Friday, March 26, 2010

A Good Running Companion

So here is a little background on the question I am going to pose:

My husband leaves for work by 6:30am. I am a morning exerciser - if I don't do it in the morning, it won't get done. So I usually run 4 xs a week and do some yoga video 2 xs. 2 of my runs - luckily only 2 - are done in the darkness because I need to be back before my husband heads out to work. Well, technically, only for 1/2 the year are those runs in the dark but it seems like I've been running in the dark forever. . .

Anyways, it's always a little scary for me. I run by myself. I don't live in the nicest of areas of town. But I do try to run smart and run on heavily trafficked roads which are well-lit. Not my first choice of runs, but what I feel safest with.

Well this past week I was about 1/2 a mile from my home and notice someone cross the street real fast. This person had a headlight on and was on the opposite side of the road as myself. As I approached closer, suddenly this person turns around and starts coming towards me and charges her 5 dogs she has to "ATTACK!" No kidding. (Luckily these dogs are what I would call a mini-lassie type of dog. I was not afraid of the dogs. I was afraid of psycho lady.) I start telling the dogs to "No, don't attack me!" And they didn't. Then the lady was all, "Show your face! Who are you!?" And I'm all: "I'm a runner! Sheesh, leave me alone!" as I start running away from all the craziness. I kept saying, "Gosh, Sheesh!" real loudly as I was running away. I heard the lady say something like, "Well, I was just making sure."

I have crossed paths with this lady before - but it's probably been over a year. I've always thought her. . . not quite all together. I do not know where she lives. I'm pretty sure she lives within a few blocks of myself as I always see her around my neighborhood, but that's about it.

Anyways, there are ten thousand things I could talk about this incident. But what I want to know from you ladies is this: Do you have a great dog that runs with you? If so, what kind of dog is it? I would feel much safer just having a dog with me. I don't run super fast nor super far in the dark - usually just around 4 miles. I don't necessarily want a dog that is vicious and would attack someone, but at least something a little more threatening than a min-lassie dog. Any suggestions? This is not something I am going to do right away - buy a dog that is - seeing as I have a dog (a non-running type!), a cat, fish, and my 4th babe on her way this summer. But I just don't want to run another fall/winter in the dark.

Thanks!

14 comments:

Sherri said...

I would have died! I am afraid of dogs! You handled that amazing! I do not have a dog! I wish I could help with that advice...but you are a tough cookie!

Michelle said...

I have a boxer/lab mix. She is a gem and has ran with me since she was 1 year old.
It's funny that you talk about this today because I have had a mental battle lately.
I really need to be getting in longer runs and I have gotten a little quicker. But, I feel that it is my duty to run my dog. She doesn't run as fast as I'd like and 4 miles is definitely her top. It's hard to not take her when she brings me her leash as soon as she sees me getting my running clothes on. I'm in the process of devising a plan that works for both of us. But it's just not that simple. Some days it is hard enough for ME to get MY run in. Oh well.
Say yes to the dog! She is a great deterent and I feel very safe running in the dark with her. She has a flourescent vest that she wears and I have a lighted leash. It's nice to have a companion.

Momma Twitch said...

Holy cow! That would have freaked me out! I had a husky/lab mix. He was a good one to run with. Sometimes I wish I would have kept him longer. You could get one of those little fog horns and next time the lady comes up with her dogs blow it at them. Maybe it'll scare them away. lol

Bart, Erin, Hunter & Jorden said...

We have a golden doodle and LOVE him! We got him as a puppy (he is only 7 months now) but he is running about 5 miles every day with me now and he would keep going if I let him. Also he is a great family dog and he DOES NOT SHED!!! I have never been a pet person, but with my husband traveling and for your same reason - running in the dark- I wanted a big dog but something that would be good for our family too.

Amber said...

I have a Boxer who I've only taken on a few runs with me but he did great (distances are too much for him, he's just 9 months old). I think when he gets a little older/bigger I'll be able to take him and he could look kind of intimidating. he is really playful, but has that dog sense if there is danger and would protect me. you should also check out something called "jogger" (I think) basically it's just mace that has an elastic strap that fits comfortably into the center of your hand while jogging..

linzipoo said...

I've taken my German Shepherd and my English Mastiff with me on separate occasions and neither have pooped out....ever. I think that's because my "run" is a "very light jog" for them both (75 pounds and over 100 pounds, neither are full size).

The drawback with the Mastiff was that she couldn't be jogged / run until she was over a year old. Both are great, companionate, family dogs and let my kids crawl all over them. No one, I repeat, no one gets close to me while I'm out.

Between you, me and the internet, neither of them would harm a soul but no one I pass on these country roads needs to know that.

One last thing. The Mastiff was house trained in 5 days. I kid you not. The Shepherd was a rescue so she only took one day.

Good luck!

Ruthie said...

1. call the police! good grief.. thats horrible.. i would have been so mad! OR carry mace spray.. spray the dogs and her if you have too! urgh.. runs are spose to be relaxing... make me so mad at her for you...

I have a jack russle.. she is a as large as the jacks get.. about 5 inches at the shoulder.. and weights about 17lbs... althoug she is smaller she is VERY protective and a great running partner.. watches behind and knows if someone is coming up, is on alert for me and is uncomfortable with strangers. She is happy with kids and great with them...
most jacks are pretty energetic so if you get a jack be aware they MUST go for runs.... I actually trained mine to run on the treadmill... she is the smartest dog I have ever known! she knows when something is out of place in my house, if someone is walking by my house, if something is wrong with my kids (if someone in our family is sick she wants to be right with them!)....

I love su... and I know she would give her life for me. She has a bark that sounds like a big dog and she has driven a few unwanted sales people from my front door!

:) .. you be careful out there! Hope you find the perfect dog for you! :)

blessings
ruthie

Judi said...

That is scary! Sometimes I think I worry more about dogs than people when I am out on a run, alone and in the dark! The other day we had a dog run out towards us and my running partner grabbed me - what she didn't know was I was just as scared :).

Anyway, be careful out there! I don't have a dog either but my husband always says he wants to get us one so I can run with it. (Since I too am a morning runner.)

Sarai said...

that is freaky!

I have a 5 yr old German Shepperd that I ran with from maybe less than a year old until last year when he got injured. I feel really bad and guilty for having brought his upon him, I think I over ran him. The Vet said he was too fat to be running wich was funny to me because he trained with me for a half marathon, I would leave him home on the weekends for my long runs or anything over 5 miles. One time I tried to take him on a 7 mile run and his paws started bleedin right after 5 miles. Anyway, long story short, I can no longer run with him :( I've tried and he always starts limping about a mile into it. We have to take it easy, jog, and keep it short. He definetly would protect you if necessary, but people always prefered to avoid him and either cross the street or get as far away as they passed us by. I would do somethings different next time I have a dog to run with, like give him a supplemennt for his joint and muscles, the vet said glucosomine works great. Anyway, hope any of this helps!

Liz said...

My dog is my running pal- I love it. She is a golden retriever, though, and not the best runner. She is only good for 3 or 4 miles, then I have to take her home and trudge on by myself. My mother-in-law ran marathons with her black lab, though. And I've heard weimaraners are great running dogs. (And they are so pretty!)

Kathy said...

I am a morning runner as well - I have a black lab that I run with and she is AWESOME! She can go up to 10 miles with me and she loves it. She definitely gives me a feeling of security - I don't know if she would do anything if someone was aggressive towards me, but I definitely feel she is a deterrent. Also, she is so great with the kids - the most tolerant doggie ever!

e. said...

Maybe you should recruit that woman and her menagerie as your running partners. It would make you the safest runner ever... and I bet you'd get some awesome stories out of it.

emily said...

thanks for all the great suggestions - fabulous you ladies all are. :)

Jenny said...

We have a real lassie dog and he has been a great running partner. He is 11 now and hasn't been able to run for the last year or so. When he did run I kept it under 5 miles, we also live in Wisconsin so he did well in the cold weather but stayed in the AC in the summer.