Sunday, May 20, 2007

An unexpected friend

I went for a run this morning with a goal of making it 13 miles. I ended up a bit short. On my way I met a new friend.

I rounded a corner and a black lab came charging at me full force. This was a normal size lab, but still big, and a tad scary running full force at me. She ran right up to me and sniffed me once, then immediately turned around and started running up the road. I thought she would head home, instead off into the weeds on the side of the road she darted. A few steps later she came bolting back out, looked at me and charged up the road ahead of me, then back into the brush. I was amused by this dog that kept darting into the weeds and ditches, then I saw a rabbit and she chased it off, and immediately turned back around and chased off a cat on the opposite side of the road. I thought she was gone for good at that point, but as I got to where she had run the cat off, back she raced onto the road and up ahead again.

Over and over she would dart into the knee high weeds and then come back to lead my way. Again I thought I would lose her when I got to my next corner, because she had already gone past it. I took my left turn and glanced over my shoulder, she had noticed I was missing and came bounding down the road after me with her tongue wagging and drool dripping to the pavement. She had such a happy bound to her run that I didn't want to stop for my walk break for fear of losing my running companion. I pushed further than I was supposed to, but still had an hour to run and didn't want to ruin the rest of it for a random dog. When I walked she kept bounding down the road, but she would dart into the weeds more and mark her territory. For over 20 minutes she led my way, then we came upon a house with a lot of dogs barking. Suddenly she fell in line as if I had asked her to heel, right on my left leg looking up at me for protection. I wasn't sure what I could do other than shout and act intimidating to the 5 Blue Heelers that raced out from the house towards us. I didn't slow my pace (which is my standard defense) instead I just kept running and telling her it would be ok. I guess if you lie to a dog enough you start to believe it yourself. The Blue Heelers were just protecting their small territory and weren't looking for anything more than a bark fest.

A few houses further down the road two other dogs came running up to meet us. This time, my new friend was much more interested. One of the dogs chasing us down was a Black Lab. After the standard butt sniffing ritual a guy cam out shouting for his dogs to come back. He called for "Rusty" finally his own dogs went back to their friend joined them. I told Mr Farmer that I didn't know this dog, and he said he did and would get her back home. It's great that even 3 miles away the neighbors can look at a dog and know who it belongs to. I wouldn't recognize the dog from two doors down. I was glad he was going to take care of her, my next road had the potential to be a lot busier and I didn't want her to get hurt in any way.

Right after my friend left me, a herd of cattle saw my maroon shirt, and got up from laying down and ran along the fence looking at me. I kept looking over my should thinking, "don't come through the fence," My mooing was not helping, they chased me until they got to the creek running through the pasture. All in all it was a good run.