There's something about almost 60 degrees and sunny in November that brings out the couch potatoes and their un-socialized dogs. You know the ones, the dogs who haven't been on a walk since Bush took office? Yea, those dogs. I will grant you, it was a beautiful day for a run. I decided to take advantage of it by going for a run in the woods. After a nice little warm up to the park, I arrived under attack - attack of the Jack Russell terriers and Irish Setters (and the surprisingly friendly greetings of the German Shepards). There I was jogging along, minding my own business when suddenly there were dogs running at me full throttle. Okay, I'm a dog person, I can handle this. The Jack Russells scratched up my legs as they jumped on me, attempting to bite my heels. The Irish Setter appeared to be a much bigger threat as I was afraid it would knock me over when it hit cause it was going so fast. Luckily there was no impact, but it was also under no apparent control. The owners gave a fleeting apology, "Sorry. We didn't see you." And I waved it off. "That's okay." As I tried to regain my stride after they had finally gotten the dogs under a bit of control.
The thing is, it's not okay. So why did I say that? Why did I let them off the hook? Because, you see, I hate conflict. I avoid it like some people avoid the dentist. Unless I know you very well and am very comfortable with you (i.e., I've seen you naked) or you're a complete stranger who I know I will never see again and am confident that you can't physically hurt me, well, I'm just going to let it all pass. This isn't always the best solution, but it's the one I've used for years. I know in some cases I need to be more assertive, but was this one of them? Was it more appropriate to stop and give these strangers a piece of my mind or at least a suggestion on how to actually maintain a bit of control over their dogs... or perhaps socialize them more... or, I don't know, actually pay attention????
Like I said I'm a dog person and I have a very friendly dog, one who LOVES people so it's not beyond the realm that he'd go say hi to someone, but he wouldn't if I told him not to. And later in the woods I ran into a couple of nice, well behaved German Shepards, under control but curious...no problem. But all these dogs made me jump like a wild boar was after me the first few times I heard a squirrel scurry through the woods. Guess I'm not a country girl anymore.