pretty close, I noticed the car was parked in the driveway of the elderly couple's house. I saw the car backing out and I ran faster to try to get there. But then I noticed the officer turn around and go to the house of the boxer and Aussie.

I caught up just as the officer was getting out of his car. I stopped (gasping for breath, haha) and asked if he happened to be there because of dogs, and he said yes. I explained to him what had happened to me and he said that the elderly couple had come out to try to help me when they heard me yelling, but when the aggressive dog started going toward them, they went back in the house to avoid getting attacked. They called the police for help. All three of the dogs actually lived in the house where the Aussie and other boxer went.

Anyway, the owner was outside and talked to the officer (who issued her a ticket). He gave me his business card and asked me to email him the picture I'd taken.

So, after a terrifying run, I'm glad (and lucky) that I didn't get bitten--and it was mind-blowing to watch as those dogs most likely saved me from being severely hurt. I truly had never seen anything like it.

Post-shower, I'm going to head over to the elderly couple's house to thank them for looking out for me--it was very nice of them. What a run!


  1. So glad you're safe! Seeing loose dogs when I'm running is my greatest fear; they're so unpredictable (second is bicyclists, no offense to cyclists, but I've been almost run down by them so many times!). That was nice of the couple to try and help you.

  2. What a terrifying thing to happen! Thank goodness no one was hurt. That older couple were good Samaritans to say the least. Maybe the dogs got out accidentally; regardless, it's good the owner was ticketed. Hopefully that will prevent a similar event in the future.

  3. Oh my! What a close call. I'm so sorry that happened and thank goodness for those other dogs who obviously know the aggressive dog is a bad actor.

  4. Omg! That is crazy!! I am so sorry you had to deal with that!! I love dogs but nothing irritates me more than an irresponsible owner!! I'm glad that woman got slapped with a ticket. I hope it teaches that owner a lesson. I think it's great that the couple tried to help you and also that you were able to run back to talk to the police. That's a wild running story for sure!

  5. So glad you are okay. I am so afraid of not hearing something when walking, I never listen to anything on my phone. I usually walk on a linear trail and bicycles zoom by. Dogs are supposed to be leashed, but some do not abide by the rules.
    The dog owner deserved that ticket for letting the dogs roam.

  6. My goodness, that is scary! About a month ago right before school let out, my son went with me to the end of our driveway. I was walking and he was on a Razor go-Kart. 5 dogs aggressively ran up to him barking and showing their teeth. I yelled at him, "don't move!", then I yelled "get away!"...I couldn't decide if he should freeze or try to make an escape. After the ordeal was over we laughed, because I am not the level headed person in an adrenaline situation..."stop, go, stop, go!" He's like, what am I supposed to do?! I texted a neighbor about the dogs, who had the had the contact information for the owner, who was at work at the time. The dogs had escaped their yard. The owner of the dogs did apologize to us and gave us some gallons of lemonade (she works at a lemonade factory).


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