Must Love Dogs

I’m a cat owner, but I also love dogs. I don’t have a dog, first and foremost because I have been a renter my entire adult life, and it’s more difficult to find a rental that would be suitable for a dog. A lot of trail runners are dog owners, and trails are also a great place for regular dog-walking. I love seeing all kinds of dogs while I’m out running.

Dog owners, I don’t always love seeing, because dog owners can be irresponsible trail users.

Please pick up your dog’s poop. While trail running on Sunday, I came across large stretches where the snow had melted and there were dozens of dog droppings in a short distance. While navigating a slippery, treacherous downhill, I not only had to avoid falling down a hill, but I had to avoid falling into dog poop. Dog crap is not part of the forest ecosystem. If you don’t want to clean up after your dog, don’t get a dog.

Please leash your dog. On Monday, I was running at Bagley. I came out of the woods for the short portion that’s on the discus field (or whatever) on campus, and a man was there with his four unleashed dogs. All four of them rushed at me, a couple of them making growling noises, and they ignored his commands, jumping on me. His apologies went unaccepted. Dogs should be leashed for their own safety, the safety of other animals, the safety of other people, and to protect trails. Yes, even on remote trails. Look, the Superior Hiking Trail Association even says so. I don’t care how friendly you tell me your dog is. Leash it.

I guess those are my main annoyances. There are a lot of other things dog owners do that make me mad (driving with their dogs in pickup truck beds, leaving them barking outside for hours, leaving them in hot cars, giving them away when the dog becomes the slightest inconvenience, etc.), but not running-specific ones.