Really, I was just running from one dog. And I thought I was a goner.
It happened Tuesday (24 March) during my morning run as I headed west along Queen Street towards Lansdowne. And it was early, probably around 5:45 am as I was only about twenty minutes into my run. And in these days of social distancing, it’s the perfect time to be out and about. The streets, sidewalks and trails are pretty empty. At that time of day, I see the odd runner, someone waiting to catch a bus, and a person walking their dog. It’s more or less clear sailing.
A Dog with Purpose
When I run, music (a medley of gospel — the handclapping, foot-stomping, arms-waving kind that gets people dancing in their seats or the church aisle) streams through my earphones. And I go into a zone. I’m aware of my surroundings, but just enough to make sure no vehicles are coming when I jaywalk through intersections; or to dodge the cars barreling through stop signs and red lights.
Yesterday, I saw the dog walking with its owner, but it was too far away — and too dark — to tell if it was on a leash. Normally, when I approach a dog and its owner, I give them a wide berth as I pass, stepping off into the road if necessary. Don’t want to spook either of them. This dog (not quite the size of a Great Dane but close) saw me coming and stopped in its tracks while the owner kept walking. I slowed down as I neared, not sure on what side to pass, and then it happened.
The dog, barking louder than the music streaming through my earphones, charged straight for me. Leapt off the ground with each pounce. Dove low, still barking, and it looked like I was about to lose a big chunk out of my leg. It wasn’t until I ended up thrusting myself against a storefront, hand on my chest and feeling my heart jackhammering inside, that the owner finally spun around and saw me.
His mouth opened, lips moved, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying because I didn’t move and the music still blared in my ears. And the dog was pitching right, then left, then right again. I had nowhere to escape.
I lifted my hand slowly and removed one of my earphones.
“She just wants to play,” the owner said.
Stunned. Did I just hear him right? Again, I didn’t say a word. Still too stunned and too afraid to make any sudden movements. And here’s the thing. I love dogs, and often when I’m out running errands there are always a few tugging on their leash to say hello. But this dog came charging.
“She just wants to play,” the owner repeated. A few minutes later, she was brushing up against me and licking my hands.
She just said wants to play, I thought when the owner finally — after three attempts — grabbed the leash trailing on the ground. The moment the dog was secured, as nice as she turned out to be, I bolted down the street, offering a terse, “Have a good day,” as the distance grew between us.
What a way to introduce yourself!
Living in Challenging Times
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended all our lives. It is stressful and uncertain, and despite the fact that I’ll be laid off from my day job in the next few days, I’m trying to stay positive. Actually, I see it as an opportunity to change my life. I haven’t really been enjoying what I’ve been doing, have been talking about making a change and suddenly — voluntarily or not — I find myself in a position to do something about it. So, in the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be embarking on a new journey.
In the meantime, I’m making the most of my days — running, writing, cooking, reading, and tackling the home projects I’ve been putting off.
How are you and your loved ones managing? Click Reply to let me know because we’re all in this together.