I don't hate dogs, but I do dislike dog owners in NYC. Oh, I'm sure most are considerate, but there are so many of them that the minority -- the ones that leave crap all over the UES -- kinda stand out. As a runner, I have a particular uneasiness around the canines. They're dumb and friendly, or they could be amped up and dangerous. I have no clue, but it's impossible to tell when a big down comes lunging at you. Tonight, two big dogs were with their owner -- not pet parent, owner -- and of course they were unleashed. Now, I work, which sadly requires several hours a day. This leaves me evening/night hours to run. All signs in the Riverside Park say "dogs on leash at all times," yet dog owners continue to believe in this myth they can ignore the law when it's dark or early. It's crap. I have a right to run in the park without having unleashed dogs lunge at me. It seems like simple courtesy. What's worse, the owner tonight seemed to find it amusing that I'd be forced to stop to avoid her/him (it was one of those bundled-up androgynous types the UWS specializes in). That made an annoyance into a full-on scrap. The good part is the extra adrenaline helped the final part of the run.
5 miles, 37:20