The Casual Runner

Animal Encounters – Part 2

One of the best parts about being a part of Team Casual Runner is that I get to share some of the many great experiences I have while running. Some of these are remarkable in terms of significant life moments, others are just fun, and some are just plain weird.

We received a tremendous response from our readers to some of the random stories that I’ve shared, particularly those that concern animals that I’ve met throughout my running journey. So, whether it is the random turtle that crosses my path, people who go the extra mile to not quite clean up after their pets, or the dude that uses his dog to pull him down the street on a skateboard while he smokes a joint, my Casual Running journey has certainly been an amusing one. And that is before we even get to the crazy lady who decided it was worth her time to stop and yell at me, you know, #forreasons.

Since you asked for it, here are a few more random encounters that will hopefully amuse you and brighten your day.

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Meet Bentley, my new running & boating buddy.

You have to be kidding me, right?

Remember I told you about how my precocious nephew likes to taunt me for not running fast enough when we go running? Well, this isn’t limited to nephews, evidently puppies feel the same way. Candace has 2 adorable dogs, Gabby & Bentley. We like to take them for walks around the neighborhood, but they aren’t exactly cut out to be full-time canine running buddies.

On a recent walk, Bentley could not have been more full of energy, so Candace suggested that I jog with him home to burn off some of his excess energy. I should first say that it was clear that Gabby wanted absolutely nothing to do with running – she didn’t even want to walk any more. Bentley, on the other hand, was up for the challenge. When given the opportunity, he took off as fast as he could, practically dragging behind on his leash. He even turned around a couple of times to look at me, seemingly urging me to let him go faster.

We made it down the block before he ran out of gas (something with which I am unfortunately well-acquainted), and he just stopped. He was done, and I mean DONE. He didn’t want to walk up the steps to get in the house.  I am not quite sure why I enjoyed our brief run together so much, but I did. We will definitely have to run together again soon.

Gabby, however, despite refusing to run, walked back into the house and collapsed as though she had just run the final leg of the Triple Crown. I guess some pups just aren’t cut out for running.

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Some dogs just aren’t cut out for the Casual Runner lifestyle.

Animal Magnetism

Remember how I previously told you about the dog who came running up to me and wanted to keep running with me? And then how I got yelled at by some stranger, even though it wasn’t my dog? Well, I guess dogs just like me.

The other day I was out for a run in my suburban neighborhood, which, thankfully does not have much vehicle traffic at that time of day. I happened to notice a garage door opening up and a small brown dog came running out of it, down the driveway, and out into the street towards me. The next thing I know, this dog was bounding at my feet and started licking my legs. This was the first time, in all of the many situations where dogs came up to me while running, that one actually made physical contact with me.

OK, it turned out to be a harmless encounter, but the thing was, I saw the owner (who I have never met before) standing at the top of the driveway laughing. He never once called for the dog to stop, he just let him (or her, I didn’t check) run right out into the street and up to me. Seriously man, if you love your dog, don’t let it think its OK to just run out into the street like that. It could have been hit by a car and been seriously hurt. Additionally, while I am not afraid of dogs, I know several people who are. Such an encounter would have scared them or led to serious injury of the person as well as the dog. Some people just don’t get it.

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Now, for an Unhappy Ending. 

You may know that my favorite summer running path is a bike trail that passes over Lake Berlin in North Benton, Ohio.  The scenic views, soft crushed gravel, and natural surroundings make it an ideal respite from the world.

At the end of my run the other day I happened to notice a large cat sitting on the side of the path. Now, I am not particularly a cat person, due in large part to the fact that I am allergic to them. So I kept my distance. But, I could not help notice that the cat had a friend with him, a little field mouse. I found this peculiar as they seemed to be playing with one another. The mouse was licking at the cat’s nose while the cat kept an eye on me as I passed by.

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Were these 2 destined to be BFFs?

Once past the cat, I turned around and saw that this was not to be a storyline from a Disney buddy movie, as the cat picked up a paw and swatted down on the mouse. It quickly became more of a scene out of an Animal Planet wild animal documentary as the cat started ferociously tearing the mouse apart. Needless to say, this was not only unexpected, but unlike anything I have ever seen.

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Moments before everything changed.

I guess its just nature, but wow. I am just glad that my nephews were not around to ask questions that I would have had to answer.

So there you have it, if you run long enough and you keep your eyes and ears open, you never know just what you might encounter.

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