Saturday, November 30, 2013

20 Years Without a Dog Bite

The ongoing debate between trail users and dog owners is fierce in the Valley.  I've always thought it was a silly argument based on a false dichotomy-- dogs vs. people.  As a dog person who pets every dog he finds, I don't understand people who lack the intuition to handle dog encounters.  And as a runner and biker who uses the trails every day, I can't understand people who have their dogs unleashed and can't control them.  Isn't there some reasonable middle path?   If you can control your dog, take them anywhere; if not, don't.

I had a great streak going:  Nearly 20 years of running and biking on trails without a dog bite.  And, that's considering my complete lack of caution when I approach dogs.  The leashed dog that pulled his owner down the trail yesterday on the Robert Frost Trail and bit me twice broke my streak. (For the record, I had the sense to not pet this one-- I avoided it but stayed on my bike.)  The guy apologized with a stunningly blithe load of crap: "It's because you're on a bike, and you're a stranger."  Hmm, perhaps your dog doesn't get to walk in the woods then?  Feeling a sense of compassion and tolerance, I didn't stop the guy when he continued down the trail.  I didn't see any blood.  I'm working on being a kinder person and this seemed like a good thing to do.  I felt very Zen.

Zen it wasn't.  The left leg bite did bleed (though the ankle didn't); and because we can't prove the dog doesn't have rabies, I've spent hours in ER's in the last 24 hours, starting rounds of shots . (Below-- 4x immunoglobulin and 1x rabies vaccine.) More to come.  I'm assuming my insurance will cover all but copays, but if you know a 35-45 year old male with a white and dark-splotchy border collie, let him know we need to speak, because I'd prefer he pay these bills-- or at least let me avoid the remaining immunizations.  Better he talk to me than the Pelham dog officer or PD.  

1 comment:

  1. It was nice of you to not press charges on the dog owner, especially with the pain it has caused and the cost it has brought upon you. If in any case you decide to press charges in the future, it's a good idea to get attorneys that are adept in cases involving dog bites. These cases are very specific and help prevent further problems for you and the community.
    Andrew Lloyd @