WiR: Beware the Animal Kingdom


29 weeks and counting: I like to consider myself an animal guy. I have two dogs that are very near and dear to my heart and generally enjoy the company of pretty much any animal (not counting cats of course). That doesn’t mean I trust them. They’re animals! Beasts! They’re wildly unpredictable! Look at this dog, he bit a kid in the face! The kid was from Pittsburgh so he was probably a Steelers fan, but still.

Look at this cat! It’s crazy. It made that poor lady cry.

And don’t get me started on monkeys.

Davis and her husband St. James Davis were having a birthday party for their longtime pet chimpanzee Moe. When they were suddenly attacked by two other Chimpanzee’s who had escaped from their cages.
“I don’t know what triggered this, I don’t know whether it was the birthday cake, I don’t know whether we were having our own little party,” Davis told Campbell Brown host of the Today Show. “And it was not what they wanted. I think it was just a fluke accident.”
Davis said she remembers turning to cut another piece of cake for her husband when she was attacked.
“The next thing I can remember is being knocked down and when I reached to help my husband,” she said. “Because I don’t think he was really fully aware of what was happening, somebody took my thumb off.”
Davis husband remains in critical condition after losing a foot, his testicles, and part of his face in the attack.


The point that I’m getting at is I don’t like coming across animals while I’m running – domesticated or not. I see a deer on the trail and the first thing I think is that it’s getting ready to strike. I see a harmless goose and picture it latching onto my nose in a hilarious attack.

Dogs are the worst. Again, I love dogs – I just don’t trust them. My dogs have never been aggressive towards humans. They’ve never come close to biting somebody. That doesn’t mean I’m going to give them a wide berth when walking on a busy sidewalk. You never know.

Apparently, most people don’t share my views. I come across people all the time who have their dogs on 24-foot leashes and don’t make any effort to restrain them as they lunge toward me. Look, those dogs could just be really excited and want to say hi. They also could be going for my testicles (which, in the animal kingdom, are considered the sweetest of meats). I don’t know what’s going on in that dog’s mind. And off-the-leash dogs? It’s no fun when you’re running along a trail and some crazy unleashed dog starts a full-speed sprint towards you while it’s way-to-trusting owner helplessly tries to call it back.

Quick story – When I was a pizza delivery driver during college, I came across crazy territorial dogs all the time. One instance still has me waking up in a cold sweat to this day. I stopped by a house that had a very tall chain-link fence surrounding the entire property – front and back yards. There was a huge “Beware of Dog” sign. Fair enough, but how was I supposed to ring their doorbell to inform them that their delicious Pizza Hut pizza here? I whipped out my cell phone and called their number. No answer. I waited a few more minutes and called again. Still no answer.

Now, I’m a person that generally follows what signs tell me – so I was gonna beware this unseen dog. But If I’m not able to deliver this pipping hot pie, then what kinda delivery boy does that make me? So very slowly, I open the front gate. I take a few steps. Out of the corner of my eye, about 50 yards away, I see the biggest dog that – still, to this day -I have ever seen. I’m talking the size of a Kodiak. I’m not kidding, the photo on the right is a pretty accurate interpretation of this beast.

This monster sees me the same time I see him and bolts towards me. I hurl the pizza over the fence turn tail and run – dashing back through the gate and securing the latch moments before the dog gets to me. I swear, I’m not making this up, the dog gets up on it’s hind legs, puts it’s front legs on the gate and is staring at me eye-to-eye, daring me to come back inside the gate.

With all the commotion, the homeowner comes out.

“Did walk inside the gate?”
“Good thing he didn’t get you, cause he wouldn’t have let you leave… ha ha.”

That’s the kind of people I’m dealing with here. “Man that would have been funny if my precious 2-ton pet mauled you to death. Boy, egg would certainly be on my face!”

Anyway, here’s last week’s stats:

April 4th to April 10th:

Sunday: Off
Monday: 6.16 miles, 1:00:50, 9’52” per mile
Tuesday: 3.51 miles, 35:58, 10’13” per mile
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 6.11 miles, 1:01:58, 10’08” per mile
Friday: Off
Saturday: 6.06 miles, 1:01:31, 10’08” per mile
Total: 21.87 miles, 10’04” per mile

As you can see, I’m back up to running 6 miles per outing. At my peak, I was running about 30 miles per week. I’m getting closer to getting back to where I was. I’m trying to get as close as I can to that peak before the official Nike+ Marathon training kicks in on the 20th. As I said before, this weekly column will eventually start outlining my weekly plan of attack so others can follow along at home. I’ll call it “Run with Paul”. You’ll call it “Shut Up I Don’t Care.”

One Response to “WiR: Beware the Animal Kingdom”

  1. Week in Review (WiR): You Mean I Have to Do This Twice? « The Running Jerks Says:

    […] 2.0 and 3.0, you’ll know what I’m talking about… or not, whatever. Hooves of Death: As I have mentioned before, I am terribly afraid of wild animals as I run. My preferred running trail during the week is this […]

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