Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jogger and bicyclist pet peeve

On weekends and holidays, I often walk Bogie during daylight hours instead of the predawn hours.

There is traffic noise.  There are birds singing.  Sometimes there is a breeze rustling the tree leaves.

There are people.

People in front of us are no problem.  If I need to, I can shorten Bogie's leash or I can make him sit off the sidewalk until the others pass by.

It's not that Bogie's dangerous.  He's friendly.  Very friendly.  And not everyone appreciates 140 pounds of friendly.

Bicyclists or joggers when they are not talking are surprisingly quiet.  If Bogie and I are focused forward, having a jogger or bicyclist come from behind us and appear suddenly at our side is disconcerting.

Bogie is much better trained than when I first got him, but it is still hard to predict how a dog will react when startled.  And I have him on a 15 foot retractable leash.

Fifteen feet gives him plenty of room to lurch out into the street.

Now, some people may say I need to keep my dog under better control.  Maybe.  But we were minding our own business.  And I can't keep looking behind me all the time.

I've been with friends on a walking path (without a dog) and in that environment, if a biker or faster walker comes up behind you they holler out "On your left".

That's all I want.  A little warning.  One second to ensure that Bogie doesn't try to jog with you.  Say hi to you.  Trip you in the process.  Make you swerve your bicycle into traffic.

It's not just big dogs that get startled.  A frightened little dog can trip a jogger as easily as a big dog.  But I would think my dog is pretty hard to miss seeing.

I just want some basic walking path courtesy.

For all our sakes.

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