Photo by Maria Helena-Carey
I was enjoying a nice run in the rain last Thursday, when I came upon a woman who was walking her dog. It’s the kind of thing we see all the time on the Hill. The dog was in the tree box and she was standing, waiting, only this person was wearing a hooded rain coat, so she didn’t hear me coming. (I know this because I can never hear a damn thing when I have a hood on.) I startled her as I ran past, and her dog startled me when he reacted to his owner. Then, I assume, we both headed home on the public streets of Capitol Hill, happy to have enjoyed some time outside after a very long winter.
Or did we?
A few days later, The Hill is Home received the following letter from Fido:
By Dodger the Dog
Hi, my name is Dodger. I am a terrier here on Capitol Hill. My topic today is how we can co-exist.
Let me tell you about my human peeve: Joggers who sneak up behind me. It turns me from a nice smiling pup into a snarling ball of canine adrenaline. You don’t want to see that happen.
Look, I like people as much as the next dog. But in my heart I believe I was put on this planet for one purpose: To watch out for the lady I live with. When you run up behind me without warning, you scare me. And you also make me look like I was asleep on the job, which is bad for my image with the lady.
All I am asking is this: When you are about 15 feet away, a soft “On your left” would go a long way. Don’t try to sneak around me, unless you want me to lunge at you.
Now, I don’t know if this was meant for me, or any of the other number of people out running last Thursday, but what I do know is that cars and bikes will always have to share the road. Walkers, cyclists and motorists will, at some point, have to yield to the other. People and pets will have to coexist too. We can’t stop a runner from startling a dog any more than we can stop a barking dog from startling someone, but we can all do our best to minimize our impact on others. [Read more →]