Thanks to the mean dogs

Feb 28, 2013 By Clair McFarland

You make me run faster and pedal harder

I've been tempted, this afternoon, to write an outdoors(wo)man's diatribe against the malicious dogs scattered, unleashed and unsupervised, throughout Riverton. However, after some introspection, I have given way to tender reform, and may now devote my language toward a sensitive and heartwarming thank-you note toward said dogs, or rather, their owners.

So thank you. If it weren't for the heel-nipper who chased me south all along (redacted) Street, the last mile of my morning run would have been dull, hum-drum, slow. I'm so pleased that canine agents have been placed in strategic points upon my longer routes to keep me from slacking.

I am especially grateful for your dog on days when I am sleep-deprived, or fresh from a chocolate binge. He adds a jolt to my day which has yet to be matched by coffee, bull-horns, or Fran Drescher's voice. Perhaps you could even charge runners for your services whenever there's an upcoming 5k race within the community. You could pioneer a whole new sect of service dogs: the motivational aggressors.

You could also ask Roget to pair "murderous" with "playful" in the thesaurus.

To the owner of the dog with whom I had to play chicken while riding my bicycle, who only subdued his ferocious charge because he saw the Spartan resolve in my eyes: thank you. I now know I need to adjust my rear brake cable. It's a little loose, which I wouldn't have known unless I'd tested it under extreme circumstances like those presented to me by that tawny monster whose height nearly matched that of my bike.

After the worthy opponent realized that he couldn't corner me, he chased me for three blocks on (redacted) Avenue, and was prevented from sampling my leg merely by his own awe of my bike's revolving chain. I now feel a warm connection toward this animal, somewhat akin to the symptoms of a weak bladder.

But to the owner of the dog who stalked my children and I during our stroller-walk, while emitting a low growl, I have no thank-you. Neither does the older of my two sons, who, at age 2, is developing a prejudice against dogs, due to dogs' prejudice against strollers.

Yet, of course, I empathize. Your dog was bred for home security. He's prepared to defend not just your home, but the entire neighborhood against shady moms in pink jogging suits (or, to the dog, gray jogging suits).

Good thing, too. If it weren't for your dog, I might steal your aprons and diaper genies.

However, in spite of the domestic kleptomania that surely haunts me to the core, I'm hoping that these home security systems go back to, well, their homes.

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