Monday, October 16, 2006

Dear Bella,

It was my pleasure to meet you yesterday.
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Actually, um, we need to talk about that.

I was just innocently starting out on a lovely 8 mile run. A loop I haven't done in a while, with lots of quiet little sidestreets and nice tree-lined roads. And just when my Garmin said "0.15" on my odometer, I passed Nasty German Shepard's house, like I usually do. Nasty (we can call her Miss Jackson) was out, as usual. Now, Miss Jackson and I have an understanding. I run on the other side of the street, which is clearly NOT her turf. She barks like hell and snarls at me, running up and down her yard, but does NOT cross the invisible fence line. Scares the bejeezus out of me, every single time, but does NOT cross the invisible fence line.

You see, Bella? Apparantly, you didn't get the memo.

You, my friend, appear in the yard as well. You are quite a stunning Rottweiler. What are you, about 75? 85 pounds? Very impressive.

Anyway, your idiotic owner must have decided it was a good idea to:

A) leave you in the front yard unattended, and since you are not a regular, you don't understand electric fences
B) tied you to some freaking tent stake with a ROPE. A small, piece of twine that I might use to tie up my newspaper.

So, it was to my dismay that you decided I was somehow invading your turf, and you SNARLED, IMMEDIATELY BROKE YOUR ROPE, AND CHASED ME.

Now, Bella, that just ain't cool.

I love dogs. Really, I do. And I'm not crazy about big dogs, but as long as they are cool and happy, then I'm down with 'em.

You were SO not cool and happy.

I really would like an apology.

Miss Jackson just stared at you like she was jealous that she didn't get to rip me to shreds herself. Luckily, I just so happened to see a white picket fence that I jumped over to avoid being your prey, but not before I bashed my leg into the pointy top, tearing my tights and leaving a throbbing bruise several shades of purple, green, and yellow.

I do want to thank you, however, for not jumping that fence. I'm not sure why you didn't, because you could have, but I'm quite certain that would have been the end of me.

What really bothers me, Bella, is the way the neighbor whose door I knocked on, and how your owner reacted. I mean, the neighbor laughed and said, "Oh, Bella got loose again?"

Again? Bella, really. How many times does a pissed off 75 pound Rottweiler really need to get lose before someone realizes THAT MIGHT BE A LITTLE DANGEROUS?

And as I stood there, throbbing leg and a few tears kind of falling down my cheeks as I tried to breathe, breathe, breathe again, your owner WAVED at me and smiled?

WAVED? WTF is THAT?

So, really Bella, I ain't mad at cha. I'm a little stunned and perplexed as to how this happened and the idiocy of your owner, or babysitter as it appears to be. I really just would like a promise that it wouldn't happen again. I know you could eat me and my 18 pound pug for a snack, and I respect that. I will not invade your turf, but please don't assume your turf extends a quarter mile down the street.

And while we're at it, I did finish my run. A little out of breath and a lot with a throbbing leg. My leg hurts like the dickens. Thanks for nothing, beeyotch. (Literally.)

Sincerely,
TriSaraTops

36 comments:

BuckeyeRunner said...

Irresponsible pet owners are the WORST!!!! I would never let my dog act like that! You should write an indignant letter to the owner, and slip it in their mailbox - it might wake them up a bit! I am glad you are ok!

Elizabeth said...

Yikes! I bet you were fuming when the owner merely waved! I would have been ticked!! Nice self control, TriSaraTops. I'm sorry to hear about your leg though. Take care of yourself out there.

qcmier said...

Owwww...


Sorry to hear about your dog misadventures. Hope the flesh wounds weren't too bad and you heal up fast.

And I was just about to ask about the picture of the French kissing pooches.

Jodi said...

There is just no excuse for that! Some people should not be allowed to have dogs- especially aggressive breeds. Glad you're ok!

Jodi

Rae said...

Seriously, we go OFF on those types of dog owners, especially if I heard "again". We also call the Humane Society and report them, it seems to always do the trick. I may be able to defend myself and get away but a small kid on a bike might not.

RunBubbaRun said...

Take care of that leg. For some reason this year I got chased alot on the bike by big doggy's. The owners need to take responsibility out there. Be careful out there.

Mallie said...

Sara, while I'm really sorry that you were injured and scared, I'm very glad that you realize it is the humans at fault here, not Bella. My 65 pound dog doesn't get near the street...not because he's mean or violent, but because he has no control, despite numerous attempts at obedience training. Sure he just wants to lick you to death, but when he knocks you down to do it, it's not so cute. Owners have to take the responsibility. Sorry again that you were hurt and frightened.

Mallie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wes said...

Wow! That's scary. I had a similar experience two to three weeks ago. I love dogs too, but the aggressive kind are really no fun. I guess they think you invade their territory then are running away...which makes an inviting target. I guess that's why some folks carry those little bottles of pepper spray. Might be time for me to invest in one. Glad your are OK!

rob reddy said...

call the bay police - totally not acceptable in your neighborhood with all the kids

'Zilla said...

Agreed on calling the police or the humane society. That's really inappropriate and dangerous. Just because the two neighbors laughed it off, doesn't mean that you have to as well.

Safety first! Take care of that leg.

Ken Schulz said...

I'm willing to bet the brilliant dog owners like the one you described are the same brilliant folk who like to run you off the road while biking. Gotta complement you on how you handled yourself. Happier training and speedy recovery!

Cliff said...

TriSaraTops,

I hope u get better soon. Bad dog owners..

Michele said...

I have had LOTS of dog encounters while running and biking but I must admit I have never really felt like any of them were going to bite me. I worry more about getting tripped or knocked off my bike. These people who just let their dogs run free drive me crazy. My 70 lbs boxer is never let out to roam.
Hope you mend quickly and glad she didn't get her teeth in you.

JenC said...

My poor friend! I'm glad you made it out okay. A few years ago my friend's puppy was attacked by a Rottweiler while she was running to meet me. I still hear her screams for me. My punching it to stop its biting was ineffective, but luckily neighbors helped get the dog off. The puppy is now a happy adult dog with just a few fears of agressive dogs.

Heal well!

TryAthlete said...

There was a case in the UK recently when a six-month old baby (I think) sleeping in her cot got savaged by her grandparents' two Rottweilers.

As much as I dislike Rottweilers the irresponsibility of their owners irks me more.

I wouldn't like to be Bella's postman. Stick to the usual loop next time, perhaps?

Chris said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear about your run in with the pooch. I'm glad to hear that the only thing that got torn up were your tights, though!

Dog owners totally need to be more responsible.

21st Century Mom said...

That is so awful. As everyone has said there is no excuse for something like that to happen and it really doesn't matter that it isn't the dog's fault. The dog is still a danger and suppose it was a small child on a bike and not an adult who can run and jump over a fence? You really MUST call animal control and report this. That dog could really hurt someone and then it might have to be put down. And that isn't the dog's fault, either. Better to report the irresponsible owners and save the dog than not report it.

DaisyDuc said...

Yeah, I agree with the others that you should follow up and report it to the authorities as it seems only a matter of time before someone else gets hurt.

I think it is the owners that owe you an apology. Major props for finishing that run!

triteacher said...

Bella, not quite a beauty. TST, hope you heal up quick. I have a vicious dog too on one of my favorite routes and I actually have to talk myself into doing the route because I obsess about each meeting with "White Fang." I've never been bitten but he/she has gotten very close to me with teeth bared... Yikes.

Lisa said...

Yikes! I'm glad you weren't bitten by Bella! I can't believe they'd just laugh at that, that's terrifying!

Be safe out there. I agree with writing a letter and explain that if you get chased like that again, you won't hesitate to call animal control. There's no reason for there to be a dog that will chase someone on a piece of twine, rather than a chain.

Eric said...

Call the police, Humane society, animal control. I can't believe you didn't yell your head off at the owner. Very irresponsible of the owner. I didn't know you lived in the 'hood of Bay Village.

I had a literal herd of Mastifs surrounding Ruby and it scared the crap out of me.

Hope your leg feels better.

Andy said...

That really sucks, but I had a small chuckle at then end, just due to the fact that you presented is as a letter to the dog. I have been chased some questionable (by that I mean possibly rabid) dogs, on a route I ran years ago at my parents house, and I actually got chased up a tree across the street from the house. One time the owners saw this and came out to the street and got the dog and asked me why I was so terriifed of their dog.

I was thinking, "oh wait, your crazy dog just came running 75 yards up your driveway snarling and barking, showing teeth running full speed at me, and I am supposed to be calm about it?"

I told them that I ran this road every day and that if they did not control their dog I would have animal services come get their dog next time it came after me and they were not home to control it. (yes they usually did not put it up when they were gone, and there was no fence in the yard). I never saw the dog again.

I hope that your tights were not some of these new-fangled winter ones I am seeing at the tri stores that will set you back about $100 or more...

Murtha...

Jason said...

Hey thought id share my story too, right after I started biking I was riding down the road and as i passed this house two boxers came out and attacked me, I got away but when I went back in a car to get the address to call the cops I found another triathlete bleedin from where he tried to fight them off. SO I helped him out and we called the cops..the cops car got attacked as well thousands of dollars of damage. The owner got off with a warning and had to pay all the bills...Dogs are dangerous but not as dangerous as the owners..please be careful I still have the scars to prove that its nice to think that its not the dogs fault..it still doesnt keep ya from getting seriously injuried. now when I ride I carry the strongest pepper spray I can just in case...
just a story to share..

lucky said...

I've only been trapped by dogs on my bike, fortunately never on run! I thought about inventing a new kind of pepper spray just for us triathletes/endurance athletes. You could hook it on your fuel belt or velcro it to your bike when you headed out on unfamiliar routes (like me in the Smoky Mtns on my bike). Glad you survived!

LoneStarCrank said...

Just tell Bella you're made of Iron. That should stop her from sinking those fangs into you. Or at least it will give her enough time to pause for you to use your super powered Strong Shoes!

Kurt said...

I would call animal control and report it.

Dogs just love pepper spray (NOT) by the way. A good spray on that will have Bella jumping away. Something you might want to consider next run.

Pharmie said...

Yikes girl! I'm so glad to hear that you are ok! I too have been followed by crazy dogs, and one of my coworkers got bit on the leg. She wasn't able to run for months afterward. I guess it's one good thing about living in the middle of the city - no crazy loose dogs.

Papa Louie said...

Bad Dog Owner! That owner owes you.

greyhound said...

Even though I'm a lawyer, I'm not very litigious; but even I agree on the importance of getting law enforcement involved early and pressing them to really do their job--no excuses. If that dog is not controlled now, it will have to be destroyed after really hurting or killing someone, maybe a child.

AAAAAAANNNNNNNDD . . . self-help up to and including destroying the in the interest of self-defense when it attacks again is justifiable, although it will generally buy you trouble.

Lance Notstrong said...

I think it's time to dial 911......if not for yourself, for the 5 year old out playing that can't jump the fence when Bella decides to attack again.

KyleKaboom said...

WTF?
What's up with dogs and chasing triathletes. The worst is when you're on your bike and they come running into you.
You sounded like you jumped that fence pretty good until you caught your tights. Bummer. We should all take that dog on a brick workout and see who's the tough guy then. And then take the owner on a 100 mile bike. Beyotches.
-Kyle

xt4 said...

That was awesome.

The story, I mean.

Not the beeyotch. The jumping over the fence was dope. The bashing part, not as dope. The owner, complete tool. But as characters in a story, awesome.

Kewl Nitrox said...

Are you trying to tell us that you missed an excellent interval training opportunity? :)

Seriously though, poor Bella is just unfortunate enuff to have a lousy owner. In Singapore, the incident you described is reason enough to put the poor dog to sleep!

tri-mama said...

I always wonder about what to do if a dog attacks, way to get clear. I think I would notify your local police- if they receive a number of complaints they can intervene-that's the kind of do that could really hurt a little kid.

Siren said...

As the owner of large-breed dogs and an active rescue volunteer I want to ditto the suggestions you let the police know about it.

Accidents do happen - even I've had the police called on me because a visiting friend let my dog-aggressive Shepherd slip out (as my husband dove in vain to catch her) and she scared the crap out of a neighbor walking by (pinned her dog to the ground) - but what you're describing is aggressive stupidity on the part of the owners.

As an FYI - most invisible fence companies will not guarantee the product for certain breeds, and Shepherds are one of them. Bigger dogs with DNA that tells them to protect their turf could care less about the little shock they get from the fence collar. I know it's basically impossible, but I do try to avoid going past houses with them since my years of hands-on animal experience has taught me they're not worth shit.

I love Rotties and Shepherds with all my heart - but I'm also the first to admit that there are good dogs and bad dogs just like there are good and bad people. It sucks, but it's true. Dog owners always need to be careful; aggressive dog owners have to take that to the extreme (we didn't even let Karma pee unsupervised inside the fenced yard). I'm so sorry you had to experience this. Call the cops.